Long-term care homes are one of many parts of Ontario’s health care system facing a major staffing shortage.

Staff recruitment and retention is a significant issue for long-term care homes.

By 2029, long-term care homes will require at least 58,600 more nurses and personal support workers to meet increased hours of care and new beds. That is more than double the current long-term care workforce.

Residents choose their long-term care homes because they want to live in those communities. By not being able to recruit and retain staff, we are putting that at significant risk. We are dedicated to working with government and other health care service providers and community leaders to develop local solutions.

There are a number of reasons for staffing challenges.

These include a reduced hiring pool across the health system and a national and global labour shortage; a desire by staff for flexible hours; registered staff working in other sectors.

Homes rely on agencies to fill positions, which comes with skyrocketing costs.

Supporting recruitment and retention.

The Ontario Government has committed to increasing staffing so that long-term care homes can achieve a provincial average of four hours of direct care for residents. This is an important commitment to help homes successfully care for their residents safely and to address the growing complex needs of Ontario’s aging population.

Meanwhile, the health human resources crisis is affecting everyone in health care. We are advocating for measures to support the recruitment and retention of staff and to ensure long-term care residents can receive the quality of care and living they deserve. These include:

  • Earn as you learn programs with incentives to work in long-term care
  • Staff enabled to work to their full scope of practice
  • Supports for staff mental health
  • Reducing red tape to maximize the hours that go towards care

We also are asking the Ministry of Long-Term Care to stabilize base level of care funding for arbitrated increases to wages and benefits to ensure funding for new staffing is not eroded.

To learn more:

Read our 2024 Provincial Budget Submission


Learn about careers in long-term care