Proposed Amendments to O.Reg. 79/10, Long-Term Care Homes Act, for Enhancing Cooling Requirements in Long-Term Care Homes
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007
Summary of Decision:
Effective May 15th, 2021, the Ministry of Long-Term Care made amendments to cooling requirements in Ontario Regulation 79/10 (Regulation) under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA) to enhance the safety and comfort of long-term care residents by ensuring that licensees implement specific procedures to protect residents from unacceptably high temperatures. The amendments also require designated cooling areas to be equipped with air conditioning, (which includes equivalent mechanical cooling systems) to ensure that designated cooling areas are maintained at safe and comfortable temperatures.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
These amendments ensure that designated cooling areas of LTC homes are maintained at safe and comfortable temperature levels, enabling LTC homes to provide a safe and comfortable environment to their residents.
The amendments help licensees ensure the safety and comfort of LTC residents by requiring licensees to identify and implement procedures to protect residents from high temperatures and to respond appropriately to risk factors and symptoms of heat related illness. By clarifying the requirements of heat related illness prevention and management plans, the amendments also enable inspectors to more effectively assess whether LTC homes' heat related illness prevention and management plans are compliant with the requirements of the Regulation.
Furthermore, the amendments require that as part of residents' plans of care, licensees must incorporate an interdisciplinary assessment of the seasonal risk relating to heat related illness, including protective measures required to prevent or mitigate heat related illness.
February 11, 2021
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of Long-Term Care is proposing regulatory amendments to enhance cooling requirements in long-term care (LTC) homes.
If approved, proposed amendments to O.Reg. 79/10, Long-Term Care Homes Act would include:
- a requirement that designated cooling areas be equipped with air conditioning or equivalent mechanical cooling systems.
- a requirement that licensees implement their hot weather-related illness prevention and management plan during specified periods.
- amendments to set out requirements for the hot weather-related illness prevention plan (and related requirements for resident care plans), for example that the plan must include:
* identification of resident risk factors and symptoms related to heat stress and associated action plans that staff would check for;
* specific procedures to protect residents from heat-related illness;
* plans for the use of appropriate cooling equipment and other resources; and
* a communication protocol to convey the hot weather-related illness prevention and management plan to residents, staff, volunteers, substitute decision-makers, visitors and others as required.
- amendments to require licensees to incorporate, in residents' care plans, protective measures required to prevent hot weather-related illness or stress.
- a requirement that licensees measure and document temperature at specified intervals and areas of the home.
The proposed amendments would ensure that designated cooling areas of LTC homes can be maintained at safe and comfortable temperature levels, which would enable LTC homes to provide a safe and comfortable environment to their residents, while complying with all applicable Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) protocols.
Furthermore, the proposed amendments would improve the safety and comfort of LTC residents by ensuring that licensees implement specific procedures to protect residents from high temperatures.
The proposed amendments are targeted to come into effect on May 17, 2021.
1075 Bay Street, Toronto ON
May 15, 2021