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Long-Term Care Homes and Residents’ Rights

Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic. The inadequate and negligent care provided to residents in certain homes is, unfortunately, not new and not solely related to COVID-19.

There have been countless reports of negligence and wrongdoing in both long-term care and retirement homes long before the pandemic. The allegations that have come to light because of the pandemic, range from staff shortages, lack of protective equipment for both staff and residents, lack of testing and inadequate facility maintenance. Similar shortcomings in care have existed in many homes for years, prior to the pandemic. What the pandemic has done is shed light on the inadequate care being provided to our elders.

What rights do residents in long-term care homes (aka nursing homes) have?

The rights of all long-term care home residents are set out under the Ontario Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2008 and the Ontario Regulations. In the Act, at section 3(1), the ‘Resident’s Bill of Rights’, enumerates these rights, which includes:

  1. The right not to be neglected by the licensee or staff;
  2. The right to live in a safe and clean environment;
  3. The right to be properly sheltered, fed, clothed, groomed, and cared for in a manner consistent with his or her needs;
  4. The right to participate fully in making any decision concerning any aspect of his or her care, including any decision concerning his or her admission, discharge or transfer to or from a long-term care home or a secure unit and to obtain an independent opinion with regard to any of those matters.

For a full list of these rights, please visit:

What rights do residents in retirement homes have?

The rights of all retirement homes residents are set out under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 and the Ontario Regulations. The Act, at section 51, sets out 11 rights that every retirement-home resident has, including the following rights:

  1. The right to live in a safe and clean environment where he or she is treated with courtesy, respect and in a way that fully recognizes the resident’s individuality and respects the resident’s dignity;
  2. The right to be informed about and to apply for care services and assessments from an external care provider;
  3. The right to have his or her choice of care services provided by staff who are suitably qualified and trained to provide the services;
  4. The right to raise concerns or recommend changes in policies and services on behalf of oneself or others to the Authority or any other person without interference and without fear of coercion, discrimination or reprisal, whether directed at the resident or anyone else.

For a full list of these rights, please visit:

If you or someone you know has been subject to wrongdoing or a breach of their rights, in either a Long-term Care or Retirement Home please contact Lawyers Sabrina Lombardi or Catherine Shearer. We are here to help!