FACT CHECK: Have Nursing Homes And Orphanages Been Combined In Canada?

Mecca Fowler | Contributor

A post shared on Facebook over 400 times claims nursing homes have been combined with orphanages in Canada.

Verdict: False

There is no indication nursing homes and orphanages are combined in Canada.

Fact Check:

The viral post includes a picture of an elderly woman smiling while holding a baby. The caption accompanying it reads: “Brilliant idea being implemented in Canada. They combined nursing homes with the orphanages. The result exceeded all expectations! Elders found grandchildren, orphans experienced the love and care for their parents for the first time. The elderly have improved significantly in their health and their will to live. Their interest in life is back, The doctors said.”

Check Your Fact didn’t find any indication Canada has combined nursing homes with orphanages, however. The Public Health Agency of Canada website does not mention such a thing being implemented, and Canadian media outlets such as CBC News, Global News and The Globe and Mail haven’t reported on orphanages and nursing homes being combined. (RELATED: Image Makes Misleading Comparison Between Donald Trump And Joe Biden’s HBCU Funding)

The media relations unit of Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada told Check Your Fact via email, “There are no combined nursing homes and orphanages in Canada.” It also noted that in Canada, health care is a “shared responsibility between the Government of Canada and the provinces and territories (PTs),” with the federal government providing “financial support to the PTs for health care services” and the provinces and territories handling “matters related to the administration and delivery of health services, including nursing homes and children aid societies.”

“I have never heard of such a thing,” Gloria Gutman, a professor emerita of gerontology at Simon Fraser University, also told Check Your Fact in an email. “People often talk about juxtasposing children’s day care or pre-school near a seniors housing project or care facility and/or doing intergenerational programming but an orphanage sounds hokey to me.”

In Canada, there are intergenerational programs for elderly people in nursing homes and children in daycare facilities. The Vancouver Sun in 2016 featured a story about children from Montessori Children’s Community spending time with seniors at the Youville Residence. In another instance, elders living at a Toronto long-term care facility and children who attended a daycare located downstairs also did activities together, such as cooking, making crafts and playing bingo, The Toronto Star reported.

Similar claims about Canadian nursing homes and orphanages merging together circulated online in 2020

Mecca Fowler