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Tools to make the Most of Your Residents’ Council

The tools listed below are designed to enhance resident engagement, spur on discussion, provide Council foundations and structure, and educate on rights, roles and responsibilities the Residents’ Council are afforded through the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021.

Residents’ Council Fact Sheets

Below are Facts Sheets designed to help answer the most common questions about long-term care Residents’ Councils.  Working with experts in long-term care, government and law, each Fact Sheet will address important topics such as Residents’ Council finances, who can attend Residents’ Council meetings, governance and leadership models and more.

Residents’ Council: Considerations and Strategies for Long-Term Care Home's During Outbreaks

Armed with knowledge and the proper personal protective equipment we can maintain Residents’ Councils’ operations in long-term care during outbreaks. Residents’ Councils play an essential role in every long-term care home. With some modification and creativity, residents can continue their structured outlet for peer support and sharing and their legislated safe space for asking questions, raising concerns and engaging in home operations.  OARC offers this Guidance Document and Questions and Answers Document to support Residents’ Councils.

Tool for Communicating with Residents During Outbreaks

To assist long-term care home management and teams in their efforts to keep residents informed and engaged in home operations, OARC has created a simple template that can be customized and used to communicate changes in your home’s outbreak situation and Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) protocols. OARC recommends that this tool be updated frequently and delivered to each resident. While some residents may indicate a preference for hardcopies, other forms of communication/information delivery may be more appropriate for others. We invite you to ASK residents and their loved ones the best way(s) to receive communications.

Residents’ Council Brochure Template

A fully-customized template (with companion document) has been developed to guide you through the process of creating your own trifold brochure that promotes and best represents the Residents’ Council at your home. This tool is not prescriptive and allows you to introduce resident leaders, feature subcommittees, and share important information about your Council including meeting location, frequency, fundraising goals/accomplishments, your Residents’ Council mission statement, local area map, and much more!  Download the documents here:

OARC Residents’ Council Bylaw Template

Bylaws are designed to provide guidance and direction. Having bylaws in place will help eliminate confusion and encourage consistency when these are challenged due to changes in leadership, interpersonal relationships and differing opinions. OARC has developed a template to assist your Residents’ Council in developing its own bylaws and is designed to capture important aspects of Residents’ Council in one document. The template is not prescriptive and allows your Residents’ Council to customize all the details.

Click here to download the MS Word document.

Implementing Residents’ Council Bylaws: Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to download French MS Word document.

Agenda and Minute Template

OARC’s Provisional Agenda and Minute Template were designed to assist you in planning and facilitating meaningful Residents’ Council meetings. Below you will find templates in 3 different font-sizes to best meet the needs and/or preferences of the residents in your home.
These templates will:

  • enable robust discussion and communication among residents
  • support ongoing communication between Residents’ Council and management
  • educate residents and staff on rights, roles and responsibilities the Residents’ Council has through theLong Term Care Homes Act, 2007 to Fixing Long Term Care Act, 2021
  • illustrate consistency in meeting structure
  • ensure consistency in minute keeping for ease of review
  • ensure all areas of life in your long-term care home have been captured for discussion

Provisional Agenda (Word Version):

Minute Template (Word Version):

Minute Template Tips and Hints (PDF Version):

Opening Guidelines and Closing Remarks (Word Version):

Supporting Your Home’s Residents’ Council: A Resource Guide for Residents’ Council Leadership and Residents’ Council Assistants

This comprehensive resource guide provides foundational information to help form and sustain an effective Residents’ Council in your home. The guide was written in consultation with residents and team members in long-term care homes. The content contained in this resource aligns with Fixing-Long Term Care Homes Act (2021) and demonstrates best practises through embracing culture change.

Download the Complete Resource Guide:

Download Sections of the Resource Guide:



Ontario Legislation and Residents’ Councils

OARC has highlighted excerpts from the FLTCA, 2021 and Regulation 246/22 addressing specific clauses that outline the rights, roles and responsibilities of residents as members of Residents’ Councils. OARC has provided brief explanations in blue text to assist you in understanding these critical aspects of the law.

Understanding Our Law and Residents’ Councils: Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 (PDF Version):

For more information on the Fixing Long-Term Term Care Act, 2021 please visit

For more information about FLTC Act, 2021 Regulation 246/22, please visit

Virtual Visits Toolkit

This toolkit will provide you with the information and support you need to start a Virtual Visits program at your home. The toolkit contains information on what is needed to organize video calls, common barriers and solutions, FAQs, promising practices, a suggested implementation schedule.

Virtual Visit Toolkit

Tools to help you through the process

Zoom Tools

Skype Tools


Connecting with the Community: Contacting Your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP)

There are times when it might be appropriate and advantageous for Residents’ Councils to contact their local MPPs, either by telephone or in writing. Your Council may decide to extend an invitation to have your MPP visit/tour your home, attend a Council meeting as an invited guest, or participate in a special event or fundraiser. Councils may reach out to their MPP to raise awareness, celebrate good news stories, or to seek support about a specific concern (at the LTC home or community-level).

When resident leaders wish to share challenges reflecting their lived experience in long-term care, or speak about ways in which those challenges are being solved, they may decide to write a letter or arrange for a face-to-face meeting with their MPP.  OARC does not offer a letter template for government outreach.  However, when writing a letter to your MPP, we recommend that resident leaders compose a personalized letter that:

  • captures specific challenges at their home (example: limited resources, staffing recruitment and retention challenges, etc.)
  • informs of good news events/situations (example: where residents live with empowerment, creativity, joy, experiencing a sense of home and connectedness to their team).

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s “Contact an MPP” webpage https://www.ola.org/en/get-involved/contact-mpp provides information on how to find and contact your local MPP.  Additionally, there is information about the job of an MPP that includes being a legislator (provincial activities), an elected representative (local activities) and a political party member.

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario also provides information on how to participate in committees and how to prepare and present a petition through your MPP.  https://www.ola.org/en/get-involved/petitions

Keeping It Together – Supporting Osteoporosis Knowledge in Long-Term Care Homes

OARC and the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy for Long-Term Care have teamed up to help strengthen and advance residents’ awareness and knowledge of osteoporosis and fracture prevention in long-term care homes. “Keeping it Together” is a Resident Conversation Sheet about osteoporosis. Designed to help residents be informed and involved in minimizing risk.  Thereby helping to promote good bone health among LTC residents, with a view to improving the quality of life for all residents. Click here to download the Conversation Sheet.                

Please note that OARC publications are available in French upon request.

LTC Menu and Mealtime Planning: Guide to Enhancing Resident and Family Partnerships

The OARC team and Resident Leaders from the REAL group were pleased to be consulted in the creation of a new resource from the Ontario Seniors Nutrition and Advocacy Committee (OSNAC), along with our friends at Family Councils Ontario. This guide was designed for Dietary teams to review current processes and explore opportunities to increase and strengthen collaboration with Residents’ Councils and Family Councils in the home. Residents and Residents’ Council members may consider sharing this resource with the Dietary teams at their homes to spark some conversations and explore new strategies to enhance the dining experience for everyone! Click here to download the resource.

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OARC is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care, membership dues and other revenue.
The views expressed in this publication are the views of OARC and do not necessarily reflect those of our supporters or the province.