COMPLAINTS

Making a complaint

By law, all retirement homes in Ontario are required to have a procedure for responding to complaints about the operation of the home. In addition, all staff members working in the home are required to be trained on the home’s complaints procedure. You can find the home’s complaints procedure in the information package provided to you or you can ask the home for a copy.

In spite of everyone’s best efforts, there may be a concern about the quality of care, operation of the home or actions of a staff member that impacts a resident’s well-being. If you have a concern, bringing it up directly with the home’s staff or management team is your best first step.

Once the home is aware of the complaint, they are required to investigate. They must acknowledge your complaint within 10 business days to let you know how they plan to resolve the issue; when the issue will be resolved or if they believe the complaint is unfounded. If the home believes the complaint is unfounded, they must explain why.

If your complaint is still not resolved, the next step may be to file a complaint with the RHRA

 

When a complaint is filed with the RHRA, you and others providing information are protected. The RHRA may take action against those who discourage complaints, threaten or retaliate against a person who files a complaint. This may include fines or even prosecution.

What constitutes a complaint

 

The RHRA only has authority to act on complaints relating to the Act or the Regulation. For those issues that are not within the RHRA’s mandate, our staff may be able to provide you with information about other possible sources of help or assistance.

Some issues the RHRA does not oversee:

 

  • Employer/employee relationships – the RHRA does not have the authority to mediate workplace disputes or to terminate employees in a home.  For more information about employee rights contact the Ministry of Labour or the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
  • Rent rebates, notification periods, and evictions. The RHRA does not have the authority to provide financial compensation to residents, families or complainants in these matters. For more information contact the Landlord Tenant Board.
  • Power of Attorney disputes. Contact the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee

How to file a complaint with the RHRA

 

All complaints must be submitted in writing:

  • by completing the RHRA Complaint Form or
  • by letter or email. Complaints by letter or email require your consent as your name will be disclosed when RHRA notifies the home of the complaint.

Complaints often contain information about a resident that is personal including information about their health. If you are not a resident and filing a complaint on behalf of a resident, the RHRA may require the resident to sign an authorization to release their personal information and/or personal health information for the purpose of handling the complaint. The authorization form to release the resident’s personal and personal health information can be found here .

The Complaint and Authorization Form can be submitted by:

  • fax: 1-888-631-0170
  • mail: 160 Eglinton Avenue East, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON, M4P 3B5
  • email: info@rhra.ca

If you need help submitting a complaint or have any questions about the process, call us at 1‐855‐275‐7472.

What can you expect after submitting a complaint?

 

The RHRA will process your complaint as quickly as possible. Once your written complaint is received, we will review it and a staff member will contact you to discuss it in more detail.

The RHRA will then notify the home of the complaint. The notification involves disclosing some or all of the information you provided, including the name of the complainant and the details of the complaint, with the retirement home.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, we may:

  • request information from the home to respond to your concerns;
  • conduct an inspection of the home;
  • attempt to mediate the concerns;
  • send an education letter to the home; or
  • take other action, including enforcement.

The RHRA makes every effort to address complaints in a timely manner. The Registrar considers all information submitted to arrive at a decision. Some complaints may take more time to review and conclude. Once a decision has been made, you will receive a written letter explaining what actions were taken and the outcome of those actions.

If your complaint leads to an inspection

 

Once an inspector has completed the inspection, a copy of the draft inspection report is provided to the retirement home, and the operator has 10 business days to respond to the findings.

The final inspection report, which does not contain confidential information, is posted on the RHRA’s Public Register and in the retirement home.

The RHRA may carry out a follow-up inspection, to see if the home has come into compliance.

If you don’t agree with the RHRA’s decision

 

If the Registrar considers a complaint and decides no further action is to be taken, you have the right to request a review by the Complaints Review Officer (CRO). The CRO is independent of the RHRA and will review all the information considered in the Registrar’s decision. Requests for review must be made in writing to the RHRA within 60 days of receipt of the Registrar’s decision letter.   After reviewing the complaint, the CRO may decide to uphold the Registrar’s decision or refer the complaint back to the Registrar with a recommendation that the Registrar take further action. The complainant is always made aware of the decision.

Additional helpful resources

 

The Retirement Homes Act, 2010 is available at www.e-laws.gov.on.ca.

The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority partners with Consumer Protection Ontario.

www.ontario.ca/consumerprotection

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A retirement home

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Status of home

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Steps to getting a licence

Get started on the licensing process and find out what you will need to submit an application.


Guidelines

As of July 1, 2012, homes that meet the definition of “retirement home” in the Act must have a licence from the RHRA to operate.

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Process

To assist you with the application process, the RHRA has put together an Applicant Guide. The Guide introduces you to the forms, supporting documents and fees that must be submitted.

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Fees

Review the 2018 Fee Schedule before submitting your application.

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Complaints & reporting harm

Reporting harm is a shared duty. Certain situations involving harm or risk of harm to any resident must be reported immediately by law. Here’s how to report harm or potential harm.


How to File a Report

Find out what constitutes harm and what you need to do if you see or suspect harm.

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RHRA Process

Find out what happens after the report has been made.

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Mandatory Reporting

What must you report and why.

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Understand our role, what we stand for and how we enforce ‘the Act’.


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A retirement home

A retirement home 1

There are over 700 licensed retirement homes in Ontario. Let us help you find the one that’s right for you.


#ICON

Status of home

Search the Public Register for a complete history of a retirement home's compliance with the Act.

Read More
#ICON

Types of homes

If you've never lived in a retirement home or haven’t needed long-term care, you may not be aware of the difference between the two. Here is what you need to know.

Read More
#ICON

I’m not sure how to start

Here, we’ll provide tools to help support your research.

Read More

A retirement home 1

There are over 700 licensed retirement homes in Ontario. Let us help you find the one that’s right for you.


#ICON

Status of home

Search the Public Register for a complete history of a retirement home's compliance with the Act.

Read More
#ICON

Types of homes

If you've never lived in a retirement home or haven’t needed long-term care, you may not be aware of the difference between the two. Here is what you need to know.

Read More
#ICON

I’m not sure how to start

Here, we’ll provide tools to help support your research.

Read More

A retirement home 1

There are over 700 licensed retirement homes in Ontario. Let us help you find the one that’s right for you.


#ICON

Status of home

Search the Public Register for a complete history of a retirement home's compliance with the Act.

Read More
#ICON

Types of homes

If you've never lived in a retirement home or haven’t needed long-term care, you may not be aware of the difference between the two. Here is what you need to know.

Read More
#ICON

I’m not sure how to start

Here, we’ll provide tools to help support your research.

Read More

A retirement home 1

There are over 700 licensed retirement homes in Ontario. Let us help you find the one that’s right for you.


#ICON

Status of home

Search the Public Register for a complete history of a retirement home's compliance with the Act.

Read More
#ICON

Types of homes

If you've never lived in a retirement home or haven’t needed long-term care, you may not be aware of the difference between the two. Here is what you need to know.

Read More
#ICON

I’m not sure how to start

Here, we’ll provide tools to help support your research.

Read More
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