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Residents’ Voices Survey Report


Exploring the Health, Function and Needs of Residents’ Councils in Ontario Long-Term Care Homes

In June 2022, the Ontario Association of Resident’s Councils (OARC) conducted the Residents' Voices Survey as part of a province-wide environmental scan to ascertain the state of Residents’ Councils in Ontario’s long-term care homes, including their roles, perceived challenges, and opportunities. The dimensions of the survey—over 1000 individual submissions, representing more than 300 out of the approximate 630 homes in Ontario—provide a high level of confidence in its findings.

Survey results revealed the continuing prevalence of long-established issues in long-term care. The COVID-19 pandemic brought these pre-existing issues into the public consciousness, while its direct impact on residents and related restrictions impeded the activity of Residents’ Councils and the overall engagement of residents. The survey also identified a number of educational opportunities and communication preferences which will inform OARC’s work, operational priorities, and education delivery strategies.

The following are some of the key findings of the survey:

  • Residents overwhelmingly prefer in-person support and written materials.
  • The roles of Residents’ Councils typically include consideration of residents’ rights, discussions of food services, and planning of special events in the home.
  • All groups of respondents identified dementia education as a key learning need. Residents want to better understand their peers and learn strategies to communicate and live cohesively with co-residents with dementia and other health challenges. Dementia education will also contribute to more inclusive Residents’ Councils, incorporating more feedback from those who cannot speak for themselves.
  • Click here to learn more about our findings


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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.