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Every Resident - Bill of Rights for people who live in Ontario long-term care homes

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Long-term care homes are places where you can live and receive care services, such as nursing and personal assistance. They are sometimes called "long-term care facilities" or "nursing homes".

This resource can help you understand your rights as a resident of a long-term care home.

Residents' rights are guaranteed by law
In Ontario, long-term care homes must follow a law called the Long-Term Care Homes Act. It includes a Residents' Bill of Rights. The purpose of this Bill of Rights is to make sure that long-term care homes are truly homes for the people who live in them. These rights are listed and explainedin this resource.

The Bill of Rights must be displayed
Every long-term care home must post the Bill of Rights where it can be easily seen. The Bill of Rights tells staff at the home that they must respect your rights while you live there. It tells them to remember that you are in your home. It reminds everyone, including residents, staff, friends, family, and neighbours, that residents of long-term care homes are valued members of the community.

Making sure the Bill of Rights is followed
Every long-term care home must have a way for residents and others to complain about the Bill of Rights not being followed. Inspectors from the Ministry of Long-Term Care enforce the Bill of Rights through various types of inspections, including when someone makes a complaint to the Ministry. Residents can also enforce their rights by taking the long-term care home to court, or by other means. There is more information about this in What can I do if my rights are violated?

During health emergencies
When there is a health emergency, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officers can make temporary rules to protect peoples' health. This happened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These temporary rules may take away or limit some of your rights under the Bill of Rights. For example, the rules might say:

  • you cannot have people visit you,
  • group activities and eating in the dining room have to stop, or
  • you cannot come and go from the home when you want.

Your long-term care home must follow the temporary rules until the health emergency ends. And they must do this even if it means taking away some of your rights in the Bill of Rights.