Completed Research

The Implications of Self-Directed Home Care in Ontario: A Case Study on Gotcare Services

University of Toronto

The Ontario home care system is fragmented. Its services are divided among the public sector, for-profit, and nonprofit home care companies. Publicly funded care is often insufficient and leaves many older adults having to seek out additional privately funded care. An Ontario home care company called Gotcare provides supplementary home care delivery to Ontarians that are the hardest to reach, in a way that is consistent, transparent, and sustainable.

The Hard to Reach

Older adults and people living with chronic disabilities in Ontario whose needs are not sufficiently met with traditional home care.

Key Takeaways

Researchers found that self-directed home care offers many benefits to the home care sector, reducing administrative costs and providing care recipients more choice and control.

  1. Gotcare’s model of home care will continue to be sought after by individuals seeking self-directed care, especially as it allows them to access home care in a personalized manner and through the use of technology.
  2. Gotcare’s model of self-directed home care may provide flexibility that is attractive to some home care workers looking for a part-time or a second job, but much like the traditional model of home care in Ontario, it is not likely to provide consistent full-time hours or job security that some care workers need.
  3. It should be reinforced that this model of care is not appropriate for everyone. Care recipients with complex needs may still benefit from more traditional home care or even long-term care.


This research was made possible through the Reach Alliance, a partnership between the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. We would like to acknowledge the incredible support we received from both Marin MacLeod and Professor Joseph Wong. Finally, we would like to thank Nida Shahid for her early contributions to our study design.

This research was vetted and received approval from the Ethics Review Board at the University of Toronto.