Fact Check: Orphanages And Nursing Homes Are NOT Merging In Canada

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Orphanages And Nursing Homes Are NOT Merging In Canada No Mergers

Do orphanages and nursing homes in Canada move into one building so that orphans and the elderly can build relationships with each other? No, that's not true: Intergenerational programs do exist in Canada, but they are for the elderly in senior residences and children in daycare centers, not orphanages.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on December 10, 2020. It opened:

In Canada, the brilliant idea of combining homes for Seniors and Orphan homes has been implemented.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on April 8, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Apr 8 14:24:32 2021 UTC)

When Lead Stories image searched on Google, it led to the same picture and text about the nonexistent merger of Canadian nursing homes and orphanages merger, but in Portuguese and Russian.

Lead Stories reached out to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences on April 13, 2021. The spokesperson's response was, "I am not aware of this being done anywhere in Canada."

In 2016, the Toronto Star wrote about children in a daycare center who have activities twice weekly with the elderly in a long-term care home.

The Vancouver Sun wrote in 2016 about kids from the Montessori Children's Community visiting seniors at the Youville Residence in Vancouver. As in Toronto, the children have parents or guardians at home and do not stay with the elderly permanently.

In 2016, The Atlantic published an article about intergenerational learning programs, including a 1976 Tokyo program started by a Japanese man named Shimada Masaharu, who combined a nursery school and a home for the aged under one roof. Again, it was not orphans.

The idea caught on in North America, and today there are intergenerational centers in the United States and Canada.

In Ottawa, for example, children at the Kanata Research Park Family Centre have been visiting seniors at the Chartwell Kanata Retirement Residence monthly since 2008.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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