Strengthening Safety and Quality in Ontario's Long Term Care Homes

Long-Term Care Task Force Delivers Update Report

TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Long-Term Care Task Force on Resident Care and Safety issued its second progress update on its three-year Action Plan to address abuse and neglect in long term care homes. The Task Force, which shares the commitment of the public and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to strengthen resident care and safety in long term care, believes that while more work needs to be done, progress is being made. Today's report shows that increasingly, a culture of resident-centred care is being promoted in the delivery of care to Ontario's 77,000 long term care residents.

Highlights of the progress update include:

  • Participation of 3,000 long term care staff, residents, families and volunteers in educational forums to improve resident-centred care and safety.
  • A first of its kind education session on the inclusion of Residents' and Family Councils in the quality improvement process presented by the Family Council Program and the Ontario Association of Residents' Councils.
  • A new guide, Shifting Focus: A Guide for Understanding Dementia Behaviour, developed by the Alzheimer Society of Ontario is aimed at helping the families and friends of people with dementia living in long term care.

The report also highlights key initiatives of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to support long-term care homes in the delivery of safe care for residents, including:

  • $10 million for staff training focusing on prevention of abuse and neglect and  caring for residents with complex/challenging behaviours,
  • $10 million for supplies and specialized equipment,
  • $59 million for Behavioural Supports Ontario to hire over 600 health care professionals with specialized skills and train more than 34,000 staff to support residents with complex behavioural needs.

While progress continues on all 18 actions set out by the Task Force, four priorities for this year have been identified:

  • Declaration of resident care and safety as a top priority
  • Establishment of quality committees in all long term care homes
  • Development of suitable indicators to reflect abuse, neglect and resident quality of life
  • Strengthening sector capacity and leadership in managing responsive/mental health behaviours

The Task Force was established by the long term care sector in November 2011 to respond to media reports and public concern about incidents of abuse and neglect in long term care homes and an underreporting of these incidents. The Task Force issued a report in May 2012 that recommended 18 actions to improve the safety of residents in long term care homes in Ontario.

Read the November 19 Progress Update
Read the May 2012 report of the Long-Term Care Task Force on Resident Care and Safety
For more information visit:


"We know safety is the number one priority of residents and their families. We agree: Ontario's seniors are entitled to the safest, highest quality care and homes that we can provide."
Candace Chartier, CEO, Ontario Long Term Care Association

"The voice of residents and their families is critical as we continue to work to improve the care and safety of long-term care residents in Ontario. This report reflects the ongoing meaningful work of all the partners to achieve positive change throughout the system."
Lois Dent, Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities

"While continuing to work on finding meaningful and measurable ways to ultimately improve the quality of life for our long term care home residents, we must include their voice. The progress of the Task Force drives necessary change and will play a key role in working towards person centred care throughout the health care sector."
Donna Fairley, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Residents' Councils

"Ontario families expect that their loved ones are safe and well-cared for in Ontario's long term care homes. Working with our partners in Ontario's Long-Term Care community, our government continues to invest in initiatives that support the highest quality of care and safety. Thank you to the Task Force for their ongoing work and commitment to residents."
Hon. Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

"I am pleased with the progress made. It's essential that families continue to be valued and participate as an essential partner in the delivery of safe, quality long term care."
Lorraine Purdon, Coordinator, Ontario Family Councils' Program

"This report reflects our continued progress on this important work and the sector's collective commitment to the priorities identified in the Task Force Action Plan."
Donna Rubin, CEO, Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors

SOURCE: Long-Term Care Task Force on Resident Care and Safety

For further information:


Debbie Humphreys
Senior Director, Corporate and Public Affairs, Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors
416-553-7401 or

Adrienne Spafford 
Director, Communications & Public Affairs, Ontario Long Term Care Association
416-272-0120 or

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Long-Term Care Task Force on Resident Care and Safety

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