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.  

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.

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(can we make the Manger of Community Life an email link) 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 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.

In addition to our spiritual care volunteers we are pleased to have a non-denominational Chaplain at Dearness.  Our Chaplain coordinates our spiritual resources, programs and volunteers as well as being a vital member of both our 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.

Covid-19 Information

In response to the risks related to Covid-19, the Ontario Government has changed regulations for those visiting long-term care facilities, and for residents wishing to be absent from those facilities.  Its important to note that any and all guidelines can change based on direction from our Government or in regards to maintaining our residents health.

For more information on Dearness Home's outbreak status, you can visit the Outbreak Status Report provided by the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

Please review the Visiting Guidelines put into place at Dearness Home to help maintain and protect the health of our staff, residents and volunteers. As always, if you have any concerns, please reach out to the team at 519-661-0400.

Visiting Guidelines 
Residents Leaving and Returning to Dearness Home

Types of Absences

The government has allowed four types of absence from long term care Homes:

  1. Medical absences are absences to seek medical and/or health care:

  2. Compassionate/palliative absences

  3. Temporary absences include absences involving two or more days and one or more nights for non-medical reasons

  4. Short term (day) absences  - There are two types of short term (day) absences:

  • Essential absences include absences for reasons of groceries, pharmacies, and outdoor physical activity.

  • Social absences include absences for all reasons not listed under medical, compassionate/palliative, and/or essential absences that do not include an overnight stay.   

Limitations on Absences

  • Temporary absences require prior notice to the Home (see below)

  • When a resident on an outbreak Home area or in isolation wishes to leave the Home for a Medical  or Compassionate/Palliative absence, the Home will consult with public health for further advice


Safety During Absences

Absences from Dearness Home can expose the resident to a greater risk of COVID-19 infection.

With individual and collective responsibility in mind, the resident and those with them should always put safety first by considering following these recommendations:

  • Wear Masks

  • Avoid crowds or other high-risk areas (such as malls and indoor restaurants)

  • Practice Regular Hand Hygiene

Taking a Short Term Absence

  • Permission from Dearness Home for a short term absence is not required

  • The resident or their Essential Caregiver must sign out before leaving, and sign in on their return (use the “Dearness Sign Out/In Form” located in the binder on the wall next to the nursing station on the Home area)

  • Departure must be between the hours of 9am and 9pm.

  • Return should be prior to the end of visiting hours or where this is not possible, by 9pm at the latest.

Taking a Temporary Absence

  • The resident or POA/SDM must speak to the RPN on the Home area at least 48 hours before the proposed departure time, in order to allow time for the packaging of medications for the absence

  • The resident or their visitor must sign the resident out before leaving, and sign in on their return (use the “Dearness Sign Out/In Form” located in the binder on the wall next to the nursing station on the Home area)

  • Departure must be between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • Return should be prior to the end of visiting hours or where this is not possible, by 9:00 p.m. at the latest.

Visitor Policy and Procedures for Pandemic

Dearness Home will provide an organized process to ensure a safe environment for visits that follows provincially mandated direction and Public Health infection control protocols. Please read the policy and guideline document below and reach out if you have any questions at 519-661-0400 ext 8282.

Dearness Home Visit Policy and Procedure

Visitor Education  - Protection against Covid-19

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:

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

Dearness Home 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

Emergency Plans
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, June 29, 2023