‘Revolution’ for homes vowed but little has changed

Three years after Health Minister George Smitherman promised a “revolution” in Ontario nursing homes, there remains no guarantee of better day-to-day care for the province’s most vulnerable elderly.


Critics say despite numerous new rules for tougher enforcement, extra baths, family councils and a toll-free complaint line, dramatic change has not filtered down to the 75,000 seniors who spend their final years in the homes.


The issue of nursing home care is growing increasingly important as Ontario’s population ages, and adults in the boomer generation place parents into homes or grow closer to moving in themselves. Advocates, like Lois Dent, of Concerned Friends, said the ministry is investigating the worst homes, but it takes months or years before the high number of violations of rules drops.




  • The government’s $1.20 a day diaper allowance is so inadequate that most nursing home owners provide four briefs a day, three if they cut costs — often forcing the elderly to sit in soaking diapers for hours.