Assisted living services provide housing, hospitality, and personal care services for adults who can live independently and make decisions on their behalf but require a supportive environment due to physical and functional health challenges.

What to expect

Units can vary from one room to private, self-contained apartments.

Assisted living services include:

  • a private housing unit with a lockable door,
  • personal care services that may include assistance with tasks like bathing, grooming, dressing and mobility or tasks delegated by a health care professional,
  • two nutritious meals per day, one of which is the main meal,
  • access to basic activity programs such as games, music and crafts,
  • weekly housekeeping,
  • laundering of towels and linen,
  • access to laundry equipment for personal laundry,
  • heating or cooling as necessary to maintain the safety and basic comfort level of the residence,
  • and a 24-hour emergency response system.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is assisted living care right for me?

    Assisted living is for seniors and people living with physical disabilities. A person needs to meet these criteria to be eligible for assisted living:

    • -Can live in the residence safely, given their needs and capabilities
    • Is able to make decisions on their own or lives with a spouse who can do so on their behalf
    • Is able to take steps to protect themselves or follow directions in an emergency
    • Does not have behaviours that jeopardize the health and safety of others
    • Does not require unscheduled professional health services regularly
    • Does not require care (i.e., dependent on caregivers for continuing assistance or direction)

    Vancouver Coastal Health’s Assisted Living program currently provides 45 minutes of primarily scheduled personal care per day.


  • Is there a cost for assisted living?

    Subsidized assisted living

    • Individual tenants pay 70% of their after-tax income with a set minimum and maximum amount, which covers rent, hospitality services and personal care.
    • Couples living together pay 70% of their combined after-tax income.
    • Clients on income assistance and disability benefits pay a pre-determined, set rate.

    You may be required to pay other fees for services not covered in the monthly rate based on your personal choices, including telephone, cable, hydro, household and toiletry supplies, medications, personal care supplies and insurance costs. Some facilities also require a damage deposit upon move-in. You will be told about all fees before you move in. You make these payments to the assisted living operator each month, along with a small BC Hydro surcharge.

    The maximum monthly rate for publicly subsidized assisted living services is based on the market rent for housing and hospitality services for the geographic area where you live and the actual cost of personal care services you receive. More information on the maximum monthly rate will be given during the assessment process.

    If you receive support and/or shelter allowance under the Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act, you will pay a fixed monthly rate for your assisted living services.

    Learn more by reading our Assisted Living Handbook.

    Private non-subsidized assisted living

    There are also privately operated, non-subsidized assisted living sites where we have no involvement in the funding or access process. You can also look in the phone book under Retirement Communities and Homes.

  • How do I decide which assisted living residence is best for me?

    It would help if you toured prospective residences. Tours need to be scheduled in advance with the assisted living residence staff.

    Here are some things you should consider:

    • Your geographic location; 
    • What are your personal needs are;
    • Language spoken at the residence; and
    • What activities the assisted living residence can provide.

    Many residences have an information brochure or package that provides an overview of their philosophy and services and will answer many of your questions.

    Ask for the service agreement or similar documentation. A service agreement will clarify what services are provided, which are not available, and any extra charges that may apply. Many assisted living residences also have their websites.


How to access Assisted Living

Home and community care services have general eligibility criteria based on citizenship, residency, age and health condition, and specific criteria for each service based on your assessed needs. You can contact the home and community care access line to arrange for care or have a health-care professional make a referral on your behalf.

Review the full eligibility criteria and how to arrange home and community care services.

Share your feedback

Assisted Living Registry issues registrations to residences and regulates operators to protect and promote the health and safety of residents in assisted living. VCH welcomes you to share your feedback by contacting the Assisted Living Registry. 

Assisted Living Registry 
Phone: 1 (866) 714-3378
Fax: (250) 953-0496

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