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I am thinking about placing my loved one into a nursing home. I am worried about them being mistreated. What should I know?

I am thinking about placing my loved one into a nursing home. I am worried about them being mistreated. What should I know?

Many long-term care facilities have opened up across the province in recent years. Why is this? The simple answer is that there is a large marketplace for elder care. Ontario has a rapidly aging population and many privately owned and publicly traded corporations have entered into the long-term care business.
While the legal standards governing the care of seniors in nursing homes are quite high in Ontario, this does not always mean that the policies and legislation in place are actually being enforced.

I recommend that you look at the Reports on Long-Term Care Homes which are conducted by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - See: http://publicreporting.ltchomes.net/en-ca/Default.aspx. Select the facility where you intend on placing your loved one and you will be able to view the various Inspection Reports from that facility. These reports may include the results from the following:
  • Resident Quality Inspections;
  • Complaints Inspections;
  • Critical Incident Inspections;
  • Follow-Up Inspections; and
  • Mandatory Inspections.
Note that upon inspection, the inspector may issue an Order outlining changes required to the operations of the facility.

Regrettably, many of these reports across numerous facilities are rife with incidences of abuse, general neglect, chronic understaffing, and poorly trained staff.

Remember to document (i.e. written notes, pictures, emails etc.) suspected incidences of abuse, neglect, and/or poor living conditions as best as you can.

If there is enough evidence of mistreatment of your loved one, then you may have a valid lawsuit. It is best to contact a lawyer for a consultation. You can also make a complaint to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - See: https://www.ontario.ca/page/long-term-care-home-complaint-process for details.