Retirement home resident dies after assault- how communities work to protect their residents

A Long Term Care facility in Toronto, Ontario is in the news after a 72 year-old male resident is in police custody after another resident, a 72 year-old woman, was assaulted and beaten to death in the home, according to a recent article in the Globe & Mail newspaper.

Seniors deserve to live in dignity and safety, whether at home or in a retirement residenceAnd although no charges have been announced by Toronto police for the incident at the non-profit Wexford Residence, the incident raises questions about how retirement homes and Long Term Care homes ensure the safety of those who make their home inside the communities, particularly from fellow residents.

In Ontario, one component of the Retirement Home Act (RHA) of 2010 aims to identify any potential red flags among incoming residents, and requires retirement homes in the province to perform an assessment on incoming residents, which includes identifying the senior’s susceptibility to falls to any potential for behavioral issues. As a result, that is where any impending problems might first arise.

Although among term care (LTC) communities, the laws differ from retirement homes, but the purpose is the same, according to Candace Chartier, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA).

“Just to get on a wait list for a long term care facility, an assessment is done [on the prospective resident], what their daily activity requirements are, as well as any behavioral issues so the home has a complete profile and determine the best place to house them,” she told

Additionally, Chartier said that because the majority of long term care residents suffer from some form of dementia, and the likelihood for behavioral issues is significant, most facilities have supplemental processes in place that help staff members offer the best care for residents, and help avoid confrontation and blow-ups among residents.