Advance Care Planning for Residential Care

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Legal issues regarding advance care planning in residential care are described in greater detail in Chapter 6 “ Capacity and Consent” and Chapter 7 “Substitute Decision-Making”. As previously noted, advance care planning issues can come up during the admission process.

Some operators have misinterpreted certain aspects of accreditation focusing on residents’ rights, and may try to require prospective residents to sign advance care documents as a condition of admission. This is not legal. The Licensing “Standard of Practice” for residential care notes:

“A resident (or someone with the legal authority to make health care decisions on the resident’s behalf) must not be required, either as a condition of admission (or as on ongoing requirement to reside in a community care facility) to sign advance directives or levels of intervention documents.” (1)

To require a resident to sign documents of this nature is in contravention of section 7(1) (b) of the Community Care and Assisted Living Act which requires the Operator to operate a care facility in a manner that will promote the health, safety and dignity of persons in care.


  1. Director of Licensing. Standard of Practice. “Advance Directives and Care Plans”. Number: 01/08/2006 Effective Date: September 2006. Online : (Last accessed January 9, 2016). [“Advance Directives”]

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support, June 2014.