What to do if you have a complaint about your retirement home

All retirement homes are required to have a complaints process in place. If you have a complaint about a retirement home, contacting the home may be an effective way to have your concerns addressed.

If you believe a home is not following the requirements of the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 (the Act), or its regulations, you may also file a complaint with the RHRA.

The RHRA can only handle complaints that relate to the Act and its regulations, which provide protections against abuse or neglect of residents, and standards relating to:

  • the care services provided to residents (for example, administration of drugs, dementia care);
  • the safety of residents in the retirement home (for example, emergency plans, building maintenance, infection prevention and control); and
  • consumer protection (for example, administration of trust accounts, information packages for residents).

RHRA staff may be able to provide you with information about other sources of help for dealing with your problems or concerns if they do not relate to the requirements of the Act.

All complaints must be in writing. To file a complaint with the RHRA about a retirement home, please complete the RHRA Complaint Form, and send it to the RHRA with all required information.

Download the RHRA Complaint Form here

If you have questions or require help to complete the Complaint Form, contact the RHRA at 1-855-ASK-RHRA (1-855-275-7472) and press "1".

Detailed steps on how to file a complaint are provided on the Complaint Form.

What happens after you submit a Complaint Form to the RHRA

Once the RHRA receives your written complaint, we will review it to determine if it is something the RHRA can help you with. If your complaint does not relate to the Act or its regulations, RHRA staff will advise you of that, and, if we can, give you information about other sources of help for dealing with your problem or concern.

If your complaint relates to the Act or its regulations, the RHRA will begin by acknowledging to you that we have received your complaint. Staff may contact you for additional information or to discuss your complaint in more detail. The Registrar may request that the licensee of the retirement home provide information that is relevant to your complaint, and may take other action, such as directing an inspection of the retirement home, attempting to resolve the complaint, or sending a warning letter to the licensee.

You will receive a letter from the Registrar about any actions the RHRA has taken, and any decisions made as a result of your complaint.

Complaints Review Officer

Where the Registrar decides to take no further action on a complaint, the complainant has a right to request a review by the RHRA’s Complaints Review Officer (the CRO). The CRO, who is appointed by the RHRA Board of Directors, operates independently of the RHRA.

The CRO will review the reasonableness of the Registrar’s consideration of the complaint and decision to take no further action. The CRO will either decide that he or she is satisfied that the Registrar’s consideration of the complaint and decision to take no further action were reasonable; or refer the complaint back to the Registrar with a recommendation for further action. During the review, if the CRO receives fresh information the CRO considers significant, he or she may refer that information back to the Registrar for further consideration.

The CRO will notify the complainant and the home of the outcome of the review.

CRO decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

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