Dearness Home

Compassionate people enriching the lives of others. Always.

Dearness Home, the City of London’s owned and operated 243 bed long-term care home, continues to address resident needs through a holistic approach that attends to mind, spirit and body. Staffed with knowledgeable and compassionate people, Dearness Home is a place where you can be sure your loved ones are treated like family.

Dearness Home offers a variety of inclusive client-centered programs and services designed to support and engage residents.  

The following video provides a virtual tour of Dearness Home. Check it out! 

Dearness Home Programming


Dearness Adult Day Program

The Dearness Adult Day Program offers a welcoming, client-centered program designed to support and engage individuals who may need assistance with physical frailty, disability or chronic illness.  Many clients of the Dearness Adult Day Program live with caregivers who are working, others with caregivers who need some relief or live independently but enjoy an opportunity to socialize and participate in activities such as:

•    Specialized therapies such as Pet, Music and Art;
•    Exercise programs and Snoezelen therapy;
•    Discussion groups;
•    Games (Wii)/baking/trivia;
•    Musical entertainment & theme days and
•    Wi Fi & computer training.

Organized by qualified staff and assisted by our registered volunteers, the Dearness Adult Day Program is open Monday to Friday. The program fee includes assistance with personal care, all recreational programming, lunch as well as transportation to and from the program. Additional services such as whirlpool bath and foot care can be accessed at the program. The Dearness Home Adult Day Program is a smoke-free environment.

Visit here for more information on space availability and fee schedule for the program.

Check out the video below to learn more about the Adult Day Program.

Recreation and Therapy Services

Dearness Home’s Recreation Professionals strive to encompass a holistic approach and to provide opportunities to meet the needs of each resident through meaningful programs and therapies. Thanks to student and volunteer supports, we are able to help enable our residents to find success in their recreation and leisure pursuits.

Recreation and Leisure programs include:

  • Special therapies (Music, Horticulture, Pet)
  • Exercise groups
  • Community programs (bowling, shopping, dining)
  • Inter-generational programs
  • One-to-one visits
  • Men’s groups (games, breakfast club)
  • Knitting club
  • Horticulture
  • Discussion groups
  • Bingo/games
  • Spiritual programs
  • Pampering hands
  • Physiotherapy & occupational therapy

Along with the many diverse programs the recreation team provides, residents have the opportunity to partake in a variety of additional social and interactive activities including:

  • The Quiet Space is an inclusive space for all residents, staff, volunteers and family of any cultural background to use for supportive moments, prayer, meditations, remembrance or simply some quiet time of reflection. The space has also been designed to support our Indigenous Residents for smudging for cultural and/or religion purporses.
  • Cozy Corner Library:  Residents can use this space to access many forms of library      and media resources.
  • Dearness Pub:  Open every Saturday, and one afternoon a month, this is a welcoming place where residents can bring family and friends to enjoy music, laughter and a beverage.
  • Dearness Home Theatre: Open two Thursday's a month for Oscar Night
  • Special Dinner Events:  Themed dinners designed for our residents to host and celebrate special occasions with family and friends.
  • Family Party Room:  Available for residents to host family get-togethers. Contact Manager of Community Life to make reservations.
  • Youth Evening:  For the young and the young at heart! Residents enjoy a DVD concert night in the Dearness Home Theatre. This takes place once a month.
  • Snoezelen Room:  Used for either a stimulating or relaxing  moment, this multi-sensory environment uses trained therapeutic interventions that can help reduce anxiety and agitation with calming music, visual vibrancy, aromatherapy and more.

Community Partners

Dearness Home is fortunate to work with many community partners. Learn more about these partners below:

Alzheimer Society

BGC London

Fanshawe College

Java Music Club

London Public Library


Ontario Early Years Education Centre

Therapeutic Recreation Ontario

University of Western Ontario


Social Work and Support

Social Work at Dearness Home includes advocacy on behalf of the resident and their family. It focuses on the social and emotional impact of physical and/or mental impairment, preservation and enhancement of physical and social functioning, and the promotion of physical and mental health. Dearness Home works on the theory of building upon existing strengths, enhancing adaptations and modifying risks that interfere with optimal quality of life.

The social work team is here to help residents and their families by providing support and guidance through admissions and adjustment to Dearness as well as developing, with other members of the Dearness Home team, a plan of care – to name a few.  The team is here to help answer any of your questions and looks forward to working with the resident and their family to live life at Dearness to the fullest.

Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care is an important and meaningful part in Dearness Home residents’ lives.  Dearness Home is very fortunate to have the support and involvement of our local faith groups/churches who regularly volunteer and help maintain meaningful linkages for our residents to their own faith groups. In addition to our spiritual care volunteers, we are pleased to have a non-denominational Chaplain at Dearness.  Our Chaplain, in partnership with our Volunteer Coordinator, coordinates our spiritual resources, programs and volunteers as well as being the chair of our Spiritual Care Committee and vital member Palliative Care Committee and our Diversity Committee.

Spiritual Care Programs Include:

  • Sunday Worship Services
  • Hymn Sings
  • Bible Studies
  • Individual Visitation by Faith Groups, Volunteers and Chaplain
  • Home Area Worship Services by local Faith Groups
  • Active Spiritual Care Committee
  • Palliative and Bereavement Support
  • Caregiver Support Group
  • On-Call List of Local Clergy as may be requested
  • Roman Catholic Mass and Communion
  • Praying the Rosary
  • Non-Denominational Communion
  • Special Events on Holidays
  • Quiet Room
  • Memorial Services
  • Fellowship Groups 
Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers at Dearness Home are an important part of our care team and in such, we as that volunteers commit to our residents a minimum of one hour per week for at least six months.

Volunteers can work with residents in a number of ways:

  • Assisting in Resident-focused programs, providing leadership and organization.
  • Share your musical talents by providing entertainment.
  • Visiting with residents who need one to one and small group interactions.
  • Palliative Care volunteer positions are available. (Palliative Care training would be an asset).
  • Assisting with special events and monthly theme programs.
  • Assisting with special projects.
  • Accompanying residents on outings from the Home.
  • Fundraising events.  Be a member of our Dearness Home Auxiliary.
  • Specialized training offered - SMART Serve.
  • Specialized training offered - Palliative Care.

Please reach out to the Dearness Home Volunteer Coordinator for more information.


Visitor information

Dearness Home Visitor Infection Prevention and Control Education

Safety is important to all of us at Dearness Home. Please take some time to read through the information below and reach out if you have any questions or concerns  regarding safety at Dearness Home. 


Visitors will now be required to self-screen before entering Dearness Home. Visitors will be asked to answer the following questions. If any of the following question are answered  with a 'yes', visitors are not to enter the Home.

Question One:   In the last 10 days, have you experienced any of the symptoms listed below? 
  • Fever and/or chills  - temperature of 38 degrees Celsius/100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Cough or barking cough (croup) - not related to asthma, post-infectious reactive airways, COPD, or other known cause of conditions you already have.
  • Shortness of breath - not related to asthma or other known causes or conditions you already have.
  • Decrease of loss of smell or taste- not related to seasonal allergies, neurological disorders, or other known cause of conditions you already have.
  • Muscle aches and/or joint pain - unusual, long-lasting muscle aches and/or joint pain. Not related to a sudden injury, fibromyalgia, or other known causes or conditions you already have.
  • Fatigue - unusual tiredness, lack of energy (not related to depression, insomnia, thyroid disfunction or other known causes or conditions you already have.)  If you have received a Covid-19 and/or flu vaccination in the last 48 hours and are experiencing mild fatigue that only began after the vaccination, please select "No"
  • Sore Throat - painful or difficulty swallowing (not related to post-nasal drop, acid reflux or other known causes or conditions you already have.)
  • Runny or stuffy/congested nose - not related to seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather or other known causes or conditions you already have.
  • Headache - new, unusual, long-lasting (not related to tension-type headaches, chronic migraines, or other known causes or conditions you already have.)
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea - not related to irritable bowl syndrome, anxiety, menstrual cramps or other known causes or conditions you already have.

You can answer NO to the above is all of the following apply:

  1. Since your symptoms began, you tested negative for Covid-19 on one PCR test or rapid molecular test OR two rapid antigen test taken 24-48 hours a part.
  2. You do not have a fever
  3. Your symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (48 hours if you have nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.)

Question Two:  Have you been told you should currently be quarantining, isolating, staying at home or not attending high risk settings such as long-term care homes or RH?

This could include being told by a doctor or health care provider, public health unit, federal agent or other government authority. 

If you answered YES, we ask that you do NOT come into the Home and complete your isolation period as directed.


Question Three:  In the last 10 days, regardless of whether you are currently self-isolating or note, have you tested positive for Covid-19, including on a rapid antigen test of home-based self-testing kit?

If you have since tested negative on a lab-based PCR test, you will answer NO to this question.

If your answer is YES, we ask that you do not come into the Home and complete your isolation period as directed.



Hand Hygiene, PPE and Masking - Why It's Important.

Alcohol-based hand rub is the preferred method of sanitizing because it is faster and more readily available.  When there is no visible soiling of the hands, the following hand hygiene technique is to be followed:

  • Dispense a "Loonie-sized" amount of hand sanitizer onto hands;
  • Rub hand sanitizer thoroughly on hands ensuring areas in between fingers and the tips of the fingers are well covered and 
  • Allow the hand sanitizer to air dry; do not rub it off with a paper towel.

Sanitizing of the hands should happen:

  • Before and after any care,
  • After using the washrooms,
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, 
  • Before and after entering and leaving the resident room,
  • After touching any frequently-touched  surfaces such as hand rails, doorknobs, elevator buttons and cell phones; and
  • Before and after feeding a resident.

Please visit the following Public Health webpages for additional instruction:



Visitor Policy


The Dearness Home will provide an organized process to ensure a safe environment for visits.    The Home will observe relevant laws including any applicable directives, orders, guidance, advice or recommendations issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health or a medical officer of health appointed under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This policy must be read in conjunction with the appended education material.


To seek to maintain emotional well-being of residents by the provision of meaningful, equitable and safe access for visitors.

Visitor types

Essential Visitor: Essential Visitors meet an essential need for residents or for the operation of the Home, and have access during all types of outbreaks, epidemic or pandemic, subject to any applicable laws.

There are 4 kinds of Essential Visitors:

1.    Person visiting a very ill or end-of-life resident:

  • End of life period is determined by the physician and communicated to the Power of Attorney/Substitute Decision Maker (POA/SDM care) by the Home
  • Essential Visitors for end of life must be designated by the resident or the SDM/POA
  • End of Life Spiritual Care support from the community can also be arranged.
  • The end-of-Life visitor may still enter if  the screen is failed, does not have to observe visiting times, and must always wear the butterfly sticker in a visible area of upper bodies. 

2.    Government inspectors with a statutory right of entry:

  • Government inspectors that have a statutory right to enter long-term care homes. include inspectors under the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021, the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the Electricity Act, 1998, the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

3.    Support Workers:

Support workers are persons who visit a home to provide support to the critical operations of the home and essential services to residents. These include:

  • Those delivering services as regulated health professionals (physicians and nurse practitioners etc.) 
  • Assistive Devices Program vendors –- for example, oxygen therapy vendors
  • Those moving a resident in or out of a home & those delivering Social work services and Legal services and Post-mortem services
  • Emergency services (for example, such as those provided by first responders)
  • Maintenance services such as those entering to service operational systems such as Heating, Cooling and Ventilation (HVAC), mechanical, electrical, plumbing and telecommunication systems
  • Those delivering food, mail or election services.


4. Caregiver (also known as Essential Caregiver or EC at Dearness Home):

Details provided at the end of this policy

Note: The Home will create and maintain a list of Caregivers (Essential Caregivers or ECs), and of Essential Visitors at the end of life. These lists will be available for relevant/appropriate staff members to access.

General Visitor:

A general visitor is a person who is not an essential visitor and is visiting:

  • To provide non-essential services, who may or may not be hired by the home or the resident or their substitute decision maker for social reasons (for example, family members or friends) that the resident or their substitute decision-maker assess as different from direct care, including care related to cognitive stimulation, meaningful connection, and relational continuity.

    In addition, general visitors may include persons attending the home for other purposes which may include but are not limited to:

  • Personal care service providers (for example, hairdressers, barbers, manicurists, etc.)
  • Entertainers
  • Recreational service providers
  • Animal handlers (for example, as part of therapy animal program)
  • Individuals who are touring the home to inform decisions regarding application for admission


The Administrator will have overall responsibility and draft policy and related guidelines.  The infection control lead will direct infection control in relation to visits to the Home.  The Manager, Community Life will monitor and oversees visits during times of government restrictions.

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Training Requirements

  • All visitors should read the “Safe Visit Education” poster before entering the Home.
  • On first visiting the Home and at least annually, all visitors should read the “Visitors Infection Prevention and Control Education Training” (see Appendix).   Copies are available at reception and online at the Dearness Home website.
  • Upon request, visitors may arrange in-person IPAC instruction with the IPAC Coordinator by calling 519-661-2489, extension 8324.

Instructions for visits to the Dearness Home

  • Access to the Home is only available during visiting hours – 9am - 9pm, 7 days a week including holidays (not applicable to end-of-life visitors)
  • Visitors must:
    • Leave the Home by 9pm and not arrive before 9am 
    • Read the screening poster - visitor must be able to answer no to all screening questions to enter the Home (not applicable to end-of-life visitors) 
    • Read any posted infectious disease outbreak notices and follow directions provided re. personal protective equipment etc.
    • Read the Safe Visit Education posters.
    • Clean hands using the hand-sanitizer provided.
    • Consider wearing a mask (recommended) and ensure it covers both the mouth and nose
    • Complete the sign-in, sign-out register located at reception (required by the government and retained for a minimum of 30 days)

Non-adherence by visitors

The home has the discretion to end a visit by any visitor who repeatedly fails to adhere to the home’s visitor policy and/or code of conduct.

Prohibiting a visitor

Dearness Home has the discretion to temporarily prohibit a visitor in response to flagrant non-adherence with the home’s visitor policy. 

Government restrictions

 Access to the Home may vary according to regulations put in place by the Province.


Dearness Home will communicate evolving visiting information and policy by using one or more of the following:

  • If practically possible, visiting changes will be implemented following either discussion with, or prior notice to, both the Resident Council and the Family Council.
  • For Residents: via posting information on notice boards and/or TVTOUR screens, in- person conversations, and/or Resident Council minutes binder.
  • For POA/SDM for care: via calls from staff, robo-calls, e-mails and posting information on the Dearness Home website and at the entrance.
  • For other potential visitors: via calls from staff, robo-calls and posting information on the Dearness website and at the entrance.

Caregiver information

A Caregiver/Essential Caregiver (EC) is designated by the resident and/or their Power of Attorney or Substitute Decision Maker for care. They provide direct care to the resident (feeding, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, meaningful connection, relational continuity, etc.) 

At Dearness Home:

  • There is no maximum number of Caregivers registered to one resident
  • The same person may be designated as Caregiver for more than one resident (access to residents may be limited by public health where outbreak measures are in effect)
  • Caregivers be at least 16 years of age; permission from the parental guardian needed under age 16. 
  • Caregivers will be educated in person prior to gaining the Caregiver designation
  • During outbreak and when the resident they are visiting is in isolation, Caregivers will wear the designated PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) during their visit 
  • Caregivers will receive in-person education on the Dearness Home
  • Please contact the Manager, Community Life (519-661-0400 x8271) to discuss becoming a Caregiver


Essential Caregiver Information Package and Guidelines

The government has decided that an unlimited number of people designated by the resident, if they are incapable, their Power of Attorney (POA) or substitute decision maker (SDM), may be allowed into the long-term care Home as Essential Caregivers. These Essential Caregivers must be at least 18 years of age and can be a family member, a privately hired caregiver, paid companion or translator.

These specialized visitors called Essential Caregivers are the only trained/educated visitors  allowed in the Home to visit residents during a Covid-19 outbreak. Essential Caregivers permitted into the Home have received in-person education and are seen as essential because they have will provide direct care such as in the way of eating, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, connections, relational continuity and/or assistance with decision making for the Dearness Home resident.

Covid-19 can be fatal for those who live in long-term care and keeping Covid-19 out of Dearness Home is extremely important. Caregivers will be required to respect and practice the infection control measures put in place to keep residents, volunteers and staff safe. To help ensure this, before caregivers can come into the Home to provide care, they will receive approximately one hour of in-person education on infection control practices, including on how to safely put on and remove personal protective equipment.

If you are the POA or SDM for care, please speak with your loved one in the Home and your family to decide if you want to designate caregivers and who that may be for your resident. Please contact Cheryl Gilmour, Manager of Community Life for Dearness Home at or via phone at 519-661-0400 ext 8271.

Full Essential Caregiver Information Package and Guidelines 

Essential Caregiver Education Package


Emergency Plans

Below you will find a list of the Dearness Home emergency plans. If you require more information on these plans or have some questions, please reach out to our administration at 519-661-0400.

Building, Extreme Weather & Natural Disaster Emergency Plans
Medical Emergency Plans
Bomb Threat Emergency Plans
Chemical Spill Emergency Plans
Violent Outburst Emergency Plans
Administrative  Emergency Plans
Fire Emergency Plans
Evacuation Emergency Plans
Missing Resident Emergency Plans
Community Disaster
Communicable Diseases Emergency Plans


Quality Improvement Plan

Dearness Home Quality Improvement Plan

Dearness Home Quality Improvement Plan

Dearness Home's continuous improvement lead and chair of the Continuous Quality Improvement Committee, Jason Westbrook, Manager of Support Services and Business Operations, will continue to review Dearness Home's Quality Improvement Plan's progress monthly with the management team, and quarterly with the Continuous Quality Improvement Committee. For more information on the plan or if you have questions, please reach out to Jason Westbrook at


Complaints and Concerns

Concerns or Complaints

If you have a concern or a complaint about the care or services your loved ones receive at Dearness Home, it is important that we hear from you. 

We suggest following the steps listed below to resolve your concerns quickly:

  • For all urgent issues, please first ask to speak to your Registered Nurse (RN). In many cases the RN is the best place to share your concern and more importantly, resolve your concern. They will also have the ability to escalate the matter as required.
  • If you feel your concern has not been addresses or would like to speak with the Dearness Home Administrator, Leslie Hancock, he can be reached at 519-661-0400  ext 8260. You can also send your concern via email to .

If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your concern provided by Dearness Home or prefer to take the issue directly to the Ministry of Long-Term Care (MOLTC), you can contact the MOLTC's Action Line at 1-866-434-0144 or in writing care of the Director, Long-Term Care Inspection Branch, Long-Term Care Operations at 119 King Street West, 11th Floor, Hamilton, ON L8P 4Y7.

Last modified:Thursday, July 18, 2024