03/31/2010

For the first time in provincial history, Ontario proposed legislative protections for seniors living in retirement homes.
The proposed Retirement Homes Act, 2010 would, if passed:

  • Create a regulatory authority with the power to license homes and conduct inspections, investigations and enforcement, including issuing financial penalties or revoking licenses if necessary;
  • Establish mandatory care and safety standards, and require emergency plans, infection control and prevention programs, assessment of care needs and care planning, police background checks and training for staff; and
  • Establish residents’ rights that include the right to know the true cost of care and accommodation and the right to live in an environment that promotes zero tolerance of abuse or neglect.
A retirement home would be defined through proposed regulations as a home where a minimum of six or more unrelated residents, primarily 65 years of age or older, purchase accommodation and care. The government will have the flexibility to change the minimum number of residents if necessary. Over 800 people participated in public consultations on the standards of care needed in retirement.

AMO has consistently supported the notion that residents require and deserve protection from unsafe and unregulated living conditions and that province wide minimum and mandatory standards be established with clear definitions, adequate enforcement and proper licensing certification. Fundamental to this is that the province commits to fund the full cost of developing and enforcing standards of care.