Important Public Advisories
The following information pertains to issues related to retirement homes reported in the news media. Always check to ensure a retirement home is licensed by the RHRA and review its inspection reports on the Public Register.
Operator of In Touch Retirement Living sentenced to 50 days of imprisonment and fined $5,000
On October 2, 2019, the Ontario Court of Justice sentenced Elaine Lindo, the operator of In Touch Retirement Living in Weston, Ontario, to 50 days of imprisonment and a fine of $5,000 for committing the offence of operating a retirement home without a licence and breaching a previous probation order requested by the RHRA.
The sentencing follows numerous enforcement actions by the RHRA, which has been monitoring the home since 2012, as well as previous convictions imposed by the courts, including fines and jail time. Please refer to our previous advisory below for background.
“Ms. Lindo has repeatedly flouted the law and has demonstrated an unwillingness to work within a system that was set up to protect retirement home residents,” said Jay O’Neill, RHRA Registrar and CEO. “The RHRA is pleased with the court’s decision because it sends a strong message that operating outside the law and putting vulnerable members of our community at risk will simply not be tolerated.”
The RHRA’s primary concern has always been the safety and wellbeing of residents. It has worked closely with community partners to ensure residents found suitable new accommodations and provided financial support through its Emergency Fund to help residents during this transition.
For further details on this retirement home, including inspection reports, please search “In Touch Retirement Living” on the RHRA Public Register.
RHRA reviewing final report of the Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System
The Commissioner of the Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry released her final report and recommendations on July 31, 2019. The report and recommendations are the result of a two-year inquiry into the events which led to the offences committed by Elizabeth Wettlaufer, and the circumstances and contributing factors allowing the offences to be committed.
At this time, the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) is reviewing the report. While related to long-term care homes, the RHRA will consider the report’s recommendations, as applicable and appropriate, as it carries out its mandate to ensure retirement home residents have the protection they need to live with confidence and dignity.
As we work towards continuously reducing the risk of harm to seniors in Ontario retirement homes, the RHRA welcomes a collaborative approach with government and sector stakeholders who have a shared goal of protecting the safety and wellbeing of residents in Ontario retirement homes.
We hope that the conclusion of this inquiry provides a sense of closure for the many people affected.
Davenhill Senior Living has provided notice it intends to cease operating as a retirement home
The RHRA confirms that Davenhill Senior Living has provided notice to the RHRA that the home intends to close at the end of November 2019, as has been reported in the media. We understand that this creates challenges and uncertainty for residents and their families. Our primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of residents at Davenhill Senior Living. The RHRA is in contact with local community partners to ensure that the residents have the support and protection they need.
Retirement home licensees are required by law to take reasonable steps to find appropriate alternate accommodation for each resident or facilitate access to any external care provider that the resident needs if the resident so requests. At this time, the RHRA is working with Davenhill Senior Living to ensure that they are taking the necessary steps required under the Act before ceasing to operate as a retirement home. This includes:
- Notice to residents and substitute decision-makers;
- A comprehensive transition plan to the RHRA; and
- Reasonable steps to find appropriate alternate accommodations or to facilitate access to external care provider
The RHRA holds a retirement home’s licensee accountable for fulfilling requirements under the Act.
Operator for In Touch Retirement Home Living Convicted and Ordered to Vacate Home
On June 3, the operator of In Touch Retirement Living at 64 King Street in Toronto (Weston) was ordered by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to vacate and stop the operation of an illegal retirement home by June 7, 2019.
The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) is working with community partners to assist residents in finding alternative accommodation and care. The RHRA has also provided financial support through its Emergency Fund to help support residents during this transition.
The RHRA believes that the residents are at significant risk of harm and took this unprecedented action of applying to the court, to ensure the protection and wellbeing of all residents.
The operator of In Touch was previously convicted in 2015 for operating a retirement home without a licence and sentenced to 15 days in jail, in addition to a $2,500 fine. On January 24, 2019, the operator was convicted a second time for operating a home without a licence and breaching probation by continuing to operate. The Court has scheduled sentencing for June 10.
The RHRA has monitored this home since 2012 and has undertaken enforcement actions against the operator for continuing to operate a retirement home without a licence. The Registrar had previously issued a number of orders, including Administrative Monetary Penalties and an Order to Cease Operating.
To view further information, please search “In Touch Retirement Living” on the RHRA’s Public Register.
New requirements for automatic sprinklers in retirement homes
As of January 1, 2019, licensed retirement homes are required under the Ontario Fire Code to be equipped with automatic sprinklers or have approved alternative measures in place. The RHRA is committed to supporting fire safety measures and the efforts of local fire services and the Office of the Fire Marsal and Emergency Management to ensure retirement homes comply with this new requirement.
Local fire services, with support from the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, will assess homes’ compliance with the requirements and the RHRA will continue to collaborate closely with them. The RHRA provides information about a home’s sprinklers on the Public Register.