Tamworth retirement home issued Compliance Order amid confusion amongst residents

The former Adair Place Retirement Residence, now operating as Stone Mills Estates Retirement Home in Tamworth, pictured here in 2014. Image via Google Maps.

A retirement home in Tamworth has been issued a Compliance Order due to staffing issues and has illegally informed its residents of an imminent closure of the home, prompting panic and confusion amongst its residents and their families.

The Retirement Home Regulatory Authority (RHRA) and Home and Community Care Support Services — both of which are provincial agencies — confirmed this information with Kingstonist over the past 24 hours.

Inquiries to those agencies were prompted by family members of residents at the facility reaching out to Kingstonist. Adding to the confusion of residents being told the home was closing and that they would need to find a new place to live by Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, is the fact the retirement home changed names without formally informing its residents.

Referred to by most as Adair Place, the supportive living facility at 462 Adair Road in Tamworth is now legally known as Stone Mills Estates Retirement Home. The licence for Adair Place was terminated in November 2018 “due to a transfer of ownership,” according to the RHRA. The licence for Stone Mills Estates, which was “previously known as Adair Place Retirement Residence until May 35, 2023,” was “issued with conditions,” according to the regulatory body. Those conditions are:

  • Condition 1: The Licensee must employ or retain, at its own expense, a person who will have responsibility of monitoring and ensuring the compliance of the Licensee with the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 and its Regulation and must ensure that person has sufficient financial and other resources to do so. The person must meet the following criteria:
    i) Experience managing the provision of care services in a congregate care or health care setting;

    ii) Capable of ensuring the implementation of policies and procedures that will create a safe environment for residents
  • Condition 2: The Licensee must immediately advise the RHRA of any change in that individual’s contractual status with the licensee.

A variety of documents show that the licensee for both Adair Place and Stone Mills Estates is Safraz Ally, someone residents report hearing about, but not seeing all that often. The facility is currently managed by Keri-Anne Horvat, who is named in the Compliance Order issued on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2023 (see below). Phone calls and emails to Adair Place, Stone Mills Estates, Ally, and Horvat from Kingstonist received no response.

It was through connecting with the RHRA that Kingstonist learned of the Compliance Order, which was issued “to immediately ensure staffing is in place such that all resident care needs are met at Stone Mills Retirement Home.”

The Compliance Order will remain in effect until RHRA’s deputy registrar “deems the Order no longer necessary.”

According to the family members of a resident at the home — who recently moved in with the family members over fears of an “evacuation order” of which residents were made aware — those living at Stone Mills Estates have been confused, upset, and frightened over the past week, having been told they would have to leave. RHRA confirmed it was aware of these actions on the part of the retirement home.

“We understand that a communication had been sent out to residents about a potential evacuation of the Home, which has since been retracted,” Kurtis Barrett, Manager of Public Affairs for RHRA, said in an email to Kingstonist.

“We understand that Stone Mills Estates has since sent a letter to residents, staff and community partners clarifying that the retirement home will not be closing immediately.”

The family members of residents that Kingstonist spoke with said they did not receive that correspondence.

“RHRA can confirm that the home is operational and there is a manager onsite overseeing the day-to-day operations,” Barrett continued, noting for context that “pursuant to the Retirement Homes Act, Licensees are required to provide notice and a transition plan to RHRA’s Registrar at least 120 days before the facility ceases to be operated as a licensed retirement home.”

The regulatory agency said that, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, “the Licensee provided a letter indicating their intention to cease operations.”

“RHRA is working closely with community partners as residents seek to find a home of their choice under timing that is suitable to their needs,” Barrett’s email continued.

“Licensees are required to have a transition plan and RHRA will work with them to ensure they meet the regulatory requirements. RHRA also has a trust fund established by RHRA for the benefit of residents of licensed retirement homes. The fund is managed by RHRA and may only be used to assist individuals who have been affected by certain emergency circumstances in a licensed retirement home. If an operator is unable to safely provide normal accommodation or care to the person in a retirement home due to an emergency, they may apply to access money in the fund.”

The letter RHRA received from Ally, the retirement home owner and licensee, came the same day he was issued with the Compliance Order, to which the RHRA said compliance “is expected immediately.”

“RHRA’s Compliance Monitor is available as a supportive resource for licensees to facilitate compliance with the Order.”

For their part, Home and Community Care Support Services confirmed they were aware of the issues at Adair Place/Stone Mills Estates.

“Home and Community Care Support Services has been advised of the home’s intent to close,” said Dave Richie, Director of Communications for that organization. “While we are unable to comment on the specifics of any patient’s care due to patient privacy regulations, we are currently working diligently with the residents and families we support, as well as the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA), to support continuity of care in another appropriate setting.”

Richie declined to answer any further questions.

While it remains unclear if Ally still intends to close the retirement facility and, if so, when, those with family members in the residence indicated they’ve been scrambling for days to find alternative placement for their loved ones. One family member indicated they had little to no communication with Ally or Stone Mills Estates directly, and that it was Home and Community Care Support Services representatives who served as their point of contact regarding their loved ones’ care.

Meanwhile, the retirement home has a long history of issues documented in RHRA’s inspection reports, which are available on the regulatory agency’s website, along with a handful of enforcement orders and penalties, also available on the RHRA’s website. RHRA’s inspection reports, enforcement orders, and penalties regarding Adair Place are also available on the regulatory authority’s website.

Kingstonist will speak with more family members of residents (and/or former residents), as well as current and former residents themselves, in the coming days. Further coverage of this matter will be provided as more information becomes available.

While the website for Adair Place was nonoperational on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, the website for Stone Mills Estates was functioning. As of Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, both websites have become defunct.

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