In follow up to our last post
about the new Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA), we thought we
should tell you a bit about them…. So the first thing you should know is that
they are not a government agency. They are an independent, not-for-profit
corporation set up by the government through something called a ‘Memorandum of
Understanding’ and through this there is accountability to the government.
There is a Board of Directors consisting of 9 members and a Stakeholders
Advisory Council. The RHRA administers the Retirement
Homes Act, 2010 and has as its objectives, licensing homes, inspecting
homes, keeping a public register of information on homes and
informing/educating both the public and the retirement homes in Ontario. In the
first couple of years the province did contribute funds to get the Authority
off the ground but moving forward, the RHRA will sustain itself through fees
provided by the homes.
The Fundamental Principle of the
RHRA is “that a retirement home is to be operated so that it is a place where
residents live with dignity, respect, privacy and autonomy, in security, safety
and comfort and can make informed choices about their care options” (from: RHRA
Plain-Language Guide, page 4 ). There is also a clear definition of what a
retirement home is for the purposes of homes applying for licenses and
following regulations. In order to be considered a retirement home under the
governing legislation most residents must be 65 or more, there must be 6 or
more resident spaces for people unrelated to the owner and, there must be a
minimum of 2 care services available (the Act defines what a care service is
specifically). So if a home doesn’t offer ‘care services’, they do not fall
into this classification and are not subject to regulation.
Licensing has been phased in
over a nearly 2 year period starting in April 2012. The final phase will occur
as of January 1, 2014 when all homes will be expected to fulfill all the
requirements set out in the legislation. At this point there are almost 700
retirement homes registered with the RHRA and we know that there are always new
ones under construction. People in homes or considering moving to one, should
educate themselves on the rules and regulations and resident rights. Visit the
website for the RHRA to find out this important information – www.rhra.ca. More on the RHRA in future posts….
But do let us know if there is something you would like to know about them or
the legislation as well…….. For additional information on this topic see the article entitled What is the RHRA?