Continuing care – Overview

Supporting the health and independence of Albertans living in their own homes, in supportive living accommodations, or continuing care homes.


There are a variety of continuing care settings, services and supports available to Albertans depending on an individual’s health, personal care or accommodation service needs.

Continuing care settings include continuing care homes and supportive living accommodations.


Continuing care services include help with:

  • dressing
  • eating
  • bathing
  • meal preparation
  • respite
  • wound care
  • medication administration
  • many other health care and support services


Any Albertan can receive continuing care services, no matter their age, diagnosis or the length of time they need support. Eligibility for continuing care services provided by home and community care or in a continuing care home is based on a professional assessment of a person’s unmet care needs. Access to accommodation services provided in a supportive living accommodation is based on the operator’s eligibility criteria.

Learn how to access continuing care.

Continuing care services include assistance with dressing, eating and bathing, meal preparation, respite, wound care, medication administration, and various other health care and support services.

These services and supports may be provided in different settings including individuals’ homes, community-based service locations, such as day programs, supportive living accommodations and continuing care homes.

Home and community care

Home and community care includes health and personal care services and supports for clients of all ages. Clients can be living in their home or other private residential settings, such as those in a seniors lodge or other supportive living accommodation.

Home and community care services:

  • help people remain well, safe and independent in their home for as long as possible
  • include supports for caregivers, such as respite care, to ensure their needs are also met
  • are intended to supplement, not replace, help and support from family, friends and the community
  • can be received on a short-term basis to help recover from an accident, injury or illness or on a long-term basis due to disease, disability or aging

Types of care providers

There are 3 types of home and community care providers in Alberta. A client may receive services from more than one type of provider.

  • Type 1 – home and community care provided to a client directly by the regional health authority.
  • Type 2 – home and community care provided to a client by a provider who has an agreement with the regional health authority for home and community care services.
  • Type 3 – home and community care provided through any service model where a client hires a home and community care provider of their choice.


Health and personal care services provided through home and community care are publicly funded. Home and community care clients who participate in day programs are responsible for a daily fee, which contributes to the costs of the program.

Additionally, home and community care clients are responsible for the costs of:

  • medications
  • supplemental nutritional products
  • long-term use of personal medical supplies and equipment

Provincial financial assistance programs, such as Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL), may be available to subsidize costs related to medical equipment and supplies.

Learn more about Home and Community Care in Alberta.

Supportive living accommodations

Supportive living accommodations are a type of continuing care accommodation where people can remain as independent as possible. It offers a congregate setting with access to services that meet their changing needs.

Supportive living accommodation operators must be licensed, and comply with the Accommodation Standards – Supportive Living if they:

  • provide accommodation for 4 or more individuals
  • the accommodation is intended for permanent or long-term residency
  • provide services related to safety, security or personal welfare
  • provide any meal or food services, housekeeping or accommodation services required to maintain the resident’s independence

Supportive living accommodations vary by size, appearance and the types of services offered. They can include seniors’ lodges and group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Learn more about supportive living accommodations.

Access and costs

Access to a supportive living accommodation is determined by the operator. Operators set their own rent prices and determine what services they will offer. It is up to individuals to choose the types of services they want or need.

To determine if an accommodation meets your needs, you should meet with the operator, tour the accommodation, and talk to some of the residents.

Find a supportive living accommodation

Search for a supportive living accommodation.

Provincial standards

The Alberta government sets provincial accommodation standards, and monitors compliance to the standards through site inspections.

Read the Accommodation Standards – Supportive Living Accommodations and the Supportive Living Accommodations in Alberta – A Guide to New Continuing Care Legislation.

Continuing care homes

Continuing care homes are licensed settings that receive public funding to provide residents with nursing, personal care, life enrichment activities and other support services. Continuing care homes are either operated by Alberta Health Services (AHS) or other contracted non-and for-profit providers. The amount and type of care provided to residents is based on their assessed needs.

Read more about continuing care homes.


AHS determines access to continuing care home spaces and requires individuals to be assessed by a health professional to determine their health needs.

Accommodation charges

The maximum resident accommodation charge in continuing care homes is set by the Alberta government.

See the current maximum accommodation charges for residents in continuing care homes.


All continuing care homes provide 24-hour publicly funded health and personal care support on-site.

Continuing care homes are licensed as:

  • type A (formerly long-term care, nursing homes or auxiliary hospitals)
  • type B (formerly designated supportive living)
  • type C (publicly funded hospice settings)

Type A

Type A continuing care homes are for people with complex medical needs who are unable to remain safely at:

  • home
  • in a supportive living accommodation, or
  • a lower level of continuing care home

In type A continuing care homes, residents receive:

  • accommodation
  • meals
  • access to 24-hour on-site professional nursing and personal care
  • consultative services provided on-site by facility staff, such as:
    • case management
    • professional nursing
    • rehabilitation therapy and other consultative services

Type B

Type B continuing care homes are for people with various levels of medical needs who are unable to remain safely in supportive living accommodations or in their homes.

Residents of type B continuing care homes receive:

  • accommodation
  • meals
  • access to 24-hour on-site scheduled and unscheduled personal care and support services from health care aides and/or licensed practical nurses

Type C

Type C continuing care homes are settings where operators are contracted to provide publicly funded hospice care to people who require specialized end-of-life care.

Residents of type C continuing care homes receive:

  • accommodation
  • meals
  • access to 24-hour on-site scheduled and unscheduled health and personal care supports and services

Find a continuing care home

Search for a continuing care home.

Palliative and end-of-life care

Palliative and end-of-life care is specialized medical care for adults and children diagnosed with a serious illness that will shorten their life.

Alberta Health Services or contracted service providers deliver palliative and end-of-life care services and supports to Albertans. A palliative and end-of-life care team works with clients requiring special medical care, in collaboration with their families, caregivers and doctors. The team can also offer services and supports to families and caregivers.

In Alberta, individuals can receive palliative and end-of-life care:

  • in their home (through home and community care)
  • in a supportive living accommodation
  • in a hospital, or
  • in a continuing care home, which includes publicly funded hospices

Find palliative and end-of-life care

Find services where you live.

Health care benefits

Alberta Health provides subsidized palliative care health benefits to Albertans that remain in their home or in a hospice where access to publicly funded drugs, diabetic supplies and ambulance services may not be included.

Learn about the Palliative Coverage Program.

All Albertans should prepare for the possibility they may be unable to make their own medical decisions, especially if they are older or have chronic or serious illness.

Advance care planning

Advance care planning is a way to help individuals think about, talk about and document their wishes for health care if they are unable to provide consent or refuse treatment or other kinds of care. Tools such as a personal directive, an enduring power of attorney or a will can help people plan for the future so their wishes are known.

Find out more about Advance planning.

Resident and Family Councils

The Continuing Care Act gives clients and their families the right to establish self-governing councils at type A or type B continuing care homes or supportive living accommodations, to participate in decisions made about the care and services they receive.

Learn more about Resident and Family Councils.

Legislation and standards

The most common legislation and standards regarding the continuing care system are listed below.

There may be additional legislation or standards, such as employment standards, that may be relevant to continuing care operators and those receiving continuing care services.