Long-term care homes are committed to delivering quality care to all of their residents, and to helping them live in ways that are meaningful to them.

The numbers

For long-term care statistics, see our Data Page

The data

Who lives in long-term care?

People with complex care needs

Read our personas

Innovations in long-term care

Long-term care has made huge strides

Learn more

Long-term care explained

People want to remain in their own homes for as long as they can. But research shows that an estimated 1 in 5 people over 80 need a greater level of specialized treatments, care and support.

Most people in long-term care are seniors living with some form of cognitive impairment and physical frailty, along with chronic medical conditions that have seriously compromised their health.

Long-term care homes provide affordable housing, specialized around-the-clock daily care, treatments and supports to meet the individualized needs of their residents. They are committed to providing quality care and a quality of life to all they serve.

Who lives in long-term care?

Many people with complex care needs live in Ontario’s long-term care homes. Long-term care homes care for the full range of personal, clinical, emotional, social, spiritual and cultural needs and preferences of their residents. Learn more here.

Today’s residents need a higher level of care compared to those who entered in 2011. They are entering long-term care homes when they are older and at later stages of cognitive and physical decline, when their health is more likely to be unstable and they are more physically frail. Many are also moving into long-term care directly from the hospital.

What type of care and support do long-term care homes offer?

Long-term care homes are committed to providing safe housing, quality of care and quality of life for their residents. Staff provide specialized around-the-clock daily care, treatments and supports based on individual needs. The majority of residents require extensive support with everyday activities such as getting dressed and mealtimes.

Staff also work with residents and their families to create a home-like environment and activities that promote residents’ comfort and well-being and engage their abilities, helping them live in ways that are meaningful to them.

Essential care partners – typically family members and friends – are a vital part of the team involved in a resident’s care and support.

How to find a long-term care home?

Visit the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care’s website to find out about the care options in Ontario and to help you decide if long-term care is the right choice for you.

You’ll find information about who is eligible to live in long-term care, how to choose a home and apply, and what to expect when moving in. They also share helpful tips on how to access resources in your local community.

How long is the wait to move into long-term care?

More than 43,000 people in Ontario are waiting for long-term care. This waitlist has nearly doubled over the past 10 years and it is expected to grow. 

Wait times vary widely across the province. However, on average, seniors wait for six months to move into long-term care. Learn about the data here. 

Learn how to apply and start preparing for a move to long-term care on the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s website. They also share helpful tips on how to access resources in your local community. 

Who pays for long-term care?

Long-term care homes are part of the province’s health care system and are licensed, regulated and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care. The province pays for costs associated with resident care and residents pay for their living accommodations.  

Residents’ rates are set by the government and subsidized if a resident cannot afford to pay.  

To find current rates, please visit the paying for long-term care information on the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s website. 

The Ontario government covers funding for all staff and supplies related to nursing and personal care, resident social and recreational programs, support services, and food and nutrition. Residents’ fees are used to cover expenses such as non-care staff, utilities, and mortgages, as well as building maintenance and major capital repairs. 

Long-term care funding is audited by the provincial government. Funds provided for care are not used for any other purposes.  

How is the quality of care monitored in long-term care homes?

Long-term care staff are committed to meeting the needs of their residents and to helping them live in ways that are meaningful to them. 

For data on the quality of care in long-term care homes, please visit the Canadian Institute for Health Information. This national organization looks at nine factors in resident care every year and posts the findings on their Your Health System website. Two areas of note include Ontario long-term care homes having the lowest rates in the country for antipsychotic use and of residents who are experiencing pain. The Ontario government also inspects homes according to long-term care legislation. Inspection reports for individual homes can be found on the Ministry of Long-Term Care website and are posted publicly in every home. 

Plus, long-term care homes submit their annual quality improvement plan to Ontario Health, outlining how they will improve the quality of care they provide to their residents in the coming year.

Are homes following COVID-19 protocols?

Homes continue to follow stringent infection prevention and control protocols for COVID-19. Details of current COVID guidelines for long-term care homes are provided by the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s COVID guidance document as well as their local public health units.

How is long-term care transforming to better serve residents?

Long-term care is not the same as it was in 2020. The tragedy of the pandemic highlighted long-standing systemic issues and the Ontario government has made historic commitments to help transform long-term care for Ontario’s seniors.  

These changes underway include increasing hours of direct care for residents, rebuilding older homes, and creating thousands of new spaces. The government is also supporting staffing programs to address a severe staffing shortage.  

By 2040, it is anticipated there will be more than twice as many seniors over the age of 80, creating significant growth in the number of people who will likely need and depend on long-term care support.  

Learn more about the changes underway in long-term care and what still needs to be done.