Ontario’s new Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA) came into effect on July 1, 2010. The act states that “a long-term care home is primarily the home of its residents and is to be operated so that it is a place where they may live with dignity and in security, safety and comfort and have their physical, psychological, social, spiritual and cultural needs adequately met.”
This act now supersedes other legislation governing long-term care homes, including the Charitable Homes Act, the Homes for the Aged and Rest Homes Act and the Nursing Homes Act.
The LTCHA has an expanded Residents’ Bill of Rights, which recognizes the dignity of each resident and ensures a safe environment for each resident. The Residents’ Bill of Rights also protects a resident’s right to participate fully in the development, implementation, review and revision of his or her plan of care, including rights to
- give or refuse consent to any treatment, care or services for which his or her consent is required by law and to be informed of the consequences of giving or refusing consent,
- participate fully in making any decision concerning any aspect of his or her care, including any decision concerning his or her admission, discharge or transfer to or from a long-term care home or a secure unit and to obtain an independent opinion with regard to any of those matters, and
- have his or her personal health information within the meaning of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 kept confidential in accordance with that act, and to have access to his or her records of personal health information, including his or her plan of care, in accordance with that act.
As a mandatory requirement under the LTCHA, all licensed long-term care homes must establish a Residents’ Council consisting only of residents of the home to help advise on matters relating to the home. In addition, all long-term care homes must establish a written policy to promote zero tolerance of abuse and neglect of residents.
See “A Brand New World: Ontario’s New Long-Term Care Homes Act,”Advocacy Centre for the Elderly Newsletter, Summer 2010, Special Insert, at www.advocacycentreelderly.org. To access the full text of the new LTCHA, visit www.e-laws.gov.on.ca.