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Ministry of Health

Assisted Living Registry (ALR)

Types of assisted living for seniors

1. Private-Pay Assisted Living

The Assisted Living Registrar has jurisdiction over all assisted living residences in B.C., including private-pay residences. A health authority case manager’s assessment is not needed to enter private-pay assisted living.

Eligibility

Assisted living operators determine eligibility for private-pay assisted living. Operators may seek clinical input (e.g., from a prospective resident’s physician) about whether a person is able to live safely in an assisted living residence. A person may be eligible if they:

  • require hospitality services and personal assistance (e.g., help with bathing or medications); and
  • are able to make the range of decisions that will allow them to function safely in an assisted living residence, or will live with a spouse who is willing and able to make decisions on their behalf.

Cost

In private-pay residences, residents must pay all costs. Private-pay residences may charge a fixed rate for a package of services or on a fee-for-service basis, or a combination of the two.

The ALR does not have information about the cost of assisted living services. Contact residences directly to find out their rates.

NOTE: Some private-pay residences also have publicly subsidized units.

Finding Private-Pay Assisted Living

To find private pay assisted living, consult the ALR’s Registered Assisted Living Residence Locator. Operators of private-pay assisted living units also advertise their residences at local health units, in seniors’ and community centres, and in newspapers and seniors’ publications (including Internet publications) — especially those about housing. Contact residences directly for detailed information.

2. Publicly Subsidized Assisted Living

Publicly subsidized assisted living is part of the B.C. government’s strategy to improve the services for seniors. It provides affordable housing and services, generally in the form of apartments, for seniors who have low or modest incomes. A variety of building sizes and units are available in either stand-alone assisted living residences or campuses of care. In a campus of care, assisted living units may all be located in one area or in different locations throughout the community.

Eligibility

A health authority case manager determines eligibility for publicly subsidized assisted living. A person may be eligible if they:

  • are eligible for home and community care services;
  • require hospitality services and personal assistance (e.g., help with bathing or medications); and are able to make the range of decisions that will allow them to function safely in an assisted living residence, or will live with a spouse who is willing and able to make decisions on their behalf;
  • are at significant risk in their current living environment (e.g. falls, isolation, poor nutrition).

Cost

Eligible residents pay a monthly fee of 70 per cent of their after-tax income for rent, hospitality services and personal assistance services, up to a maximum amount. Some operators may charge additional fees for hospitality services such as extra meals. The fee is paid monthly to the assisted living operator, along with a monthly BC Hydro surcharge, and usually includes all services except items such as television and telephone.

How to Apply for Publicly Subsidized Assisted Living

Access to all publicly subsidized assisted living units is through the regional health authority’s home and community care office. To find out if you are eligible for publicly subsidized assisted living, or to apply, contact the home and community care office in your community. If you already have a home and community care case manager, call him/her to request an assessment.

Eligibility does not guarantee accommodation. Vacancies at each site vary, and it’s not always possible to predict an occupancy date. However, operators and buildings that have publicly subsidized assisted living may also offer private-pay units for non-subsidized rental. Information about private, non-subsidized accommodation is available directly from the residence operator.

Finding Publicly Subsidized Assisted Living

To find publicly subsidized assisted living, use the ALR’s Registered Assisted Living Residence Locator or visit your local health authority’s website:

Fraser Health
Interior Health
Northern Health
Vancouver Coastal Health
Vancouver Island Health Authority

The home and community care office in your community or your case manager, if you already have one, can also give you information about residences that might be right for you.