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Expanding long-term care inquiry regarding elder abuse in Ontario

A nursing home in London was ordered to stop taking in new patients because of various provincial violations. One of those violations included elder abuse. Similar orders were given to Ontario long-term care facilities in Mississauga and Wellington County.

The Ontario Ministry of Health launched a public inquiry into why convicted murderer Elizabeth Wettlaufer was allowed to continue to work in nursing homes after she was fired. Wettlaufer was convicted of murdering eight nursing home residents. The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) and other unions have been asking the government for an inquiry into long-term care facilities and nursing homes for many years.

One facility was 700 shifts short of workers in 2016, so staff members weren't around to help residents with their care. That means helping with things like using the bathroom, taking their medicine and having their meals on time. That translates into basic human rights going unmet. Personal support workers couldn't possibly make up for the shortfall in staff.

A CLAC national representative said the necessity for more hours of care has been documented over and over. The Ontario Long-Term Care Association has asked for increased funding, but little to no action has happened regarding the extra hours of care. The CLAC is asking the Ontario government to adjust frontline staffing hours in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

There are situations in Ontario health care facilities that are breeding grounds for elder abuse. Staff shortages are rampant, leaving residents and their family members stressed. If a family member believes his or her loved one has suffered elder abuse in a long-term care facility or nursing home, he or she can seek the advice of an Ontario lawyer experienced in personal injury law. A lawyer will guide his or her client in the compensation process.



Source:, "Expand the long-term care inquiry", Hank Beekhuis, Oct. 9, 2017

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