Investigation into elder care in Ottawa finds no non-compliance issues: Minister
Pairijiit Tigummiaqtikkut sent a letter of complaint detailing concerns about elders at Embassy West Senior Living in Ottawa; Main says investigation is complete
An investigation into Embassy West Senior Living in Ottawa found no issues of non-compliance over concerns listed in an open letter about the facility’s elder care, according to Nunavut Health Minister John Main.
The investigation was in response to an open letter of complaint from the elders society Pairijiit Tigummiaqtikkut over the treatment of elders at Embassy West, including concerns over what it considered cultural and language barriers. The society wrote to Main in early March while the legislative assembly was in its winter sitting.
Pairijiit Tigummiaqtikkut also alleged Inuktitut interpreters weren’t around enough, health assessments didn’t include proper interpretation, no available Inuktitut radio or news about home, and deliveries of country food not reaching elders.
Another concern was over families not being properly consulted about the status of their family member at Embassy West.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Main said the investigation was carried out by Ontario’s Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority, or RHRA, responsible for regulating and ensuring proper care of seniors in retirement homes.
A bilingual Nunavut government staff member assisted with the investigation by doing a walk-through and consulting elders at Embassy West about any concerns they had, Main said.
The RHRA reviewed plans of care for residents as well as the communications provided to them, said spokesperson Phil Norris.
He said RHRA is solely responsible for the Retirement Homes Act, the policy regulating safety standards for retirement homes in Ontario.
Selma Basic, director of operations at Embassy West on Carling Avenue in Ottawa, said the centre does its best to ensure the health and safety of its residents and that culture and traditions of Nunavummiut are respected.
Main said the government is working to make long-term care in Nunavut a possibility, referring to the planned Rankin Inlet Long-term Care Centre.
Currently, elders requiring long-term care must go to southern Canada for options.
Anne Crawford, a lawyer in Iqaluit who is advocating for elder care in partnership with Pairijiit Tigummiaqtikkut, said institutional care is not the proper type of care for elders.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Ontario’s Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority is responsible for regulating and ensuring proper care of seniors in retirement homes.