Making a Complaint

Ensuring the safety of residents in assisted living is paramount. Find the results of investigations that may help guide your decisions about where to live.

Anyone with a concern about the health or safety of a resident can make a complaint to the assisted living registry by phone at 1-866-714-3378 or email.

Registry staff will assess all complaints to determine if they fall within the registry’s mandate to investigate. Staff will investigate complaints related to the health and/or safety of residents. For example:

  • Abuse and neglect
  • Unsafe environment
  • Staffing or other practices or behaviours that put a resident at risk

The registry cannot investigate complaints about:

  • Funding (whether an assisted living unit is subsidized or the amount of subsidy)
  • Tenancy (rent increases, damage deposits)
  • Operating issues (availability of guest rooms, staff-management issues)

How a Complaint Is Investigated

The following outlines key steps in conducting an investigation related to a complaint that has been made to the assisted living registry. These procedures may vary according to the seriousness of the complaint.

Step Procedure

A complaint is made

  • A complaint comes into the assisted living registry
  • Complaint can be anonymous, by email or by phone

Complaint is analyzed

An investigator:

  • Assesses if the complaint falls within the registry’s mandate to investigate
  • Conducts a file review of the operations, policies and procedures
  • Analyzes the complaint and determines the best approach to investigate

A site visit may be conducted

An investigator:

  • May be unannounced or pre-arranged
  • Inspects the residence
  • Review records, policies and procedures
  • Collects information, takes notes and takes pictures
  • May interview operator, manager, staff, resident(s), family member(s)

A determination is made about compliance and next steps

An investigator:

  • Reviews all information gathered and analyzes the information to determine if operator is in compliance with Act and regulations, or not
  • If not, the investigator advises the operator of actions the operator needs to take to come into compliance and may specify timelines for actions

The registry will post substantiated complaint information for the public on the assisted living website.

Education and support

An investigator

  • Provides support and education to help the operator understand their role and responsibilities
  • When an operator fails to take the actions needed to come into compliance, the investigator may recommend that the registrar take progressive enforcement steps which may include a range of actions 

​​Progressive enforcement can include one or all of these steps.

Assisted Living progressive enforcement

Note: if the registrar has reasonable grounds to believe that there is an immediate risk to the health or safety of a resident, the registrar has the authority to "attach conditions to the registration, or vary conditions of that registration, without notice.", as per section 27.1 of the Community Care and Assisted Living Act.