Helping You Navigate Ontario’s Long-term Care System
Your First Step
The Ontario government provides home and community care services through the agency known as “Home and Community Care Support Services.” This agency is sometimes referred to as “LHIN” and was formerly known as “CCAC.” If you have a friend or loved one who needs support at home or placement to a Long-Term Care Home, this is the agency you must contact.
A referral can be made by a health-care professional, a family member or friend, or even by the individual themselves. Visit THIS PAGE to find the local branch office that services where the patient lives. Once you are on your local page, navigate to the “Contact Us” tab to find the correct phone number to call. You will be assigned a Care Coordinator and the person who requires services or a referral to LTC will be assessed for eligibility for placement.
Long-Term Care Homes are “nursing homes” that are subsidized by the Ontario government. These residential homes provide a higher level of personal care and support than what may be provided in a private retirement home. A LTC Home is intended for people who need 24-hour nursing care and supervision within a secure setting.
To locate the long-term care homes within a given radius, this interactive map is searchable by postal code. Here you will find information such as number of beds, who operates the home, home type (for-profit, non-profit, municipal), whether the facility is accredited, designated under the French Language Services Act, date of last inspection and inspection reports.
Health Quality Ontario provides data on wait times for admission to long-term care homes, the quality of resident care, and other measures of long-term care home performance.
Once a person has been approved to be added to the long-term care wait list, you will be given a home choice form. Our guidance document Choosing a LTC Home Checklist has been compiled based on industry knowledge and represents the expressed opinions of our dedicated volunteers. Click HERE to access a printable version of this document.
Making a Complaint
In Ontario, long-term care homes must follow a law called the Long-Term Care Homes Act. It includes a Residents’ Bill of Rights to make sure that long-term care homes are truly homes for the people who live in them. Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) and the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE) developed a user-friendly guidance document called Resident Bill of Rights.
When you feel your rights have not been met you can make a complaint to the ministry. Click here for more information. The ministry will respond quickly to urgent complaints — in some cases, on the same day. For non-urgent complaints, contacting a home directly is often the best and fastest way to address a problem.
We’ve compiled a list of additional online resources that might help you in your journey of navigating the long-term care home system.
We Can Help
Still have questions or need more help? Contact one of our Wayfinding Volunteers.
Our Wayfinding Program volunteers respond to calls seeking assistance on behalf of a family member or friend living in a long-term care home. For information on choosing a long-term care home, navigating a complex system, or resources for resolving a problem within a home contact us by email or call our hotline. Our phone is monitored Monday to Friday and a volunteer will respond within 48 hours.