Eligibility and Admission

Long-term care homes are publicly funded and operated by municipalities, not-for-profit organizations and private organizations. They provide health care and services to people whose needs cannot be met in the community.   

Long-term care homes are licensed and regulated by the Ministry of Long-Term Care. The province has specific laws and regulations for admission to long-term care homes that are designed to ensure fairness and equity in the system, to best serve the needs of people with greater care needs.  
Long-term care homes can provide a residential alternative for patients with high care needs, who meet the following criteria: 

  • 18 years of age or older; 
  • have a valid Ontario Health Card; 
  • have health care needs that cannot be met with any combination of caregiving in the home or community; and  
  • have health care needs that can be met in a long-term care home. 

What is the process for selecting a home? 

The long-term care home placement process includes a multi-part assessment, including an assessment by a Home and Community Care Support Services care coordinator, to ensure there’s an accurate record of your medical history, and to help determine your eligibility for long-term care.   

Once determined eligible, your Care Coordinator will discuss all options, including a list of long- term care homes to choose from. You can apply to as many as five homes, however, this maximum does not apply to people who are assessed as needing an immediate long-stay admission because of a crisis in their condition or circumstances. Wait times for long-term care homes can vary widely, and the care coordinator will help you make informed decisions inclusive of wait time information.  

 Once a spot in a chosen long-term care home becomes available, you will be contacted by Home and Community Care Support Services, at which time you will have 24 hours to consent to the admission. If you move to a home that is not your first choice, you may stay on the waiting list for your other choices, if you wish. During this time, you can speak with your family and/or caregivers about this decision and ensure that everyone will be comfortable as you wait for your first choice home as this waiting process can take some time.  

If you decide to refuse a bed offer, your file will be closed and you will be removed from the waiting list of all your chosen homes. You will not be able to reapply until 12 weeks after the day you were removed from the waiting list, unless there is a change in your condition or circumstances. There are limited exceptions to this rule which your care coordinator will discuss with you. 

Placement Priority Categories

Accommodation costs and subsidy 

Accommodation costs are set by the Ministry of Long-Term Care and are standard in all long-term care homes across Ontario. If you do not have enough annual income to pay for the basic room, the Government of Ontario can help you through a subsidy.  

If you are eligible for placement in a long-term care home, you will not be refused because of an inability to pay. Your Care Coordinator can provide you with more information and help answer any additional questions you may have. 

For more information on costs, long-term care home resident co-payment rates and subsidy eligibility, please visit www.ontario.ca/page/get-help-paying-long-term-care