Focusing on issues that matter
ORCA is committed to advocating for a strong and prosperous retirement community sector by lobbying government and other stakeholders on behalf of the interests of our members and the sector as a whole.
These advocacy efforts include keeping our members informed on issues relating to regulations and other relevant legislation and standards of care delivery and to promoting a collaborative environment with government and other stakeholders on matters affecting the sector. ORCA has developed strong linkages and relationships with many government bodies and community agencies, helping to ensure the retirement community voice is heard and respected.
ORCA believes in the important role retirement communities play in serving seniors’ housing needs and their desire for choice. ORCA also believes that the sector is poised for continued growth and for it to become an increasingly important partner in seniors housing and health care issues.
A retirement home is still a home for more than 50,000 seniors in Ontario. ORCA supports retirement communities becoming an important partner in assisting in the delivery of a health system focused around seniors’ needs which promote their health, well being and independence. This position was shared with Dr. Samir Sinha, provincial lead, Senior Care Strategy and we continue to look for opportunities to connect with health system stakeholders.
Our position on senior care also extends to advocating for consistent access to publicly funded health services for seniors who benefit from in-home and community programs which help maintain their independence and well being and, in turn, help to delay or prevent unnecessary admission to hospital or long-term care.
Enhancing Fire Safety
Sprinklers save lives. ORCA has been an active participant in the provincial government’s work to implement fire safety regulations for vulnerable occupancies, including retirement homes. Our involvement in the province’s Technical Advisory Committee meant that ORCA’s perspectives and opinions were heard while at the same time allowing our sector to reinforce an important message – that retirement homes are committed to enhancing fire safety: mandatory automatic sprinklers for all retirement homes in Ontario is simply the right thing to do.
Retirement homes built after 1998 already have sprinklers in their homes. While new regulations introduced in May 2013 have introduced additional fire safety measures that all homes in Ontario must ensure are in place, homes built before 1998 and that don’t have automatic sprinklers must now install them no later than 2017.
The Retirement Homes Act was introduced in 2010 and licensing for retirement homes in Ontario began in July 2012. As an association that helped set the standard for retirement home living in Ontario and accredited member homes prior to regulations, ORCA fully supports the move to province wide regulations as it helps create consistent quality, expectations and standards for all retirement homes in Ontario.
ORCA is proud to have had an opportunity to inform the regulations and believes that its ongoing role as an important stakeholder in any regulation concerning the sector is paramount to a successful and thriving retirement home sector.