About Living Assistance Services

“My mother could not have lasted as long at her condo if Cynthia and Living Assistance Services had not provided her with the exceptional care and service that she has enjoyed over the past several years. You all have been a God-send.”

– P.M.

Our Story

In 1998, I had an idea, and this idea set the tone for how we provide home care services and care for our senior clientele and their families. The genesis of my idea was the need to find après hospital care for my mother who, as it regrettably turned out, did not ultimately receive home care.

During our family research phase, my older siblings assigned me to the task of sourcing a home care agency to care for my mother on a 24×7 basis in her home. My siblings’ assignment was to simultaneously investigate options relative to public and private care facilities.

As it turned out, both tasks were difficult. My sister reported that, in her opinion, many of the “homes” she visited wouldn’t be suitable for a dog. My frustration with the 23 Toronto home care agencies I contacted was that very few answered their phone, unreturned messages or no follow-up as promised. My thinking at the time was; surely someone can do this better!

Fast forward several years and whilst contemplating a career change, I recollected my experience and the senior home care service shortfall in the GTA market. After a great deal of research and a comprehensive course in the USA, Living Assistance Services (LAS) Toronto was born!

Since its inception in year 2000, LAS has cared for thousands of care recipients and their families. We have established a small and competent team of caregivers, many of which have stayed with us for a decade or more.

As a relatively small home care agency, our goal has been to remain relatively small to ensure the quality of staff to enable us to successfully fill our mandate to clients which we established in year one;

  • Service, service, service
  • Communicate and be proactive
  • Don’t hire any staff that you wouldn’t send to care for your own mother!

We couldn’t be more proud of what we have built over many years and of what we stand for today. We very much appreciate our clients who have entrusted us with care of their loved-ones and our staff who provide a first-rate meaningful and valuable service.

Living Assistance Services values building relationships with our care recipients and their families. We have offices serving Toronto-Downtown,Midtown,Uptown, Mississauga, Etobicoke, The Kingsway, The Beaches, East York, North York, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Markham, Vaughan, Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, Ancaster, Carlisle, Dundas, Flamborough, Kilbride, Waterdown, Westdale, Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Caledon, Georgina, King, Kleinburg, Newmarket, West Gwillimbury, Whitchurch-Stouffville and Calgary, Alberta.

Our story began with an idea, and we recognize that our continued success and reputation needs to be earned – a fact that we will never take for granted.

Our People

David Porter, CPCA Owner/ Founder

David Porter is the founder, sole director and officer of Living Assistance Services holding the positions of President and Secretary.  He has held these positions since the incorporation of Living Assistance Services in September 2000. Mr. Porter also serves as the President and sole shareholder of Sherring Porter Limited which effectively leads the Franchisee Division of Living Assistance Services.
David is an accredited Certified Professional Consultant on Aging and been engaged in the line of businesses associated with home care franchises for over 20 years.  Prior to his involvement with Living Assistance Services, David was employed in the business of real estate management.  He brings over 40 years of career managerial experience to Sherring Porter and Living Assistance Services and previously was the General Manager or Vice President for several companies including Cadillac Development Corp., Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, Maysfield Property Management and Peel Management Services.  During this time, David was also elected and served the Board of Directors of both the Greater Toronto Apartment Association and The York School in Toronto.

Pauline Lyons, CPCA Vice President and Managing Director

Ms. Pauline Lyons is the Managing Director of Living Assistance Services in addition to fulfilling the duties of our Marketing Director.
After attending York University, Pauline began her business career as a co-owner of a national food franchise wherein she gained valuable experience in marketing, sales and communications as an independent business owner. Subsequently, she provided marketing, sales and communication services to a number of multi-national and Canadian companies.
In her role with Living Assistance Services, Pauline is responsible for engaging on all levels with the community we serve and promoting the senior home care services offered by our agency. Additionally, Ms. Lyons leads our website and online social networking efforts with both the public at large and our numerous contacts within the senior home care industry.
Pauline heads-up our corporate initiative in the Aging in Place Association of Canada (AIPAC), a networking and advocacy association of a group of businesses dedicated to providing first rate service to seniors. She is a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA), an active member of The Rotary Club of Toronto, a member of the Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs (CAWEE) and an associate and participant in the philanthropic endeavours of The Junior League of Toronto.
Ms. Lyons is a welcomed addition to the Living Assistance Services team!

Brian W. Porter, BA, MEd, CPCA Board of Advisors

Brian W. Porter, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., is the owner and Director of LAS in the Regions of York, Simcoe and Georgina and an advisor to Living Assistance Services. He has enjoyed a successful and lengthy career in the service sector, first in education as a high school teacher and head of national and international schools and, later, in fundraising as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations in European and UK universities. Effective marketing, business development and public and community relations have been important functions in each of his roles. Brian has also served as a director on theatre boards in Calgary and Winnipeg and on the board of an international charity in the UK. Brian holds three university degrees from Carleton University, McGill University and the University of Toronto. As the population ages in Canada and the ‘grey tsunami’ now has become a reality, Brian strives to make it much easier for people to be able to grow older happily and safely in comfort and with dignity where they really always want to remain – in their own homes!

Paula Price, RN, Ph.D. Director of Client Services and Employee Development

Dr. Paula Price has held various positions in the health care and education fields including Director of Nursing Specialist Services at the Hospital for Sick Children and teaching in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. From 1990 to 2000, she held a variety of positions at George Brown College including Chair of Nursing and Chair of Community Health Programs. Following these roles, Dr. Price completed her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Price’s responsibilities with Living Assistance Services in the Toronto office include client consultations, working with our Director of Care with individual care recipients, and providing ongoing advice on health and home care issues, including how to navigate the health care system.
Dr. Price also plays a key role in our ongoing efforts to recruit and retain the highest calibre of caregivers and provides continuing education, career development and coaching to our staff and nurses.

Sandy Arruda, RN, BScN Director of Care

Sandy Arruda is a Registered Nurse with more than 15 years’ experience providing patient care in Toronto /GTA.  She holds a BScN from Ryerson University, and several healthcare certificates from Humber College, George Brown College and Centennial College.
Sandy had held several nursing positions, but she gained most of her valuable work experience at Toronto Rehab-The Lyndhurst Site where she acquired strong assessment skills to determine necessary patient care in Long-term Care (LTC) and veterans’ care.  Her responsibilities include primary patient care, case management and medication management.  She further supports her patients with customized patient teaching tools and post discharge follow up care.
As Director of Care at Living Assistance Services, Sandy is responsible for evaluating the care needs of our senior clients.  Her primary duties include the supervision of their care plans and the agency’s PSW and RPN staff.

Mary Ellen TomlinsonAssociate and Member - Board of Advisors

Mary Ellen Tomlinson is the founder and director of Senior Care Options Inc., an organization that specializes in advising families, trust officers, lawyers and accountants regarding care for seniors. As a public speaker, she offers pragmatic advice to the business sector and communities on personalized care planning, long-distance family caregiving, retirement residences and long-term care facilities.
Mary Ellen is a member of the Ontario Palliative Care Association, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, the National Case Managers Network of Canada, the Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs and the Women’s Executive Network. She is a volunteer and past chair of the St. Georges Church Pastoral Care Team and a volunteer palliative care visitor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
Mary Ellen has a Diploma in Gerontology/Activation from George Brown College and a Certificate in Gerontology from Ryerson University; she is currently completing a degree at York University that focuses on “aging in modern times.” She is also a qualified re-motivation therapist.
For additional information on the range of services offered by Mary Ellen, call her directly at 416.932.9941.

Heather Palmer, Ph.D. Associate and Member – Board of Advisors

Heather Palmer is currently the National Director, Cognitive Well-Being and the Founder and Director of Cognitive Rehabilitation for Maximum Capacity Inc and the National Director of Well-Being at Amica Senior Lifestyles. After completing her PhD in Neuropsychology from the University of New South Wales Australia, she carried out a 3 year postdoctoral fellowship at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre and then went on to become the Research Director for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. With over 30 years of scientific and clinical experience in the area of brain-behaviour relationships. Heather has been inducted into the Havergal College Hall of Distinction for her contribution to seniors brain health. Heather was may publications and speaks internationally on the topic of neurocognitive rehabilitation for seniors and cancer survivors. She designs and teaches techniques and strategies to help people ‘re-wire’ their brain so they can think, feel and function their best.

Susan Higgins, RN, BScN Associate and Member - Board of Advisors

Susan Higgins is a seasoned veteran of the home care community. She is a Registered Nurse; she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Western Ontario in 1976.
Throughout her 43-year career, Susan held a variety of positions focusing on various elements of community care. Her résumé includes an extensive and diverse background working with the Victoria Order of Nurses, the St. Elizabeth Visiting Nurses, the Home Care Program of Toronto and, most recently, 18 years with a Community Care Access Centre (CCAC).
Susan is our consultant on matters pertaining to available community services and caregiving solutions for the benefit of our clients. Susan also advises us on nursing practices in general and, more specifically, the seamless integration of private care together with any available public services provided by CCAC’s.