Exclusive: Ottawa nursing homes have seen at least 163 cases of abuse since 2012

Drake Fenton, The Ottawa Citizen

Every one of Ottawa’s 27 long-term care homes, which house some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, has been the site of either violence, sexual abuse or death resulting from improper care, an investigation by this newspaper reveals. Since 2012, there have been at least 163 cases of reported resident abuse — either physical, sexual or verbal — and at least 17 deaths that have led to a home being found non-compliant with provincial legislation governing long-term care.  During that same period, there were a total of 2,033 instances of non-compliance at Ottawa long-term care homes. A facility can be found non-compliant for any of a litany of reasons. Some are relatively minor, such as a failure to offer a resident a snack. Some can be serious, even when no resident is harmed, such as leaving an exit door unlocked. And some are very serious, such as cases involving abuse and death. This newspaper’s data is the result of an examination of more than 8,500 pages of Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care inspection reports. Inspection reports published between 2012 to 2016, along with all available reports from 2017, were reviewed. The data shows a clear, upward trend in non-compliance since 2012. There were 141 instances of non-compliance across the city in 2012 and each year the number has risen, culminating in a 265 per cent increase over a five-year period. There were 516 non-compliance citations in 2016. There have already been 400 citations in 2017, though many reports have yet to be filed. Cases of reported abuse follow a slightly different trend, with the numbers remaining relatively flat before spiking in 2015 and 2016. There were 66 cases in 2016 and only 12 cases in 2012. (There have already been 33 reported cases in 2017.)

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