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Seniors are one of the fastest growing population groups in Canada and the demand for senior care services is rising.
Examples of services that may be provided to seniors are:
- Meal preparation
- Assisted daily living (such as ambulatory care or bathing)
The most common types of personal care facilities for seniors include:
- Retirement homes
Privately-owned accommodations for seniors who are able to manage and pay for their own care. Retirement home clients generally need minimal support with daily living activities.
- Supportive housing
Designed for people who need minimal to moderate care - for example housekeeping or personal care - to live independently.
- Long-term care homes
Designed for people who require the availability of 24-hour nursing care and supervision in a secure setting.
Licences, permits and regulations that apply to starting a senior care facility include:
Retirement home licensing
In Ontario, you must obtain a licence for your seniors personal care business from the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA), and make sure that you comply with their rules and requirements.
Contact the RHRA:
Retirement homes - licensing
Long-term care home licensing
To operate a long-term care home (sometimes called a nursing home) you need approval and licensing from the Ministry of Long-term Care. The requirements and standards you need to meet for each long-term care bed you plan to have or upgrade are available on their website along with the applications. Contact the Ministry directly for more information.
Contact the Ministry of Long-term Care:
Apply to build new or redevelop existing long-term care beds
Landlord and tenant rights
Ensure that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, including rent increase guidelines.
Contact the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing:
Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Personal information protection
If you gather personal information from your clients, make sure that you are following the rules of collection, use and disclosure of personal information in Canada.
Contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada:
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) - For businesses
Health information protection
In Ontario, when you gather health information from your residents and clients, make sure that you follow the rules of collection, use and disclosure of that information.
Contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario:
1-800-387-0073 (within Ontario)
Guidance published by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
Note: if you do not plan to offer services in a personal care facility setting or physical space controlled by your business you are still responsible for ensuring that the services you provide meet legal and regulatory requirements. Some services require certification, licensing and inspections or need to meet certain set standards including:
- Prepared food services
- Nursing support
- In-home and telehealth medical consultations
- Medical testing
- Social and mental health counselling
- Handling personal and health data
- A Guide to Programs and Services for Seniors in Ontario
- CMHC: Managing Affordable Housing
- Family Councils Ontario
- Canadian Institute for Health Information
- Public Health Agency of Canada: Aging and Seniors
- Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority: Operator Resources
- Canadian Red Cross: Programs and services in Ontario
- Older adults and population aging statistics