Retirement Home Regulation in British Columbia

Retirement Home Regulation in British Columbia

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

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59 other articles by Esther Goldstein, B.Sc., B.S.W., RSW