Current Issues

Friday, December 16, 2016 - 10:28

The ministry did not regularly conduct secondary reviews of the almost 10,800 complaints and critical incidents received in 2014 to ensure they were appropriately closed without inspection. This presents a risk that cases are being closed without the ministry verifying that homes had taken proper action.“

Friday, January 2, 2015 - 15:11

Imagine if you could shop for a long-term care home by comparing how much money it spends and where, and how much profit it takes. Concerned Friends believes that the $5 billion Ontario spends on long-term care every year should be completely transparent. It's our tax money after all.
This year we will begin our lobby for facility-level accountability. This is necessary because, in the absence of minimum staffing levels in long-term care homes, families need to know which homes are staffed adequately and which ones are not.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 14:44

The Geriatric and Long-Term Care Review Committee has released its 2012 annual report to Ontario’s chief coroner. It contains 20 cases that were reviewed in 2011.

What really jumps out in this report is the high number of elderly people living in long-term care and retirement homes who died as the result of broken bones:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 14:42

1. Do you support the need for minimum staffing levels in long-term care homes?

Legislating minimum staffing levels is a key strategy for improving quality. A minimum ratio of one PSW to 10 residents would be a reasonable first step. Sufficient staffing ratios could be easily monitored and enforced by inspectors. Many jurisdictions set minimum student-teacher ratios in education and minimum staff-child ratios in daycare. Why not long-term care?

2. Do you support the need for highly trained, full-time staff in long-term care homes?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 14:38

There are two very different approaches to regulating long-term care homes.

“Deterrence” regulation views the organizations being regulated as having “bad intentions” and being out to “break the rules.” This approach is punitive, sanctions-oriented and usually more costly, as the regulated organizations become defensive, thereby undermining the goals of regulation.

Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 14:24

Choosing a long-term care home for a loved one can seem overwhelming. Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities hears from many callers across Ontario each year asking for help in this regard. Here is some helpful advice.


Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 14:21

Drug company in hot water for improperly promoting Risperdal

December 2013-- During the 1990s risperidone was heralded as a break-through in the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions.

Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 14:17

December 2013-- Many long-term care homes in Ontario are in need of upgrades. So in 2007 the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced a renewal strategy that will see the redevelopment of approximately half of all long-term care beds (that’s 35,000 beds!) during the next decade.

To assist in this endeavour, the Ministry is offering per diem funding to the operators whose homes are deemed to be in need of redevelopment. But for some, even with a government subsidy, redevelopment may be prohibitively expensive.

Friday, August 30, 2013 - 17:39

September 2013 -- A new report commissioned by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute paints a picture of how home care is being delivered and makes recommendations for change.

The report, entitled Safety at Home, was published by university-based researchers  across the country who conducted chart audits, interviews with paid and unpaid caregivers, and focus groups.

Here are some of their findings:

Friday, August 30, 2013 - 17:36

Data from Ontario’s Ministry of Health show that approximately one-third of long-term care residents in Ontario are taking antipsychotic medications without a diagnosis of psychosis.

A recent study conducted in Toronto and reported in the Canadian Geriatrics Journal backs those data up: antipsychotics are the most frequently prescribed drugs in long-term care homes, followed by antidepressants, cognitive enhancers, and benzodiazepines. More than one-quarter of participants in the study were taking three of these medications.