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Why Pursue Long-Term Care Jobs?

April 20, 2024

The ratio of working-age Canadians (15-64) to seniors (65 and up) has been decreasing. In 1966, there were 7.7 working-age Canadians for every senior, which has fallen to 3.4 in 2022. In fact, a growth of around 68% is expected in the next 20 years for Canada's senior population over the next 20 years. This observed trend in Canada's rapidly aging population poses significant challenges to policymakers and has far-reaching implications for government finances and the demand for elderly care services.

In this article, we will explore the prospect of working in long-term care as a healthcare professional, discussing what it's like to work in a long-term facility, the type of healthcare professionals that long-term facilities need to render services to their residents, and why it might be a good idea for healthcare professionals to pursue long-term care jobs.

What are Long-Term Care Facilities?

Long-term care facilities are residential settings where individuals receive assistance with their daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and medication management. These facilities cater to individuals who require ongoing care and supervision due to chronic illnesses, disabilities, or advanced age. Long-term care can be provided in various settings, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers.

Types of Long-Term Care Facilities

In Canada, there are different types of long-term care facilities catering to the needs of individuals with varying levels of care requirements. Here are some of the long-term care homes or facilities in Canada that are meant to take care of elderly family members:

Examples of Long-Term Care Jobs

Long-term care facilities employ a diverse range of healthcare professionals to ensure comprehensive care for their residents. These professionals include:

A list summarizing the examples of long-term care jobs.


Nurses play an important role in ensuring that the care needs of residents in long-term care facilities are fulfilled. Registered Nurses (RNs) provide advanced medical care, administer medications, and coordinate the overall care plan for residents. They may also hold leadership positions, where they manage the work schedules and assignments of other nursing team members.

Practical Nurses (licensed or registered practical nurses, LPNs/RPNs) work under the supervision of RNs and assist with patient care. Nursing Assistants provide hands-on care, assisting residents with activities of daily living, monitoring vital signs, and providing emotional support.

Care Coordinators

Care coordinators in long-term care facilities are professionals responsible for managing and coordinating the care and services for residents, ensuring they receive comprehensive and integrated support tailored to their individual needs. They may also be involved in program development by identifying areas for improvement in care delivery, proposing and implementing new initiatives, and evaluating existing programs to enhance the quality of care and resident outcomes.

Personal Support Workers

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are healthcare professionals trained to provide personal care and support to individuals who require assistance due to aging, illness, or disability. They play a crucial role in long-term care facilities by providing essential personal care, support, and companionship to residents while also monitoring their well-being and collaborating with the broader care team to deliver comprehensive care.

Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists

Physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) are healthcare professionals who specialize in providing rehabilitative care to individuals with physical challenges, injuries, or disabilities. While PTs focus on improving mobility and physical function, OTs focus on enhancing the ability to perform activities of daily living and promoting independence.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are healthcare professionals trained to assess, diagnose, and treat communication and swallowing disorders. They work with individuals who experience difficulties in speech, language, cognition, voice, and swallowing. They play a crucial role in long-term care facilities by addressing residents' communication and swallowing challenges, facilitating their ability to express themselves, engage in social interactions, and maintain safe and efficient swallowing functions.

Restorative Care Aides

Restorative care aides are healthcare professionals who specialize in providing rehabilitative and supportive care to residents in long-term care facilities. They work closely together with therapists to help residents maintain or regain their functional abilities and independence through targeted interventions and exercises.

Dietitians and Food Service Workers

Dietary aides and food service workers play essential roles in ensuring that residents in long-term care facilities receive nutritious meals and quality dining experiences.

Dietitians play a crucial role in ensuring that residents receive proper nutrition based on their individual health needs. They assess dietary requirements, develop meal plans, and monitor residents' nutritional status. Food service workers, on the other hand, are responsible for preparing and serving meals, accommodating individual dietary needs and preferences.

General Qualifications Needed to Work in Long-Term Care

Healthcare workers aiming to work in long-term care in Canada typically need to meet certain qualifications to ensure they are well-prepared to provide care and support to residents. These qualifications may include:

Education and Training

Healthcare workers who would want to pursue a career in long-term care may need to complete a formal education program in a relevant healthcare discipline such as nursing, personal support worker (PSW) certificate, or a similar healthcare-related field. They should obtain a recognized qualification from an accredited institution that demonstrates the necessary knowledge and skills for providing care in a long-term care setting.


Healthcare workers are often required to hold a valid CPR and First Aid certification to respond to medical emergencies. For certain roles, professional licensure or registration with the appropriate regulatory body may also be necessary. For example, registered nurses must be licensed by the nursing regulatory body in the province where they intend to practice, such as the College of Nurses of Ontario for nurses in Ontario.

Certain positions may also benefit from additional specialized certifications or training in areas such as dementia care, palliative care, or medication administration.


Depending on the role, prior experience in a healthcare or long-term care environment may be required or preferred. Experience providing care to the elderly or individuals with chronic illnesses may be particularly valuable. Strong interpersonal skills, communication skills, and other soft skills, which may also be developed through gaining more experience in this setting, are also important to effectively provide high-quality care to home care and other long-term care facility residents.

However, since long-term care jobs are always in demand, it's also a great starting point for fresh graduates to gain experience for future hospital roles that might be more competitive to get into. It's also relatively easier to get promoted to a leadership position should one choose to stay in long-term care, as other healthcare workers usually shift to healthcare settings other than long-term care.

Benefits of Working in a Long-Term Facility

Working in a long-term care facility provides healthcare professionals with the chance to contribute to the well-being of residents, develop their skills, and find fulfillment in a caring and supportive environment. Here are some specific reasons why working in long-term care facilities may be ideal for you:

A list summarizing the benefits of working in a long-term care facility.

Job Security

Long-term care jobs are in high demand and are expected to continue growing as the population ages. This provides healthcare professionals with stable employment opportunities and job security. It may also offer consistent work hours and the potential for long-term career growth.

Ability to Bring Positive Change to Long-Term Care Residents

Working in a long-term care facility allows healthcare professionals to make a real difference in the lives of older adults and their families. By providing compassionate care, improving their quality of life, and promoting their overall well-being, healthcare workers who choose to pursue a career in long-term facilities may have the opportunity to bring positive change to the lives of their patients and their patient's families.

Ability to Form a Closer Relationship to Patients that You Take Care Of

In long-term care settings, healthcare professionals have the chance to develop meaningful relationships with residents and their family members. These facilities prioritize compassionate care, providing an environment where healthcare professionals can focus on building meaningful connections with residents and delivering person-centred care.

Flexible Schedules

Many long-term care facilities offer flexible work schedules, allowing healthcare professionals to effectively balance their personal and professional lives. They often have part-time and PRN (as needed) positions available, providing healthcare workers with flexibility in choosing the number of hours they work.

Long-term care facilities may also have fluctuating staffing needs due to changes in resident population, admissions, and discharges, which can lead to opportunities for flexible scheduling to meet these demands. This flexibility is especially beneficial for those with families or other personal commitments.

Relatively Calmer Work Environment Than More Fast-Paced Healthcare Settings

Residents in long-term care facilities often require ongoing, non-emergent care and support with activities of daily living, medication management, and chronic condition management. This routine nature of care can contribute to a calmer work environment.

Long-term care facilities also prioritize preventive care and maintenance of residents' health and well-being, which can lead to a more structured and consistent approach to care delivery, as opposed to the urgency often found in acute care settings like hospitals.

As such, compared to acute care settings, long-term care facilities generally offer a more relaxed and calmer work environment. This can be appealing to healthcare professionals who prefer a less fast-paced and stressful work atmosphere.

Great Way to Learn New Skills and to Gain More Experience in Healthcare

Working in a long-term care facility provides healthcare professionals with opportunities for continuous learning and professional growth. With the diverse needs of the residents, professionals can expand their skill sets, gain experience in various aspects of care, and enhance their overall expertise in healthcare.

What It's Like to Work in a Long-Term Care Facility

Working in a long-term care facility can be both challenging and rewarding. It requires a compassionate and patient approach toward residents who may be experiencing physical or cognitive decline. Healthcare professionals have a closer and more intimate relationship with their patients, and they have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with the residents and their families. Those who have already experienced working in a long-term facility may consider it a privilege to be able to provide comfort, support, and care to those who need it the most.

Find your ideal long-term care facility career at Caring Support.

Land a Fulfilling Job at Long-Term Facilities Through Caring Support

Choosing a career in long-term care might be one of the best decisions you'll ever make as a healthcare professional. The ability to make a positive impact on the lives of the residents, the variety of job roles available, and the personal fulfillment it brings are just a few of the many reasons why pursuing long-term care jobs is a rewarding choice. If you have a passion for caring for others and want to make a difference, consider exploring the opportunities available in long-term care.

At Caring Support, we're committed to helping healthcare professionals in Canada achieve their career goals by providing them with easier access to job opportunities in long-term care. Our intuitive, healthcare-focused platform also helps these healthcare professionals build meaningful networks that can also help them transition more easily to other healthcare settings. We also have a comprehensive healthcare-focused marketplace where healthcare professionals can shop for duty essentials.

Create your free account with us today to experience the benefits of using the comprehensive services that we offer here at Caring Support.

About The Author
Cam Adajar
Content Writer

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