This page provides an overview of the housekeeping role in long-term care based on the information given to us by those in the field and the sources outlined below. The role of a housekeeper may vary based on the long-term home and region. For a more comprehensive picture of this role, visit the housekeeper association information links below. This page is part of our Careers in Long-Term Care Initiative.
What does a housekeeper in LTC do?
Housekeepers clean, disinfect, and do whatever else is needed to keep the building tidy and running well for those who live and work in the long-term care home. They follow a schedule of daily, weekly, and sometimes monthly tasks that need to be done to keep a comfortable home environment for residents, team members, and visitors. Housekeepers typically work on their own but they get to connect with residents as they clean their rooms. It is important that housekeepers are friendly and respectful when in a resident’s room because they are handling a resident’s personal belongings and cleaning their personal space.
Videos were filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic. All precautions were taken and protocols followed to ensure the safety of residents, team members, and crew, including vaccination requirements, wearing masks, filming outdoors, and distancing.
On any given day, a housekeeper may:
- Clean common areas, resident’s rooms and bathrooms
- Ensure each resident’s room is cleaned and organized to the resident’s preferences and needs
- Monitor and report any maintenance issues in the LTC home
- Keep track of cleaning supplies and equipment inventory
What skills will I use in environmental services?
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Independent / personal motivation
- Attention to Detail
- Pride and value in your work
- Good work ethic/ Efficient
- Able-bodied/ Good stamina
- Time management
How do I work in housekeeping services in LTC?
Housekeeping is an entry-level position that does not need formal education, although some LTC homes may ask that applicants have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
It can be helpful for a housekeeper to understand infection prevention and control practices, workplace hazardous materials and chemicals, and health and safety procedures for the job.
Housekeepers should be comfortable working on their own and need to be thorough and complete tasks in a timely manner. They also should be physically fit, since housekeepers use heavy equipment and are on their feet all day.
Most of all, housekeepers should enjoy getting to know and spending time with older adults.
- Maintenance (with an understanding and experience related to building maintenance)
- Resident Support Aide (RSA)
- Director of Environmental Services (DES)
Connect with housekeeper associations
- Ontario CLRI Experiential Learning in LTC Guidebook
- Ontario CLRI Orientation to LTC Resources
- Ontario CLRI Infection Prevention and Control e-course
- Public Health Ontario Best Practices for Environmental Cleaning
- Public Health Ontario Just Clean Your Hands – Long-term Care
Interview with a director of environmental services in an Ontario LTC home (2021)
This profile was reviewed by a Director of Environmental Services in an Ontario LTC home and members of the Canadian Healthcare Housekeepers’ Association
The webpage is part of the Ontario CLRI at RIA’s Careers in Long-Term Care Initiative