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  • Writer's pictureAllison Jones

"Confused and isolated in a setting where they do not speak the language."

Cultural LTC admissions drying up in Ontario due to new priority rules

Bill 7 allows people to be placed in a long-term-care home not of their choosing — and advocates say the law has had unintended consequences

In an Italian long-term-care home in Toronto, about three new non-Italian residents are admitted each month due to government changes to priority rules, leaving them confused and isolated in a setting where they do not speak the language.

Villa Colombo's programming is done in Italian, and many of the new residents don't speak Italian or even English, said executive director Lisa Alcia. 

But they are being admitted because of how hospital patients who can be discharged but can't be cared for at home are now prioritized.

"I feel for these residents," Alcia said.

"They've been in a hospital, and now they're forced into an environment where all the residents around them speak Italian, and they don't. If you've got slight dementia, that triggers a whole lot of negative behaviours because you're culturally isolated."


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