March 9, 2017 – A poll released by CARP shows deep dissatisfaction with long-term care facilities across the country. After the brutal beating of James Acker at the St. Joseph’s Villa in Dundas, ON and the murder of eight residents in long-term care facilities by Ontario nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer, CARP surveyed its members about their experiences with long-term care.
They are not happy. Nearly 40% of over 3800 CARP members surveyed rated the quality of long-term care in their province as either poor (33%), or very poor (6%). Less than 1% per cent rated the facilities in their province as ‘excellent,’ according to the new poll by CARP, a national advocacy group fighting for better healthcare for older Canadians.
“That type of response is unacceptable and should serve as a wake-up call to Health Ministers across the country,” said Wanda Morris, CARP Vice President of Advocacy and COO. “Everyone should be able to live in safety and dignity, no matter their age or health.”
The national poll released today reveals the majority of those surveyed made regular visits to a relative or friend in long-term-care and have little faith in facilities oversight and regulation.
• Nearly half of respondents have helped a family member or friend choose a long-term care facility, and nearly 70% have made regular visits to a relative or friend in the last 15 years.
• Fewer than 20% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that a complaint about a long-term care facility would be addressed.
• Less than 20% said they thought it would be easy to file a complaint with the provincial oversight body.
CARP Members Strongly Endorse Accountability and Regulatory Oversight
Over 85% of respondents agreed that facilities failing to provide the services necessary for dignified care should face consequences including escalating fines, criminal charges, closure, and expropriation.
“Members overwhelmingly support regulation that ensures standards of decency for care facility residents,” said Morris. “Regulations should mandate single rooms for residents, specified staffing levels for medical and support staff, clear communication to residents and their loved ones and oversight using random inspections.”
CARP Members want Action on Dementia-Related Care
It is estimated that there are about 10,000 incidents each year, nationally, of resident-on-resident aggression in long-term care facilities. In most incidents of resident-on-resident violence, the aggressor suffered from dementia.
“CARP members told us resident-to-resident violence is a real concern. Even after we asked members to consider all the other advocacy priorities that CARP is pursuing, more than 70% still said that they were highly concerned,” according to Wanda Morris, CARP VP Advocacy & COO
CARP members want to see improvements in long-term care facilities like separating more aggressive residents into separate areas of the facilities with specially trained staff, providing each resident with private space when they need it, mandating that facilities report resident-to-resident violence that results in injuries to the police, and providing information about rates of resident-to-resident violence to current and potential residents and their loved ones.
Ontario Health Minister Apologized to Daughter of Man beaten in Care Facility
CARP attended Question Period at the Ontario Legislature on March 9, 2017 with Tammy Carbino, the daughter of a victim of long-term care, patient-on-patient assault, on the invitation of NDP Long-Term Care Critic Teresa Armstrong, MPP. Ms. Armstrong called on the Minister to meet with Mrs. Carbino to discuss her father’s case. The Minister immediately obliged and expressed his apologies to Mrs. Carbino’s 86 year old father, James Acker and his family. To read more about Tammy’s story.
CARP Members want a Funded Dementia Strategy
CARP members were very clear; they want their government to commit to developing comprehensive and integrated solutions to the challenges posed by rapidly increasing rates of dementia.
Over 96% of respondents said that they agree (25%) or agree strongly (71%) that their provincial government should commit to developing a comprehensive dementia strategy. 85% not only want a dementia strategy, but also want to see the strategy fully funded.
Additionally, 80% of CARP members polled support advanced requests for assisted dying if they have a grievous condition like dementia.
CARP calls on the Federal and Provincial Governments to work together to invest in long-term care and effective dementia programs for Canada’s most vulnerable citizens. The status quo is failing our seniors and their families.
As we look ahead to the increasing needs of an aging population, CARP-members and the broader baby-boomer generation are demanding action that will bring dignity to every patient-resident in long-term care.
CARP Members Support Assisted Dying for those with Dementia
CARP members want choice about how they end their lives. A poll taken last year indicated eight out of ten CARP members polled support an advance request for medical assistance in dying for an individual diagnosed with a grievous and irremediable medical condition, such as dementia.
CARP’s long-term care facility survey was completed by over 3,800 CARP members from every province and territory, except Nunavut. This poll was conducted by e-mail from February 4th, 2017 to March 5th, 2017.
View our full poll results and key findings and visit carp.ca/news.
To visit CARP’s Long Term Care Advocacy Campaign, visit www.carp.ca/residentsafety.
For More information or interviews:
CARP VP Advocacy and COO
To arrange an interview with Tammy Carbino, contact