Ontario Creating Four New Specialized Units for People with Dementia and Other Complex Needs

Province investing in innovative care models to provide people with more connected, convenient care

October 28, 2022

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $5.91 million to create four new Behavioural Specialized Units (BSU) at long-term care homes in Ajax, Penetanguishene and Scarborough. These additional units will provide more vulnerable long-term care residents with complex care needs like dementia with safe, quality care in the comfort of a home instead of a hospital.

“Our government is expanding the number of specialized beds at long-term care homes so residents who have unique care needs for conditions like dementia can get the care they deserve while avoiding unnecessary hospitalization,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “This is one more way we are taking action to ensure Ontarians have access to more connected, convenient care, while reducing capacity pressures in our hospitals.”

The new BSU investments are:

  • $1.12 million for a 16-bed BSU at Lakeridge Gardens in Ajax, operated by Lakeridge Health;
  • $1.03 million for a 16-bed BSU at Georgian Manor Home for the Aged in Penetanguishene, operated by Simcoe County;
  • $1.55 million for a 15-bed BSU at Bendale Acres in Scarborough, operated by the City of Toronto; and
  • $2.21 million for a 32-bed BSU at Extendicare Rouge Valley in Scarborough, operated by Extendicare Canada Inc.

The four new BSUs with 79 specialized beds build on the government’s previous investment of 62 specialized beds in three existing BSUs at other locations throughout the province.

These units within long-term care homes specialize in care for individuals with complex behaviours like dementia by providing increased staffing, a tailored environment, focused behavioural assessment and enhanced care planning.

People with complex behaviours like dementia are often more difficult to place in long-term care homes because of the specialized care required to support them. Expanding the number of BSU beds helps increase the number of complex Alternate Level of Care hospital patients and community members who can get the care they need in long-term care homes and avoid hospitalization.

The government’s transformation of health and long-term care is part of the Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery, and aims to provide a more stable and better-connected health care system for Ontarians, while keeping our province and economy open. The plan is built on five strategic goals, which include preserving our hospital capacity and providing the right care in the right place.

Quick Facts

  • Specialized Units provide long-term care home residents with accommodation, care, services, programs and goods, and are designated under the Fixing Long-Term Care ActThe designation of Specialized Unit provides Ontario Health with the flexibility to address the needs of specialized populations whose needs cannot otherwise be met.
  • With this announcement, there are a total of 16 Behavioural Specialized Units with 322 beds at long-term care homes provincewide, including the following seven, funded by the Ontario Government as part of a pilot project to improve access to long-term care for individuals with responsive behaviours: Cooksville Care Centre (Mississauga), Linhaven (St. Catharines), Fairview Lodge (Whitby), Georgian Manor (Penetanguishene), Bendale Acres (Scarborough), Extendicare Rouge Valley (Scarborough), and Lakeridge Gardens (Ajax). There are also nine BSUs funded through Ontario Health.
  • The province is also investing $37 million in 2022-23, and additional funding annually moving forward, to expand access to a range of specialized services and supports to help people with complex needs such as bariatric, behavioural and dialysis. The aim is for people to receive the right care in the right place and help reduce unnecessary hospitalization. The investment includes $20 million this year for a new Long-Term Care Local Priorities Fund to be administered by Ontario Health, an additional $5 million this year for Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO), $2.6 million this year for the Baycrest Virtual Behaviour Medicine program, and $4.5 million in one-time funding for a new, 56-unit, mixed-market seniors’ housing complex in Kenora.


“Today’s announcement highlights our government’s commitment to fixing Ontario’s long-term care system and ensuring our seniors get the quality of care and quality of life they need and deserve. It also represents our commitment to easing hospital capacity pressures, so those who need care can get it in a timely fashion.”

– David Smith
MPP, Scarborough Centre

“Investing in targeted health care services such as Behavioural Specialized Units will ensure that our seniors receive the services they need to truly meet their care needs. I am pleased to see that this investment will serve seniors in Scarborough and beyond.”

– Vijay Thanigasalam
MPP, Scarborough–Rouge Park

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