Stronger Protections for Retirement Home Residents
McGuinty Government Making Retirement Homes Safer
For the first time in Ontario's history, seniors living in retirement homes across Ontario will be protected under provincial legislation, the new Retirement Homes Act, which received legislative approval today.
The new Retirement Homes Act will:
- 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 requirements for emergency plans, infection control and prevention programs, assessment of care needs and care planning, police background checks and training for staff.
- Establish residents' rights, including 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.
Ontario will be working with partners, including seniors groups, advocates, health experts and the retirement home industry to develop regulations that include mandatory care and safety standards for any care service provided by a retirement home in the province.
A retirement home would be defined through the legislation and 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.
- 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 the population than children 14 and under.
“The passage of the Retirement Homes Act is a defining moment in Ontario's history. This legislation will protect seniors in retirement homes by providing new rights and a new independent body to license and inspect retirement homes.”