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The IOOF Seniors Homes strongly supports the philosophy that emphasizes the Rights of Residents and the advocacy process. There are no exceptions to these beliefs ---- advocacy is always promoted.

“Whistle-blowing” Protection: is now enshrined in the Long Term Care Homes Act 2007.

No person shall retaliate against another person, whether by action or omission, or threaten to do so because,

(a) anything has been disclosed to an inspector;

(b) anything has been disclosed to the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care (MOHLTC) including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,

(i) a report has been made under section 24, or the MOHLTC has otherwise been advised of anything mentioned in paragraphs 1 to 5 of subsection 24 (1),

(ii) the MOHLTC has been advised of a breach of a requirement under the Long Term Care Homes Act 2007, or

(iii) the MOHLTC has been advised of any other matter concerning the care of a resident or the operation of a long-term care home that the person advising believes ought to be reported to the MOHLTC; or

(c) evidence has been or may be given in a proceeding, including a proceeding in respect of the enforcement of the Long Term Care Homes Act 2007 or the regulations, or in an inquest under the Coroners Act. 2007, c. 8, s. 26 (1).

There are different definitions of advocacy, depending on how you use the word - but in general, advocacy means to "stand up for the things that you believe in" and try to make positive change for a person or situation. An advocate is the person who speaks up to try to make the improvement. Everyone has the ability to advocate for themselves or for another person.


Advocacy can mean "speaking on" behalf of yourself or speaking on behalf of another individual or group (with consent) to ensure that their rights are respected and needs are met. When an individual is cognitively impaired and is not able to provide informed consent, consent may be provided by the substitute decision-maker.

The IOOF Seniors Homes Inc. understands the importance of self-advocacy and third-party advocacy - and we want to hear from you if you have issues or concerns, so that we can work together to make improvements.


The information below has been summarized to provide additional information about advocacy.

What is Advocacy?

A dictionary definition for advocacy is "the function of an advocate - the work of advocating; pleading for or supporting."

Another definition comes from the 1987 report from the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General review of advocacy for vulnerable adults, You've Got a Friend: A Review of Advocacy in Ontario. This report defines advocacy as "an activity which involves taking up the case of an individual or group of individuals as speaking on their behalf to ensure that their rights are respected and their needs met."

Advocacy is when we recognize an issue or concern that affects an individual or group of people, and try to rectify the situation by bringing it to the attention of someone who can fix the problem.

Who can be an Advocate?

Anyone who acts on another person's behalf to obtain or regain control for that person or to help the person assert their rights or achieve some goal is acting as an advocate. This can be a spouse, partner, family member, friend, or member of the care team. In day-to-day life, an advocate does not need any special training or education to represent the person. One exception to this would be if the person needs a professional advocate, such as a lawyer.

While this answer has been written from an individual's perspective (informal or individual advocacy), there is also systemic advocacy, which uses the same principles and values, but involves an advocate working on behalf of a group of individuals (at a system level).

Why are Advocates needed?

Published research suggests that the concept of vulnerability creates a need for advocacy as the vulnerable are often dependent on others - this may leave them susceptible to misunderstanding, abuse of rights, neglect or abandonment.

Both residents who require the care and services available in a long-term care home, and community clients who rely on in-home support, have some degree of vulnerability - they are reliant on the assistance of others to manage care, self-care and/or maintain their independence. This vulnerability can be further magnified if they perceive that raising a concern or issue will result in some form of retaliation (i.e. services will be discontinued). Even though this fear is perceived rather than real, the imbalance of power psychologically reinforces vulnerability and results in the need for advocacy.

Anyone may act as an advocate - a spouse, partner, another family member, friend, staff member, volunteer, community advocates and/or professional advocates, such as lawyers. This is not an exhaustive list of who can function in the advocacy role - rather it demonstrates that anyone can function in this role. For residents, clients and/or family members, the best place to start in making your issue known may be in discussing it with a staff member who you know and trust.

Usually, the type of advocacy we do on a day-to-day basis is called informal advocacy, whereby we make requests and seek information either for ourselves or on behalf of another person. Informal advocacy does not require any specific formal training.

Advocacy Organizations

There are a number of community organizations that also provide advocacy services:

What Does an Advocacy Organization do?

Advocacy Organizations provide information, advice and education to inform and support residents, clients and families regarding the advocacy process and what options are most likely to have a positive or desired outcome.

If issues arise, an Advocacy Organization can assist in helping to establish a plan of intervention towards an acceptable resolution.

In some situations, an Advocacy Organization may act as a coach for the resident, client or family member, assisting them to mediate and/or negotiate the solution themselves.

In other situations and with prior consent, an Advocacy Organization may assume the role of acting on a resident’s or family’s behalf to mediate the issue with the responsible staff.

An Advocacy Organization may also be available to work with Residents' Councils and Family Councils in understanding individual and system advocacy and assisting them in their own advocacy efforts.

For further information on Advocacy at the IOOF Seniors Homes Inc. please refer to the brochure “ADVOCACY is Everyone’s Business”.