Implementing the Assisted Living for High Risk Seniors Policy in Central LHIN

Central LHIN creating access to 625 more assisted living spaces in our communities with a $5 million investment

Assisted living services support seniors with complex needs who require services at a greater frequency or intensity than home care, but without the medical monitoring or supervision that would be provided in a long-term care home. These services vary according to need, but consist essentially of personal care, essential homemaking and security checks. The program aims to promote wellness and improve the health of clients by providing a level of services that enables them to live in the community with a high degree of independence.

In January 2011, the government of Ontario introduced the Assisted Living for High Risk Seniors Policy. Benefits of assisted living services, under the new policy include: increased access of assisted living services for seniors, access to 24/7 scheduled and unscheduled visits, security checks, and standardized assessments to determine client care plan. Implementing the policy also means that seniors are no longer required to live in a supportive housing building to benefit from assisted living services.

With a $5 million investment from Central LHIN, 625 more assisted living spaces in our communities have been created due to this increase in funding. This means that effective April 1, 2014, more seniors will receive the care they need on a 24/7 basis to maintain their independence at home. Services will be responsive to residents' preferences, needs and values, and promote maximum dignity, independence and individuality, and specifically include the following: 

  • personal support (activities of daily living such as dressing, medication reminders, bathing, etc.)
  • homemaking (laundry, housework, meal preparation)
  • care coordination (developing an individualized care plan with the client to determine their unique care requirements)
  • security checks (frequency determined by client care plan)

Implementing the policy required Central LHIN to evaluate organizations in Central LHIN that were funded to provide assisted living services for high risk seniors to see if they meet the criteria of the new policy. Evaluation criteria included operational efficiency, safe response time, de-linked from supportive housing, and accreditation status.

With recent and ongoing media coverage related to the implementation of the Assisted Living for High Risk Seniors Policy, specifically as it relates to the Region’s Alternative Community Living program, the following facts are provided to clarify the details:

Fact: Through the Assisted Living for High Risk Seniors Policy, patients will now receive assisted living services no matter where they live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Fact: Patients will receive personal support homemaking, security checks and care coordination 24 hours a day / 7 days a week on a scheduled and unscheduled basis.

Fact: Under the previous model, assisted living services were only provided in supportive housing buildings, and many people in the community did not have access to 24/7 care and unscheduled visits.

Fact: With a $5 million investment from Central LHIN, 625 more seniors in Central LHIN’s communities will now have equitable access to these important services.

Fact: The policy for high needs seniors only applies to 27 high risk seniors who the Region of York provided services for.

Fact: The Region of York did not meet the eligibility criteria to continue to provide assisted living services to HIGH risk seniors. The Region of York did not provide 24/7 care to ALL clients.

Fact: The Policy did not prohibit the Region from continuing to provide assisted living services to its 160 lower needs clients. The region made a business decision to not provide assisted living services to lower needs people.

Fact: Central LHIN has worked with eligible providers so that every patient currently receiving assisted living services will continue to do so.

Fact: As of April 1st, people who currently had services provided by the Region of York and who had access to 24/7 onsite PSW services will continue to do so through CHATS and Carefirst.

Fact: Assisted Living Patients of the Region of York’s Alternative Community Living Program will receive coordinated care and services through experienced providers who will be able to provide the care that people need.

Fact: When needed, CHATS is working with Home and Community Care at the Central Local Health Integration Network to ensure that patients get the care that they need.

Fact: Had the Region of York decided to continue delivering services to their 160 low risk clients, they would have continued to receive funding from the Central LHIN to provide the same services they previously provided to their existing clients.

Together with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Central LHIN is committed to ensuring that our seniors are getting the right care, at the right place, in the right time.

To learn more about Assisted Living for High Risk Seniors in Central LHIN, contact: Carol Edward at or 905-948-1872 ext. 206.

For an overview of Assisted Living Services for High-Risk Seniors including eligibility, service locations, services and how to apply, click here.

Additional Resources

March 26, 2014: Update to implementation of the Assisted Living policy in Central LHIN for York Region’s Alternative Community Living (ACL) clients