Woodstock Caressant Care re-opens, but Fergus remains closed to new admissions

The Caressant Care Nursing Home in Woodstock is admitting patients again as of today after the Ministry of Health ordered the home to cease admissions in January. The same situation happened in their Fergus location, which is still not taking on new patients.
(Melanie Ferrier/CBC)

The Caressant Care Nursing Home in Woodstock is back admitting new patients, almost a year after the Ministry of Health ordered the home to cease admissions. Yet the company's Fergus location remains closed to new patients. 

The ministry ordered the Woodstock location cease admissions in January after inspectors discovered cases where medication had gone missing, administered at the wrong dosage and given to the wrong patients.

In Fergus, it ordered the home to cease resident admissions in October because the home failed to meet provincial standards in sanitation and patient care.


The ministry halted admissions at the Woodstock nursing home, where Elizabeth Wettlaufer killed seven elderly residents between 2007 and 2014, in January 2017. Between August and December 2016 eight reports showed 41 incidents involving medication at the Woodstock long-term care home.

Those incidents included:

  • Five cases where medication was given to the wrong resident.
  • Three cases where medication was given at the wrong time.
  • Six cases where the wrong dose of medication was given.
  • Twenty-two cases where medication wasn't given at all.
  • One case where medication was given without a prescription from a doctor.

In a statement released Saturday, the Woodstock nursing home said they will be "working very closely with the Placement Team at the South West Local Health Integration Network to ensure a smooth admission process."

"We will be utilizing every available resource to make sure our new residents have a seamless transition into their new Home," said Lee Griffi, manager of corporate communications, in the release. 


A  report in September outlined that the Fergus nursing home failed to meet provincial standards that included:

  • That furnishings and equipment be kept clean and sanitary.
  • That furnishings and equipment be maintained in safe condition and good state of repair.
  • That residents not be neglected by staff.
  • That staff develop positive treatment plans for residents who demonstrate responsive behaviours, such as aggression.
  • That there be procedures in place to protect residents and staff from potentially harmful interactions.

Initially the home had until Oct. 31 to comply with the order and meet the standards listed in the report.

However, after the deadline passed, it was unclear whether anything at the home changed.

On Nov. 1 the ministry told CBC News "it won't able to confirm that Caressant Care has complied with the five orders until an unannounced follow-up inspection takes place."

Until that investigation, the home will not admit new residents but current residents have not been asked to leave.

The Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network, an organization that works with families to place their loved ones in long term homes including Caressant Care, told CBC News on Monday they haven't received an update from the ministry, and the Fergus nursing home is still not taking on new residents and there is no indication when that might resume.