Connecting Seniors with Care  

Residential care facility investigation

Residential care facilities provide services for seniors with complex health-care needs requiring 24-hour professional care. They are required to have a Community Care Facilities License

To ensure that the care required for the seniors is maintained at the highest level possible routine inspections are done by inspectors and officers at monitored facilities to ensure compliance with conditions set out on their operating permit or licence.

When a facility is in non-compliance it means that they are not operating according to legislated requirements. Observations are discussed with the facility operator and depending on the level of risk associated with the issue, an action plan to resolve the matter is done.

Licensees are required to report specific types of incidents that occur. Reporting ensures that incidents are reviewed in a timely manner both by the facility and the health authority. The goal is to prevent recurrence and promote a high standard of care. Notification must be done within 24 hours of a reportable incident occurrence.

Licensing Officers will investigate every complaint about an unlicensed care facility, or a care facility that does not comply with the legislation or the terms or conditions of its license. Investigations may also be initiated when an incident report is received alleging that abuse or neglect has occurred.

Conducting an investigation is to determine if an alleged event occurred and to identify whether or not a facility is operating in compliance. Investigations are based on the balance of probabilities, which means determining if it is more likely than not that an event occurred or a facility failed to comply.

A health and safety plan may be requested at the beginning of an investigation to ensure that the health and safety of seniors in care are assured while the investigation is underway. During an investigation complaints and incident reports are assessed and the extent of the investigation is determined based on their nature and severity. Information is gathered, which may include facility inspections, facility policies, staff records and records of seniors in care, interviews of staff, seniors in care and their families, facility operational history, investigation findings are documented and the licensee is given the opportunity to review and respond to the information. Further information, including a compliance plan, may be requested at the conclusion of the investigation. Additional compliance activities may also take place.

Allegations involving conduct that is potentially criminal are immediately referred to police. Other expertise may be consulted as necessary, including social workers and dieticians.

Reports on residential care facilities can be found on the health authority websites. However, the health authorities only provide the information as a public service. They do not endorse any facility nor guarantees that the information is accurate, up to date or complete. This information does not replace official information sources.

To report a health and safety concern or complaint about a licensed care facility, contact the licensing department of the health authority.

To read more about this topic: http://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/InspectionReports

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Sharen Marteny created Seniors Consulting a division of Marteny Seniors Consulting Ltd, which assists families of seniors determine the needs and wants of seniors when living at home is no longer an option. Care Coordination is done for seniors when the family does not live in the area and provides a temporary 24-hour emergency contact to allow families to take a well deserved vacation or respite.

She is a member of the United Way Campaign and focuses on raising funds for registered charities that relate to seniors. She is also on the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission Advisory Board to ensure the products and services that seniors need will be available. Sharen's goal is to ensure that issues relevant to seniors are addressed.

She is a Certified Seniors Advisor with over 25 years experience in management and the seniors' retirement industry.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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