Saturday, October 17, 2020

Annex retirement home accused of vermin infestation after residents resigned to eat in their rooms


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The caregiver said she and about 100 others attended a virtual town hall meeting Wednesday, where she said the home’s executive director Kerry Stewart acknowledged the infestation, but allegedly didn’t want the problem leaked to the media.

“(Stewart) said they had the ‘trifecta’ of pests — mice, cockroaches and ants,” she said. “When I heard that, I thought, ‘Oh god, it’s a lot worse than I thought it was’…They said a whole bunch of people have told them about it.”

The Annex Retirement Residence on Spadina Rd. in Toronto, Ont. on Friday October 16, 2020. Photo by Ernest Doroszuk /Toronto Sun/Postmedia

During the meeting, the pest control company hired by Revera told people they were putting down a gel and have a plan in place to control the vermin, the woman claimed.

A spokesperson from Revera said the “increase in pest activity” may be related to a nearby reconstruction of Spadina Rd.

“We understand how distressing this is to our residents and staff,” spokesperson Larry Roberts said in a statement Friday.

“That is why we engaged our pest control service provider immediately and are working with them to reduce, remove and control pests on an urgent basis and to make any repairs necessary to prevent them from returning. We are committed to solving these temporary problems and we will keep residents up to date on developments.”

The Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility said it oversees the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA), which licenses and inspects retirement homes to make sure they are meeting the required standards.

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The RHRA said in a statement to The Sun Friday retirement homes are required take all reasonable steps to follow health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including maintaining two metres of physical distancing in communal dining settings.

But they also have an obligation to make sure there are “procedures in place to keep the home free from pests and to deal with pests in the home in a timely manner.”

The authority said it will be contacting Revera’s Annex location to get more information and work with the local public health unit as needed.

“When the RHRA is made aware of any concerns at a home we will take action as appropriate,” said spokesperson Phil Norris.

“If a home is found to be in non-compliance with the law, there are several ways we protect residents, including using our enforcement powers,” he added.

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