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Retirement Home Regulation in British Columbia

Province: BC

British Columbia was the first province in Canada to regulate “Assisted Living Residences”, the category under which many retirement residences fall. There is no regulation governing Independent Living Residences. In order to be considered an Assisted Living Residence, residents must require assistance with their activities of daily living in one or two areas (more than two falls into the realm of long-term/residential care). Examples include assistance with personal hygiene, dressing, eating, walking, medications, financial management, etc.

The Community Care and Assisted Living Act is the governing legislation and the Adult Care Regulations details & defines the standards for health and safety of residents in licensed homes. The regulations dictate license application procedures, policies, health and safety provisions, staffing, and management requirements. Many types of residences and facilities are be governed by this legislation ranging from “group homes” for those with disabilities or mental illness to residential care homes housing 3 or more people regardless of the funding body or profit status of the home.

The Office of the Assisted Living Registrar resolves complaints, administers a register of residences in the province & creates and reviews health and safety standards (including staffing, safety, personal care services, and emergency preparedness). Complaints about Assisted Living Residences should be directed to The Registrar who deals with complaints and has the authority to inspect residences and investigate reported concerns. The Assisted Living Registrar can be contacted at 604-714-3378 or by emailing

Information for this article obtained from

If you are looking for assistance locating a home or resources for your loved one, you can reach out to our consulting team at or visit our consulting page for more information. Our Discover 3 program offers decision-makers and seniors, an opportunity to have a professional consultant identify 3 housing solutions based on their needs. If you need more information on care options for seniors, retirement community, or long-term care visiting tips and/or if you are interested in organizing your loved one’s information using our Care Planning Workbook, visit our publications page for a list of options and downloads.
For additional questions, feel free to contact us at is Canada’s largest unbiased seniors’ housing database, offering consulting services, and both seniors’ service and housing directories for professionals, seniors, and their families.


Esther Goldstein, B.Sc., B.S.W., RSW


Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is offered for general informational and educational purposes only. Opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily Lifestyle 55 + Network, Inc/ In no way are any of the materials presented meant to be a substitute for professional advice nor should it be construed as such. Lifestyle 55+ Network, Inc. has endeavoured to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information contained on this website. However, neither it nor the administrator of the site assumes liability whatsoever for any errors or omissions, nor guarantees the accuracy of the information herein.

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