OTTAWA – Health Standards Organization (HSO) is pleased to release the What We Heard Report #1: Findings from HSO’s Inaugural National Survey on Long-Term Care. The report, prepared by the National Institute on Ageing (NIA), summarizes the more than 16,000 responses we received to inform our forthcoming new National Long-Term Care Services Standard for Canada.

The key findings in the report are already being used by the Long-Term Care Services Technical Committee members to inform the development of the standard, helping them to understand the broad themes that are important to Canadians when it comes to defining the type of care and services they want to see provided in Canada’s long-term care homes.

In terms of key findings, respondents to the survey identified that “ensuring the provision of high-quality care” in Canada’s long-term care homes is a top priority, followed by ensuring the safety of LTC residents and staff while respecting the rights of residents; ensuring a well-supported, strong and capable LTC workforce; ensuring appropriate funding exists to support the provision of high-quality care; ensuring greater transparency and accountability and reconsidering the provision of for-profit LTC care.

According to the survey, 67.3% of respondents, which span the ages of 18 to 65 years and various geographic locations, did not feel that long-term care homes in Canada were providing safe, reliable, and high-quality care. Additionally, the majority of respondents called for care and accountability to be improved across the country, with 99.4% saying long-term care homes should be required to meet national, regional and local standards. When it comes to providing “safe, reliable, and high-quality care” in long-term care homes, the report also found that the majority of survey respondents felt these descriptors should mark the bare minimum standard in the provision of care.

“We are humbled by the unprecedented level of engagement as more than 16,000 Canadians from every part of the country sent us their feedback on what matters most to them when it comes to long-term care. Their views, summarized in this report, will help HSO’s Technical Committee as they develop a new National Long-Term Care Services Standard. It is clear that providing safe and quality care for our seniors is top of mind for Canadians,” says Dr. Samir Sinha, Chair of HSO’s Long-Term Care Services Technical Committee and Director of Health Policy at the National Institute on Ageing.

“We were gratified by the level of engagement among Canadians on this critical issue. In the coming months, HSO will be seeking additional feedback from Canadians in a number of ways. Anyone interested in contributing can fill out a Consultation Workbook, available at,” says Kaye Phillips, Executive Director, Global Programs at HSO.

Other top priorities in long-term care identified by survey respondents were ensuring a well-supported, strong and capable workforce as well as the de-institutionalization of long-term care homes.

For the LTC workforce, survey respondents advocated for full-time, permanent employment opportunities that are equitably compensated (e.g. salary, benefits, paid time off). Respondents added it is important for LTC workers to feel respected and valued, so they can better provide high-quality, compassionate care to residents. Of the survey respondents who self-identified as LTC Staff Health Care Providers, more than half (54%) did not feel that long-term care homes in Canada were providing safe, reliable, and high-quality care.

Across the board, respondents also called for long-term care that ‘feels like home,’ advocating for more time for LTC workers to deliver daily care, as well as more well-thought-out designs for long-term care homes with more welcoming spaces that encourage social activities and interactions among residents and visitors. Among other factors, respondents noted that reimagined LTC homes would have a focus on accessible, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing spaces that not only reflect best practices in care provision, but also uphold the qualities of home. You can read the full report here:

HSO’s National Survey on Long-Term Care is one of several opportunities to engage throughout the development of this new standard. We are currently welcoming additional input from Canadians through the completion of our new National LTC Services Standard Consultation Workbooks, which can be completed by anyone interested in providing their input on improving long-term care in Canada. In addition, the draft National Long-Term Care Services Standard will be released for public review in early 2022 and the final version will be released in fall 2022.


  • The National Institute on Ageing (NIA) is a public policy and research centre at Ryerson University. It is unique in its mandate to consider ageing issues from a broad range of perspectives, including financial, physical, psychological, and social well-being.
  • Health Standards Organization (HSO) develops world-class, evidence-based standards, assessment programs and quality improvement solutions. HSO is the only Standards Development Organization (SDO) solely dedicated to health and social services. Affiliated with Accreditation Canada (AC), HSO standards form the basis of AC’s accreditation programs and are used in over 15,000 locations and 38 countries.

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