TORONTO, May 10 /CNW/ - The care and services provided to seniors, regardless of where they are delivered, must meet a consistent, minimum standard. This was the message delivered today by the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS) to the Standing Committee on Social Policy during hearings on the government's proposed Retirement Homes Act (Bill 21).
"Action to protect seniors in retirement home settings has been a long time coming and we applaud this government for taking concrete steps with the introduction of this Bill," said Donna Rubin, CEO of OANHSS. "We are signaling, however, that the draft legislation still won't cover a wide of variety of housing settings that provide care and accommodate seniors."
"We support the spirit and intent of the Bill to provide accountability through a regulatory framework so that seniors can access quality care. We believe, however, that care and services provided to seniors should be regulated regardless of the type of setting in which they are delivered," said Rubin.
As it is currently drafted, the Act will apply to premises that meet the definition of a retirement home as specified in the Bill. It excludes settings that are governed by or funded under existing legislation, such as social housing, where care services are also delivered to seniors.
"We recognize that it would be a significant undertaking to regulate care and services wherever they are delivered, but it is the right thing to do," said Rubin. "The government cannot be constrained in its ability to protect vulnerable seniors by the type of setting they live in. All seniors deserve the same protections."
OANHSS also raised concerns about the cost of implementing the requirements of the Act for not-for-profit providers and the impact it will have on their ability to offer an affordable care option for seniors, as well as the absence of a requirement ensuring consumer representation on the Regulatory Authority, the body that will administer the Act and the regulations.
OANHSS is the provincial association representing not-for-profit providers of long term care, services and housing for seniors. Housing provider members offer social housing, supportive housing, life lease housing and non-profit retirement homes.
SOURCE Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS)
For further information: For further information: Debbie Humphreys, (W) (905) 851-8821 ext 233, (C) (416) 553-7401