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St. Jacobs retirement home appeals loss of its license to operate

A St. Jacobs retirement home remains open pending an appeal of a regulatory body’s decision to revoke its license.

Village Manor has a hearing May 12 to appeal the closure order by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority, which last month issued the latest in a line of inspection reports detailing non-compliance. Alleged infractions include failure to store and administer drugs within guidelines, failure to follow a fall-prevention policy, verbal and emotional abuse of a resident and failure to have a plan of care in place.

Some 30 reports detail a variety of concerns, culminating in the revocation of the home’s license.

“This home has been inspected numerous times over the past three years and has been the subject of several other orders by the RHRA,” said spokesman Phil Norris in an email. “The RHRA issued the order to revoke the license of Village Manor because the registrar believes that the licensee is no longer able to operate the retirement home according to the law and regulations.”

The operational issues come after Village Manor was finally able to install a mandated sprinkler system after  a long delay that had the Woolwich Fire Department pondering closing down the facility. Last summer, operators Deb and Wes Moore approached township council for financial assistance with the sprinkler project at 29 Albert St. location.

In requesting assistance, the Moores said many of their 23 residents are financially disadvantaged or suffer from mental health issues, meaning the costs of upgrading the facility couldn’t simply be passed on to them through the monthly fees.

Woolwich fire chief Dale Martin said the sprinkler system had been installed and certified, eliminating that issue.

But Village Manor is still facing the possibility it will have to cease operations as of October 9, pending the outcome of the appeal. That date had been June 1, but was pushed back due to the appeal process, said Norris.

“The appeal process runs like a court hearing, involving the calling of evidence before an independent adjudicator. The appeal is set for May 12, 2020 and is scheduled for 14 days. In the meantime, the licensee must continue to provide the care services each resident signed up for until the home ceases operating,” he explained of the process before that Licence Appeal Tribunal.

During the process, Village Manor can continue operating.

“We understand that residents and their families may be quite concerned about what happens during this process. The RHRA would like to reassure people that the order requires the licensee to continue to provide the care services each resident signed up for until the home ceases to operate.  It also requires the licensee to help residents find new accommodations,” said Norris.

Such license revocations are rare, he added. The RHRA has issued a total of 1,149 licenses since 2011. Of those, 11 have been revoked, amounting to less than one per cent.

Village Manor owners did not respond to inquiries prior to press time.

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