CARP welcomes Ombudsman’s Investigation into Ontario Nursing Homes

Toronto July 16, 2008: CARP welcomes the proposed investigation into the state of Ontario’s nursing home regulatory system.

In announcing his probe, Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin reported that he received over 50 complaints since the news reports of nursing home infractions earlier this month. CARP has also received a steady stream of calls and complaints about nursing homes over the years and the incremental changes announced over the past few years have not changed that.

“We get calls all the time from families complaining about the care of their loved ones. The few extra dollars here and there have not changed the larger picture – that while the vast majority of facilities may well meet the standards of care, there are still too many situations in which people who are at their most vulnerable are left with substandard care and frankly, one case is too many,” said Susan Eng, Vice President, Advocacy of CARP.

Insufficient funding and nursing resources are still being cited as reasons for unmet standards despite millions having been announced in long term care funding. The Ombudsman’s review will also consider why standards are not being met and whether the standards are too complex or unrealistic. CARP questions whether better rules or more money are the only answers that people can expect.

“The essential question is whether there is a resident-centred value system that puts the specific needs of the residents ahead of efficiencies and profits. No amount of funding will change the system unless some fundamental attitudes change”, adds Eng. “Then instead of simply counting the hours of care a resident gets, we would assess how much of that care is delivered by someone who has training in or understanding of geriatrics or gerontology. We should measure resident satisfaction not whether administrative procedures are followed.”

CARP Canada’s Association for the Fifty Plus is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination; ensuring that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and providing value-added benefits, products and services to members; and building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

For further information, please contact:

Michelle Taylor, Communications Coordinator -CARP

Susan Eng, VP of Advocacy-CARP