Saturday, June 25, 2011

Choosing LTC vs. Retirement Homes, e.g., food handling

There are great differences in these institutions. That said, both must be accountable for the food that they serve. There are many rules around food preparation. I have written about the requirements for food handling by, for example, Meals on Wheels food providers.

Ontarians can evaluate long-term care using the government website, where LTC home however, retirement homes are a different ministry. Retirement homes are governed by the landlord/tenant act.
This screen shows a complete list of all LTC Homes in Ontario. From here, you may: 
a. View the profile, inspection findings and verified complaints for any of the homes listed.
b. Compare information for up to four (4) homes.
This same is not true for retirement homes, where frail seniors similarly are housed but without the rules, the inspections and the complaints process. Many of us know of retirement homes caring for failing loved ones. Some claim to be able to provide palliative care, yet often nursing care is not as available to those who are dying, and the doctors are few and far between. Many staff are not educated in palliative care, or geriatrics in general.

Here is an example:
Barrhaven is in a major suburb of Ottawa, formerly the city of Nepean (History of Nepean).
Here is a screen shot of one inspection report for Barrhaven Manor:
Barrhaven Manor
And it isn't the only one 'Not in Compliance': Rosemount Retirement Centre ( 25 Rosemount Ave) was found with a critical food safety deficiency on Jun. 23.

From my research and volunteer work with Meals on Wheels, and delivering food as a volunteer for the Habitat for Humanity Bala Build, I know how important it is to keep food at required temperatures. Our frail seniors are most at risk from contaminated food.
Here is what they are looking for:

Food SafetyFood is held at 4°C (40°F) or less
    Not In Compliance
    Food SafetyFood is frozen at -18°C (0°F) or less
      Not In Compliance
      General Food SafetyThermometers used to verify food preparation and storage temperatures;
        Not In Compliance
        Food SafetyFood protected from potential contamination and adulteration
          Corrected During Inspection
          Sanitation, Design and MaintenanceFood contact surfaces properly designed, constructed, installed and maintained
            Not In Compliance
            Sanitation, Design and MaintenanceSanitize test kit / thermometer readily available for verifying dishwashing and sanitizing temperatures
              Not In Compliance
              Sanitation, Design and MaintenanceLiquid wastes handled and collected in sanitary manner
                Not In Compliance
                Sanitation, Design and MaintenanceGeneral housekeeping is satisfactory
                  Not In Compliance

                  As long as we allow retirement homes to care for aging family members, we're going to have to be much more vigilant. Families do not necessarily know what to look for in terms of meals preparation, food handling, cleanliness, the scope of practice of nurses vs. personal support workers (PSW) who provide the most intimate of care.

                  We do not know if these institutions are in compliance, we don't even know who owns them. For example, this group of four homes in the Ottawa area state they are 'locally owned and operated'. How do we know this for sure? 

                  A Google search for Barrhaven Manor, one of the four, didn't show me anything worthwhile. In fact, with savvy Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) operators, many websites pop up that have stolen information, and are higher on the page rank list. I had to dig to find them!

                  Apr 24, 2010
                  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is at the heart of it all. The table from Wikipedia, right, shows some of marketing gurus' other tools. This is why organizations are willing to pay prizes for those who will encourage friends to visit their web pages...

                  There are a great many retirement homes. These are simply some of those in Nepean, Ontario.
                  This guide will help you choose one:

                  The Care Guide, together with, is Canada's most comprehensive guide to seniors' housing and in-home care services. It's unparalleled directory includes community support services, home health care, supportive living residences, retirement residences, assisted living, Alzheimer care, long-term care homes and hospice care. Complementing the directory are informative and insightful articles, checklists and other tools to help families make the best eldercare decisions possible, for everyone involved. For more information, please call 1-800-311-CARE (2273), email, or click here to order a copy of The Care Guide.
                  More information

                  1 comment:

                  johana mariz said...

                  This is an interesting article. I wonder how the government look at this since they only require food handler certification courses in establishments and those in food industry serving to consumers. I hope they should also review how food handlers should practice in institutions like this.