There will be more care options and added protection for those living in assisted residences.

According to the provincial government, this will be the case once amendments to the Community Care and Assisted Living Care Act come into force. 

The changes will be effective starting on December 1st. The changes and new regulations will give seniors, people living with disabilities, community care clients, and people living in supportive recovery homes flexibility, as well as choices and opportunities to exercise their independence. 

This also means they’ll be able to stay within their communities while still receiving the quality care they need. 

“Many seniors in the past have had to make the difficult situation to leave their assisted living residents, which is their home, due to previous restrictions,” Minister of Health Adrian Dix said. 

“That’s why we are empowering seniors and people living with disabilities with more independence to make choices about where and how they live and receive care.”

Assisted living is a semi-independent type of housing that provides extra support to help with daily living activities such as meals, recreation, medication management and psychosocial support. Assisted living provides residents, such as seniors and adults requiring support as they recover, the choice to live independently while living in a home-like setting. 

The amendments address the challenges of being transferred to long-term care sooner than necessary because of the existing rules.

The existing rules limited assisted living residences to provide no more than two of the following prescribed services: assistance with daily living activities, managing medication, providing and monitoring therapeutic diets, behaviour management, psychosocial supports, and safekeeping of money and personal property. 

This meant that seniors who needed more than two of the prescribed services couldn’t keep living in assisted living residences, even though they may have been safe and didn’t need more intensive care. 

The province says the changes will also increase regulatory oversight for assisted living residences to strengthen protections for residents. The changes mean the province will be able to ensure the health and safety of residents. 

“When people and their families turn to supportive recovery homes for help, they have the right to receive safe, quality care,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “With these new regulations, the Province is working to ensure that the health and safety of people on their recovery journey is front and centre when receiving the services they need.”

New regulations also aim to increase accountability and oversight of supportive recovery homes throughout the province. 

The provincial government says the new regulations will ensure employees have the necessary skills and training to provide programs and policy information to people and families, supporting the transition to connect to services and supports when leaving recovery homes, and developing a personal service plan for each resident’s recovery.