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Retirement Home Complaints

Posted May 17 2011 12:00am
Do you know the difference between a retirement home and long-term care?
In a retirement home you are a tenant, and the landlord/tenant act applies to you and the residence. Most of these are for-profit residences, where you pay for services. When my late father was in a private, for-profit retirement home, we hired Red Cross PSWs to come in and give him some time and attention, especially during his Sundowner Syndrome evenings. They left us copious notes, and put kind messages in his 'guest book', actually a wedding guest book.

In long-term care (LTC - formerly called 'nursing homes') you are protected by the Ministry of Health and LTC legislation. You are a resident, but you are likely in a for-profit institution. In this case CCAC no longer comes in to assist you, as you should be receiving enough nursing and PSW care.


Retirement Home Ontario Legislation
Established in 1977, the Ontario Retirement Communities Association ( ORCA )  is a non-profit, voluntary professional association that represents more than 300 retirement residences province-wide.

ORCA represents approximately 65% of Ontario’s 43,380 retirement residence units. [*Source: 2009. National Seniors’ Housing Survey. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).]

  • sets professional operating standards
  • inspects and accredits Ontario-based retirement residences
  • has accredited homes in other provinces that do not yet have their own accrediting bodies.

New standards in Ontario
In July 2010, the provincial government passed the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 , An Act to regulate retirement homes in Ontario. ORCA is committed to providing Ontario retirement homes with the tools necessary to meet the new government regulations.

Much of this is in response to the issues of ALCs. Hospital patients who require alternate levels of care (ALC patients).

This site gives you much information about Ontario retirement homes, which are NOT based on the ubiquitous senior's for-profit websites.
One of the most important issues is to be aware of how long you can stay in a retirement home. There are stories where DOCs send a resident to hospital, when a resident has a DNR order. Long-term care is better set up for palliative care.

Retirement Home Complaints
Did you know that you can make complaints about retirement homes?
The Ontario Retirement Communities Association ( ORCA ) operates a toll-free Retirement Home Complaints Response and Information Service .

This Service helps residents and family address questions or concerns about any retirement residence in Ontario, including those that are not ORCA members. This free service is funded by the Province of Ontario.

Call 1·800·361·7254 to reach an experienced Information Officer. 
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