Research reveals deficiencies in for-profit seniors’ homes
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At a time when our population is aging rapidly, York University researchers have helped find causal links between for-profit seniors’ nursing homes and an inferior standard of care.

York Health Professor Emeritus Joel Lexchin teamed up with researchers from the University of British Columbia and overseas to look at existing studies on nursing home care around the world, and come up with potential policies to improve the long-term care of seniors.

Among the team’s findings: For-profit homes tend to have lower staff-to-patient ratios due to the revenue that is diverted to shareholders and investors; seniors at for-profit homes have higher rates of hospitalization and worse health outcomes; and for-profit institutions start to show better outcomes after converting to non-profit homes, and vice versa.

Based on its findings, the research team’s recommendations include selling government bonds to raise funds for more facilities, supporting non-profit organizations to bid on contracts to operate homes, and placing more emphasis on social capital in the bidding process.

“Decision-makers have a responsibility to ensure nursing home public policy is most consistent with the available evidence and least likely to cause harm. It’s time to re-align policy with evidence. Our seniors deserve better.”
Joel Lexchin
Health Professor Emeritus, York University
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