Abused or Neglected while a resident at a long-term care or assisted living or nursing facility? Here is what you need to know!

Making the decision to move a family member or an elderly loved one to a long-term care facility, assisted living or nursing home is a difficult decision. Selecting the right facility is even more difficult. The ultimate goal while making the foregoing decisions is to ensure that the family member is safe, secure and well treated at any facility that he or she resides. Fortunately, with the growing number of long-term care facilities being built, and the aging Canadian population, there has been growing number of legislations and regulations put into place to ensure the required standard of safety, security and well being of residents in these facilities.

Long-term care facilities in Canada are expected to host a clean environment, and provide a secure and safe atmosphere. However, each facility is different and each facility may be privately owned. Fortunately, all facilities must be licensed, and must comply with the Ontario Long-Term Care Homes Act (“Act”), which set outs the Bill of Rights that must be posted on the premises that outlines the resident’s rights. The Act also stipulates that residents of these long-term care facilities must be protected from any abuse or neglect.

In addition compliance to the Act, long-term care facilities must ensure that they are compliance with several other legislations: Personal Health Information and Protection Act Substitute Decisions Act; Health Care Consent Act; Fire Code; and Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Although all long-term facilities must comply with Act, their staff or employees may fall short, and certain residents may feel that their rights are violated or that they are being ill treated, neglected or abused. Often victims of abuse or neglect may not know their rights or may not even know that they are being abused or neglected, because they feel the way they are being treated at the facility is the standard.

Abuse can be both physical and emotional abuse, and neglect may include changes in living conditions, hygiene, or loss of personal property, and sudden physical changes such as weight loss or dehydration.

In the event that a resident feels that they are a victim of neglect or abuse at a facility or that their rights have been violated, they have the option of making a direct complaint to the facility or file a complaint with the Ministry of Health and Long-term to have them conduct an investigation into their complaint. However, that is not the only option.

If it does turn out that abuse or neglect occurred, and where resident(s) sustain injuries of physical and/or psychological in nature, may eligible to commence a lawsuit against the long-term care facility. It is important that family members that place or assist with placing their loved in long-term care facilities continue to visit them to ensure they continue to be safe, secure and free of any abuse or neglect.

Contact Azimi Law for a free consultation or for a free case evaluation.


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