Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

Auditor highlights suffering in retirement homes

Published on December 7, 2020

Official Opposition renews call for toothless regulatory body to be replaced 

QUEEN’S PARK — A growing number of people who need the care of a nursing home are languishing in a retirement home – not getting the support they need, and not even getting the protection of any oversight, according to a new report from Ontario’s Auditor General.
In a report released Monday, Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk revealed that thousands of retirement home beds are being used for Alternate Level of Care residents, trapped in a place that isn’t meeting their needs.
“People are surviving in these retirement homes without their basic care needs being met,” said Teresa Armstrong, Official Opposition Long Term Care critic. “They’re not being offered suitable meals, not being provided with personal hygiene services such as bathing and grooming, and bedsores are becoming infected. These people are falling through the cracks, with no one checking on how they’re being hurt.”
Official Opposition Seniors critic Joel Harden said the retirement home industry is treating these people like cash cows — collecting their rent without providing them with basic care.
“Conservative and Liberal governments have allowed the financial welfare of the operators to come before the need to protect these vulnerable seniors – our parents and grandparents,” said Harden. “The auditor reveals that licenses are issued despite troubling red flags — literally putting the profits of operators over the safety of seniors.”
The Official Opposition has been fighting for the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority to be replaced with a body that has the authority and the mandate to enforce strict regulations, ensuring seniors are cared for in safe, clean homes in their golden years. That call comes as revelations of retirement home conditions including bedbug and cockroach infestations, broken bathrooms and other terrifying dangers to seniors have come to light.