Later In Life

How to Help My Loved Ones

Helping families evaluate parental living and care options in the transition from independent living

Understand the options

Senior Living and Care Options


Independent Living

Independent living is the perfect option for seniors who are confident in their ability to live alone safely, but don't want to worry about things like home maintenance, housekeeping or cooking. Seniors who chose independent living also feel more confident knowing that help is there if they need it and enjoy the amenities and activities available in their retirement community.


Home Health Care

Home care and home support options enable seniors to get the help they need at home. Services range from publicly subsidized care, which is delivered through the person's health authority, to customized private-pay options, which can include medical care, transportation, companionship, and home making.


Assisted Living

Assisted living homes are for seniors who can still live independently and make decisions for themselves but require additional support due to physical or health challenges. Assisted living services provide housing, hospitality services (like meals and homemaking), and personal care services.


Long Term Care

Long-term care homes are an option for seniors who need 24-hour professional support and care because of their physical needs, or because they have advanced Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. For many seniors, this is the best option when the person can no longer be cared for in their own home or in an assisted living home.

nurse and reading book

BC Seniors Guide 2022

Message from BC Minister of Health.

“In B.C., we want to help our growing number of seniors live independently in their own homes for as long as possible, to promote a healthy active lifestyle, and provide the best possible care and support when and where people need it. Making sure information and resources about services are readily available for seniors, their families, and caregivers is important to help them make informed decisions about their health. The BC Seniors’ Guide is a comprehensive tool that can help British Columbians with the information they need as they age. It includes information on provincial and federal programs, with sections on benefits, health, lifestyle, housing, transportation, finances, safety and security and other important services. It is available in English, French, Punjabi, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Farsi. "

Government of British Columbia

Assisted Living and Licensed Residential Care 

People who need assistance on a daily basis may consider moving into an assisted living residence or a licensed community care facility. Both types of accommodation are regulated under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act; however, there are some key differences between them.

Assisted living residences and licensed residential care facilities both provide housing and services. The key differences include:

The number and level of services provided on a daily basis

The number of staff to assist people

Whether a person is able to make decisions on their own behalf

Whether a person can evacuate safely and independently in an emergency

old lady and granddaughter having fun baking

Subsidized care options

British Columbia Home Care 

In B.C., care and support are available from both publicly subsidized and private pay providers for people having difficulty coping with activities of daily living because of health-related problems or a life-threatening illness.

Learn More Here

Access to home and community care services in British Columbia is coordinated through the health authorities. Needs assessments are conducted to determine eligibility and appropriate care placement. 


Community Nursing

Licensed nursing professionals provide services to those who require acute, chronic, palliative or rehabilitative support. Typically, these are short-term supportive services that may be provided in either the home or another setting, including assisted living facilities. 


Community Rehabilitation

Similar to community nursing, these services are provided by licensed physical or occupational therapists and are typically intended for short-term rehabilitation. 


Adult Day Services

These programs offer care, and social and recreational activities to seniors who may need additional support during the day away from their homes, and also serve as respite for caregivers. 


Home Support

Provided by community health workers, these services represent a range of supportive care with the intention of ensuring that an individual is able to remain in his or her home. Care typically includes assistance with ADLs, such as bathing and nutrition. Home support services are only available for 24-hour care on a short-term basis. 


Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities provide services for individuals who are still independent but who require additional support and for whom remaining in their previous environment represents considerable risk. Residents live in a private unit with a lockable door within a supportive environment. Assisted living services provide housing, hospitality services and personal care services for adults who can live independently and make decisions on their own behalf but require a supportive environment due to physical and functional health challenges.


Residential Care

Residential care incorporates facility-based care for individuals who require 24-hour professional care. Services may be offered short term — as is the case with convalescent, caregiver respite or palliative care — or long term. Long-term care is intended for those with complex care needs who are no longer eligible for home care and assisted living services. Individuals in residential care may also have severe ongoing behavioral issues, moderate to severe cognitive impairment, a high level of physical dependence, and/or a high level of clinical complexity with needs that require professional nursing care, monitoring or specialized care.

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