CARP Ottawa calls for change in long-term care now from Institutions to Homes

Media Release July 31st, 2023 


Most of Ontario’s long-term care homes (LTCHs) are still being operated as institutions. This despite four decades of systemic weaknesses that were brought to light because of the horrific tragedies of the pandemic.

We are calling on the Ford government to mandate and fund the ongoing transition of LTCHs from institutions to homes so that residents can live in dignity and with the respect they deserve.

Positive changes in models of care already exist in the province. For the last five years, CARP Ottawa and other like-minded organizations in Ontario have been working hard to highlight those positive changes. The models include: The Eden Alternative, The Butterfly Approach, Hogeweyk Villages, and the Green House Project. Other homes, such as the municipal homes in Toronto, have opted to use a hybrid model. They all use the same philosophy of care.

More awareness is needed. Residents deserve to live with respect and dignity.  Georgie’s compelling story, described in the video shows how The Butterfly Approach enabled her to come to life again, even though living with dementia. The other describes ‘The Eden Alternative model – how its philosophies care for the whole person and create a home – and how it values its staff, resulting in a remarkable 95% staff retention rate.  View the videos here:

There are many long-term care home operators in Ontario, other provinces and internationally, that have already transformed their institutions to homes.  The Quebec government has just announced it will be transforming all its nursing homes using similar approaches. These shifts result in significantly better outcomes for residents, staff, and families, both pre and during COVID-19.

The fundamental principle in Ontario’s Fixing Long-term Care Act 2021 – to provide a place where residents may live with dignity and security, safety and comfort and have their physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and cultural needs adequately met – is not being applied.

If we don’t begin to fix the long-term care home system now, after two years of horrific tragedies, they will be forgotten again for decades or until another pandemic hits.

For contact information re interviews with family caregivers, experts and staff, call:

Kathy Wright – 613-808-8978,
Chair, CARP Ottawa’s Working Group on Long-term Care
Marg Eisner – 519-771-1129,
Member, Working Group on Long-term Care.

www.carp.caa New Vision for Aging is Canada’s largest advocacy association for older Canadians promoting equitable access to health care, financial security, and freedom from ageism. There are more than 300,000 members nationwide.

We urge you to share this with your friends, families and contacts as well as with your MPPs (for easy reference the link to the MPPs – click here