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40 Ontario nursing homes with the highest rates of reported abuse

“Crying Out for Care”

A year-long CBC Marketplace investigation called “Crying Out for Care” found that violence is on the rise in Ontario’s nursing homes. Between 2011 and 2016, reported abuse between residents or by caregivers has more than doubled in long-term care facilities.

All nursing homes are required by law to immediately report suspected abuse or neglect cases to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Once a report is sent, the ministry will investigate, and determine if it turns out to be substantiated. That process can sometimes takes months – or even years.
CBC compiled thousands of these cases to find out which homes reported the most. The numbers provided did not indicate which cases were substantiated.

How did Marketplace compile its abuse rates?
Critical incidents reports are considered public records. But because they aren’t published or posted anywhere on nursing home websites – or even the government’s website – you wouldn’t have been able to find them. Marketplace obtained them through the Freedom of Information Act and compiled the numbers to make them publicly accessible. CBC worked with two statisticians to analyze and calculate abuse rates per 100 beds from the raw data.
Marketplace reached out to each home on these lists. Most explained their rates by saying they have a “zero tolerance policy for any kind of abuse” and train their staff to “report all types of abuse, regardless of the severity of the reported incident”.

Homes also noted that the ministry’s definition of abuse is “much broader than in any other health care setting”, because it includes verbal and emotional abuse or neglect. Several wrote that verbal abuse can include “calling a resident “dearie” because it is considered belittling language”.
Almost half of the homes pointed out that seniors suffering from dementia or cognitive impairment can demonstrate aggressive behaviour – resulting in more violence between residents.

According to Ontario’s Long-Term Care Association, approximately 90 per cent of nursing home residents have some level of cognitive impairment.