Stronger Protections for Seniors
McGuinty Government Introduces New Retirement Homes Act
For the first time in provincial history, Ontario is proposing 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 regular inspections, investigations and enforcement, including issuing financial penalties or revoking licenses if necessary.
- Establish mandatory care and safety standards, and require emergency plans and infection control and prevention programs, assessment of care needs and care planning, police background checks and training for staff.
- Establish residents rights that include the right 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 reduce the minimum number of residents if necessary.
Over 800 people participated in public consultations on the standards of care needed in retirement homes. The bill incorporates input from seniors, their families and the retirement home industry.
- According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, there are approximately 40,000 seniors living in about 700 retirement homes in Ontario.
- Ontario's senior population is expected to double to nearly 4.1 million within 25 years.
- By 2017, for the first time, seniors will account for a larger share of population than children aged 0-14.
“Today, for the first time in Ontario, our government is introducing comprehensive legislation that will give retirement home residents more protections than they have ever had before. We are taking action to set standards, license and inspect all retirement homes to ensure that seniors are receiving the quality services they expect.”
“The proposed Retirement Home Act is not only good news for seniors living in retirement homes, it also benefits the retirement home sector by requiring all homes to meet standards of care. Ontario is helping to grow the sector and provide more options for seniors across the province.”
“The proposed legislation recognizes the growing need for more care services and accommodation outside institutional settings and ensures that the safety and quality of services in retirement homes meet the standards we would want for ourselves and our loved ones.”