For information about how B.C. licenses residential care facilities, as well as patient care quality and safety measures for facilities, see:
The Residents' Bill of Rights is a comprehensive set of rights grouped into four main themes: commitment to care; rights to health, safety and dignity; rights to participation and freedom of expression; and rights to transparency and accountability. For more information, see:
For a full list of the types of care that are publicly subsidized in B.C., see:
Long-term residential care services provide 24-hour professional supervision and care in a protective, supportive environment for people who have complex care needs and can no longer be cared for in their own homes or in an assisted living residence. Long-term residential care services include:
• standard accommodation;
• development and maintenance of a care plan;
• clinical support services (e.g., rehabilitation and social work services) as identified in the care plan;
• ongoing, planned physical, social and recreational activities (e.g., exercise, music programs, crafts, games);
• meals, including therapeutic diets prescribed by a physician, and tube feeding;
• meal replacements and nutrition supplements as specified in the care plan or by a physician;
• routine laundry service for bed linens, towels, washcloths and all articles of clothing that can be washed without special attention to the laundering process;
• general hygiene supplies, including but not limited to soap, shampoo, toilet tissue, and special products required for use with facility bathing equipment;
• routine medical supplies;
• incontinence management; and
• any other specialized service (e.g., specialized dementia or palliative care) as needed by the client that the service provider has been contracted to provide.
Long-term residential care services are for people who can no longer be cared for in their own homes or in an assisted living residence and:
• have severe behavioural problems on a continuous basis;
• are cognitively impaired, ranging from moderate to severe;
• are physically dependent, with medical needs that require professional nursing care, and a planned program to retain or improve functional ability; or
• are clinically complex, with multiple disabilities and/or complex medical conditions that require professional nursing care, monitoring and/or specialized skilled care.
In addition to the general eligibility criteria for home and community care services, to be eligible for residential care services you:
• have been assessed as having 24-hour professional nursing supervision and care needs that cannot be adequately met in your home or by housing and health services;
• are at significant risk by remaining in your current living environment, and the degree of risk is not manageable using available community resources and services;
• have an urgent need for residential care services;
• have been investigated and treated for medical causes of disability and dependency that may have been remedial;
• have a caregiver living with unacceptable risk to their well-being, have a caregiver who is no longer able to provide care and support, or do not have a caregiver available;
• will accept the first appropriate bed where your preferred facility or location could not be accommodated on admission;
• have consented to admission to the facility and agreed to occupy the bed within 48 hours of notification of the availability of the bed unless alternate arrangements are approved by your health authority; and
• have agreed to pay your assessed rate and any additional optional charges for services, programs or supplies that are not included as a benefit but are offered by the service provider.
To read the general eligibility criteria for all home and community care services, go to:
If you are interested in receiving long-term residential care services or know of someone who might be in need of these services, you can contact your health authority's home and community care office or you can have a health care professional make a referral on your behalf.
For contact information and a detailed description of how to arrange for long-term residential care services, please see:
If you are a veteran and you are eligible for home and community care services, your health authority is required to contact Veterans Affairs Canada for an assessment of eligibility for federal benefits and arrange your placement on their veterans’ priority access bed waitlist in those facilities with veterans’ priority access beds.
Once eligibility has been determined, access to long-term residential care services is on a priority basis considering client needs, existing supports and the urgency of the response required. Priority placement is in the facility that has an appropriate bed available. As the goal is to find a residential care facility that meets the care needs for people at risk as quickly as possible, individuals are sometimes placed in the facility that is not their first choice. In these situations, transfer to the preferred facility will be managed in an equitable manner.
Your health care professional will determine which facilities best meet your individual care needs. It is important to discuss with your family which facility you prefer. It is advisable that you visit prospective facilities. Tours need to be scheduled in advance with the residential care facility staff to ensure someone is available when you arrive.
There are many things to consider as you plan for your future care needs. In B.C., residential care and support options are available from both publicly subsidized and private pay service providers. The following booklet contains information about eligibility, cost, services, oversight, and practical examples of things to consider when selecting a residential care facility:
Many facilities have an information brochure or package that provides an overview of their philosophy, services and answer many of your questions.
Ask for the admissions agreement or similar documentation. An admission agreement will clarify what services are provided, what services are not available, and any extra charges that may apply. Many facilities also have their own websites.
To learn more about residential care facilities in your region, visit the residential care pages on your health authority website using the links below:
While every effort is made to place you in your preferred facility, you may be placed in a facility that isn’t your first choice. If you find yourself in this situation, please speak with your health care professional, or once in the facility, with the director of care, facility liaison, residential care coordinator or social worker. They will work with you to add your name to the transfer list for your preferred facility, if appropriate.
The amount of time before you can move will depend on the number of other people who are also waiting to transfer to that facility. You may change your mind at any time if you want to stay at your current facility.
Health authorities post summary inspection reports on their websites for routine and follow-up inspections of facilities licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act or licensed or designated under the Hospital Act. The reports include information relating to substantiated complaints and inspections.
A family and/or resident council is a group of persons who either live in a residential care facility or are the contact person, representative or relatives of care facility residents, and who meet regularly for a common purpose related to the care facility. A resident/family council is self-led, self-determining and democratic. Councils exist to engage the resident community in collaborative activities which will advance the quality of life for residents.
If you receive publicly subsidized long-term residential care services, you will pay a monthly rate of up to 80 per cent of your after tax income towards the cost of housing and hospitality services, subject to a minimum and maximum monthly rate. Your monthly rate is calculated based on your “after tax income” (as defined in the Continuing Care Fees Regulation) in one of two ways:
If your after tax income is less than $19,500 per year, your monthly rate is calculated as your after tax income less $3,900 and divided by 12 (Formula A).
Note: The $3,900 deduction ($325 per month X 12 months) is set to ensure that most clients have at least $325 of income remaining per month after paying their monthly rate.
If your after tax income is equal to or greater than $19,500 per year, your monthly rate is calculated as your after tax income multiplied by 80 per cent and divided by 12 (Formula B).
For more information on how your after tax income is calculated, please see:
The minimum monthly rate is adjusted each year based on changes to the Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement (OAS/GIS) rate as of July 1 of the previous year. For 2015, the minimum monthly rate for a client receiving long-term residential care services is $991.20 per month.
If you and your spouse are sharing a room in a residential care facility and are both in receipt of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefit at the married rate, your monthly rate will be calculated based on your after tax income, subject to a minimum and maximum monthly rate. For 2015, the minimum monthly rate for a couple sharing a room and both in receipt of the GIS benefit at the married rate is $736.00 per month per person.
The maximum client rate is adjusted each year based on changes to the Consumer Price Index over the previous year. For 2015, the maximum monthly rate for a client receiving long-term residential care services is $3,157.50 per month.
For more general information on the costs of publicly subsidized home and community care services in B.C., please see:
If payment of your assessed monthly rate would cause you or your family serious financial hardship, you may apply to your health authority for a temporary reduction of your monthly rate. For more information, please see "What if I cannot afford my assessed monthly rate?”, below.
If you are receiving long-term residential care services and payment of your assessed monthly rate would cause you or your family serious financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduced rate.
Serious financial hardship means that payment of your assessed monthly rate would result in you (or your spouse, if applicable) being unable to pay for:
• adequate food;
• monthly mortgage/rent;
• sufficient home heat;
• prescribed medication; or
• other required prescribed health care services.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply for a temporary rate reduction of your monthly rate, please see:
Residential care service providers may also offer you optional equipment, products, and services in addition to those that are included as part of your residential care services. If you choose to receive any of these optional services, you may be required to pay an additional fee over and above your monthly rate. These optional services may include:
• personal cable connection and monthly fee;
• personal telephone connection and basic services;
• nutrition supplements, where the client requests a specific commercial brand rather than the brand provided by the service provider;
• personal newspaper, magazines and periodicals;
• hearing aids and batteries, including replacement batteries;
• personal transportation;
• extra or optional craft supplies, entertainment and recreational activities that are additional to activities and supplies provided as benefits above, and are chosen by the client;
• an administration or handling fee associated with the service, where reasonable, to perform a task or service that would normally be the client’s responsibility;
• purchase or rental of equipment that is for the exclusive use of the client (e.g., walker, wheelchair, crutches, canes or other devices, and maintenance as required);
• companion services;
• personal dry cleaning or laundry services for items requiring special attention; and
• personal hygiene and grooming supplies that the client chooses in preference to general supplies provided by the service provider including:
- facial tissue
- hand lotion
- denture cleaner
- brush and comb
- hair shampoo and conditioner
- talcum powder
- shaving cream
- special soap
- preferred incontinence supplies.