What can I do if I see abuse in a retirement home?

This question is for people who live, work, or visit a licensed . It explains what to do if you see or suspect that a resident is being abused.

There's more general information about ways to help someone who's being abused in What can I do if an older adult is being abused?

If you live in a retirement home and you're being abused or neglected, read more in I’m an older adult. How can I protect myself from abuse?

There are also laws to protect older adults with developmental disabilities from abuse.

If a crime is being committed

If a resident in a retirement home is being hurt or threatened, call 911. Police have the right to investigate any crimes that take place in retirement homes.

If it's not an emergency, but you think a crime is being committed, you can call your local police station. You can also report a crime without giving your name through Crime Stoppers. Call them at 1-800-222-8477. Or, you can make a report using their website.

Who must report abuse

What you have to do depends on whether you're visiting, working, or living in a retirement home.

Visitors

The law says that people who visit retirement homes must report any abuse or harm being done to a resident. This includes if you reasonably suspect abuse.

Make your report to the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority. You can call them at 1‐855‐275‐7472. You don't have to give your name.

Workers

If you work at a retirement home, it does not matter what your job is. You must report abuse to the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.

This is true even if the report is based on information you would normally keep confidential, such as about a resident's health. For example, you still have to report if you're a member of a regulated health profession or a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

If the law says you must report abuse and you don't do this, you may be guilty of an offense and be fined.

Residents

The only people who do not have to report abuse are residents of a retirement home. Residents can report abuse. But the law does not say that they have to.

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