About long-term care in Ontario: Facts and figures

In the past five years, the long-term care sector has undergone profound change. Before then, long-term care homes accommodated a mix of residents with low to very high care needs. Since 2010 however, only people with high or very high care needs are eligible for long-term care in Ontario. These changes are largely due to the province’s aging-in-place strategy, which has made more funding available for care at home while implementing new, stricter admission criteria for those entering long-term care. The result: Ontario seniors are entering long-term care homes when they are older, frailer, and in need of more medical and personal care than ever before.

Our seniors need long-term care homes that are ready and capable of meeting their ever-increasing, complex health care needs and able to provide safe quality care when they expect and require it most. Visit us at betterseniorscare.ca to learn more about how the government and homes can work together to build the capacity for care. And below, you can find some quick facts about residents, long-term care homes, costs and eligibility.

Ontario’s long-term care residents (2019)

  • 90% have some form of cognitive impairment
  • 86% of residents need extensive help with daily activities such as getting out of bed, eating, or toileting
  • 80% have neurological diseases
  • 76% have heart/circulation diseases
  • 64% have a diagnosis of dementia
  • 62% have musculoskeletal diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis
  • 61% take 10 or more prescription medications
  • 40% need monitoring for an acute medical condition
  • 21% have experiences a stroke
  • Ontario’s long-term care homes (February 2019)
    • 626 homes are homes licensed and approved to operate in Ontario
    • 58% of homes are privately owned, 24% are non-profit/charitable, 16% are municipal
    • About 40% of long-term care homes are small, with 96 or fewer beds
    • Of these small homes, about 45% are located in rural communities that often have limited home care or retirement home option
    • 77,257 long-stay beds are allocated to provide care, accommodation and services to frail seniors who require permanent placement
    • 669 convalescent care beds are allocated to provide short-term care as a bridge between hospitalization and a patient’s home
    • 321 beds are allocated to provide respite to families who need a break from caring 24/7 for their loved one
    • Approximately 300 of the province’s long-term care homes are older and need to be redeveloped (more than 30,000 beds)
    • The average time to placement in long-term care, as of February 2019, is 161 days
    • The wait list for long-stay beds, as of February 2019, is 34,834