Elizabeth Payne’s series of articles on long term care has struck a chord with The Citizen readers as evidenced by the many letters to the editor.
“Focusing attention on long term care issues like increasing the number of available beds and the discussion about more or less oversight by the province is important. However, it is even more essential to emphasize a complete culture change, transforming long term care homes to provide loving, home-like environments for their residents.
There are a number of models for long term care that would accomplish this transformation which have been developed in the UK (Butterfly Model), Holland (Hogewey Village) and the USA (The Eden Alternative & the Green House Project). Some of these are currently being piloted in Peel County, Hamilton and are under consideration in the City of Toronto.
Newly elected City of Ottawa counsellors must review the benefits of these models and include a pilot project at one of Ottawa’s four city-run long term care homes in their next budget…….”
Excerpt submitted by James Sonley whose wife, Linda, had frontotemporal dementia for 16 years and passed away in May 2018. Linda lived in a long-term care home for 20 months. Consequently, Jay experienced firsthand the uncertainties of providing appropriate care for a loved one at home and in long term care.
Many newly elected City Councils in Ontario will likely be determining their 4 year priorities over the next few months. PLEASE take a few minutes to send messages to your local councillors urging them to put transformation of our long-term care home system on their priority agenda. Residents and staff cannot wait another 4 years!
NDP Health Critic, France Gélinas (MPP Nickel Belt): Long-Term Care Home inspections fall short. Gélinas, stated that “some homes are really not meeting quality care and need the government oversight to protect people.” Click here for January 10th article in the Ottawa Citizen by Elizabeth Payne.
Candace Chartier, CEO/Ontario Long-Term Care Association: “in long-term care, 95% of administration burden arises from meeting legislated obligations directly related to superfluous care planning documentation and responding to inspection requirements, both of which divert staff time and resources from the provision of direct care.”
Lisa Levin, CEO/AdvantAGE Ontario: “Long-term care is the most over regulated sector in Ontario with 600 regulations”.
Administrators: trying to comply with all the regulations prohibits the implementation of innovative care that would benefit residents directly.
A family member: I saw a staff who was handing out medication. She stopped to help a resident who fell and was then chastised for leaving the medication tray unattended.
If these 600 regulations and the extra 100 inspectors have not managed to improve our long-term care home system by now, they never will. Don’t you think it is time for a transformation – one that promotes a better quality of life for residents as opposed to more rules and regulations?
What do you say? Please tell us what you think – we would love to hear from you.
And share this with your contacts or anyone you know who may be interested in improving the way care is delivered to the 70,000 residents now living in our long-term care homes in Ontario.
Canada’s first community designed, specifically for people with dementia opens in June 2019 Langley B.C.
It’s called The Village. Comprised of six, single-story cottage-style homes and a community centre, The Village will be home to 78 people with dementia, an umbrella term that includes people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases associated with aging. Care will be provided by 72 specially trained staff.
At The Village, residents are not seen as dementia patients; they see the person and their story first. They believe that every person’s fundamental desire to achieve well-being, purpose and fulfillment does not diminish with age or dementia.
The Village’s design was inspired by Hogewey, the world’s first dementia village, in The Netherlands. What makes The Village different from traditional nursing homes is that residents will be able to shop, have a coffee, walk their dog, get their hair cut and take part in activities such as gardening by themselves. Continue reading “Canada’s first Dementia Village!”
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes an existing model obsolete”
R. Buckminster Fuller
Just imagine if politicians understood what quality of life looks like for persons living in long-term care homes! Well, now you can see this for yourself.
Click on the video below and view between the 3:04 and 5:30 minute mark.
Below are the innovative models highlighted on our blog. While each model possesses unique features, the fundamental elements integral to all of them are the development of relationships between staff and residents and their families and the caring that embraces kindness and compassion. For more details on any of the models below, please scroll down our blog site.
Hogeway Dementia Village, from Holland (this model has been implemented in Ontario, Alberta, and in progress in British Columbia)
Eden Alternative: Over 300 homes in the USA and globally, 7 in Eastern/Central Canada and 1 in Saskatchewan (Sherbrooke Village in Saskatoon).
Green House: 242 homes in 32 states in the USA with 150 more in various stages of development.
Schlegel Villages in Ontario, 19 villages in Ontario
Butterfly Care Home: Over 100 Butterfly Homes in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and Canada – 7 in Alberta & 1 in Ontario with more promised.
All of us, whether we are family members, health care workers, or just interested citizens, can advocate for change in a system that needs to be changed. With the Ontario municipal elections behind us, we have an opportunity to influence the 2019 priorities that will be set in the coming weeks in communities across the province. You can start by contacting your local councillor and/or Mayor. Please share your advocacy ideas under the comments section of this blog.
“I recently met a group at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. We spent time in front of the controversial Chagall painting that was to be sold abroad. The auction was stopped due to public outcry. The result? The painting was returned to the walls of the National Gallery
One of the group remarked on the freedoms Canadians enjoy, such as voicing an opinion, being heard and respected. This comment got me wondering: Why is there no public outcry about our long-term care (LTC) homes in Ontario? How do we change our apathy, demand not just an incremental change but for a change in the model of delivery?
We must exercise our privileged right to be heard. Our most fragile and vulnerable population deserves our outrage. Address your concerns to your new city councillors and your MPPs.”
Submitted by Rose Ann, a caregiver (Rose Ann is pictured above with her spouse, Ron, who has since passed away)
It looks like Peel Region’s initiative is continuing to have a positive influence. First the City of Toronto followed suit and now Primacare Living has decided to bring the Butterfly Program to St Catherines, Brampton, London, and near Hamilton according to the October 24th Toronto Star article.
Could we be on a roll? If so, why is nothing happening in Brantford, Ottawa, Kingston, North Bay and other cities in Ontario?
And as we have highlighted in previous posts, it does not necessarily have to be the Butterfly Model! Moira Welsh, the Star reporter, did research on other innovative models and stated “The Green House Project and Eden Alternative – both created by American Geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas – share similar philosophies that favour small homes, social interaction and friendships between staff and people in their care.”
Let’s get going folks! Now that the Municipal Elections are over in some provinces, you can send letters asking Mayors and City Councillors to champion transformation in one of the long-term care homes in your region.
You can help by sharing our blog with your contacts and encouraging them to be followers. Also, please share on your Facebook/Twitter accounts if you have them.
Sherbrooke Community Centre Nursing Home in Saskatoon is the home to 263 high-needs residents. It’s also the site of an intergenerational school. Every year, after winning a city-wide lottery, a batch of sixth graders ditch the traditional classroom and spend a year attending school at Sherbrooke. Listen to this story from CBC’s Sunday Morning radio show here.
At Sherbrooke, there are no classrooms, no desks, and no blackboards. Students get together with their teachers in the chapel in the morning and again at noon, but the rest of the time they are free to go where they want, and sit with anyone they feel like talking to. The school is a life-changing experience for the elders as much as it is for the kids.
“If we didn’t see the kids, we would just be a bunch of old people in this building, and that is stark and it’s ugly. Without the kids, I just feel that a part of me dies,” one resident says.
In western Canada, Sherbrooke Community Centre Nursing Home is the first care home to register as an Eden Alternative ® home.
Another innovative model for us to consider….
Please share this with your friends and follow us on Facebook.
Betty is a past caregiver whose husband lived in a long-term care home. She decided to increase awareness for innovation in our long-term care home system by organizing a panel at her church through the JOY (just older youth) program.
When asked “Do you think transforming our long-term care home system should be a municipal election issue”, the overwhelming response was “yes” (75 people).
If you agree, here is a draft letter you can personalize and send to those running in your ward on October 22nd. Names and emails of candidates in Ontario wards can be found by searching “certified candidates for 2018 municipal election in (insert city name)”. There are only a few weeks left to plant these seeds.
If you are new to our blog, scroll down to learn about the Butterfly model that transformed a unit in one of the Region of Peel’s long-term care homes.
Please share this with your contacts and/or on your Facebook or Twitter accounts.
“After many years of accessing services in the community, I finally had to place Stewart into a long-term care home. My husband was among those least compliant. A different environment could have made an incredible difference. Even with all the improvements that are being promised, long-term care homes remain a desperate last resort for the loved ones of exhausted caregivers. My long-term care home experience led me to firmly believe we need an innovative model.
Your blog presents compelling evidence that can change the way care is delivered in the final years. I fervently hope that I will have a better option. Thanks for your hard work to change the way care is delivered in long-term care homes. It is very important. Anything less is not going to make a substantive difference.”
Our blog has now highlighted 4 innovative models – the Butterfly Model, The Eden Alternative, The Green House and the Hogeway Villages. All have been shown to enhance the quality of life for residents, families and staff.
If you agree with Judith, please make this a municipal election issue in your region by urging the candidates running in your Ward to champion innovation in long-term care homes – either by attending all candidates meetings or by sending those running in your municipalities a letter or email. Search for “certified candidates for 2018 municipal elections in your city “(i.e. Hamilton, Brantford, Kingston, Ottawa etc.)
And please share this with all your contacts and ask them to become “followers” of our blog too – to show support for this initiative.
Toronto council has voted unanimously to bring change to city-run nursing homes with new programming that promises to improve the lives of seniors with dementia. This change is similar to the work recently done in a Peel Region-operated dementia unit where residents, who once spent days staring at the floor, came back to life through friendship with staff trained in empathy-focused care. Read more here.
At the St. John’s Green House home in Penfield N.Y., residents eat together at a communal table. The Green House project focuses on residents’ emotional and social well-being.
If you want to see innovative models of long-term care homes introduced in your community: One of the followers of our blog sent us some ideas on how we can influence our own local politicians, especially in light of the upcoming October 22nd Ontario municipal elections. See below for her suggestions:
We are not talking about high tech solutions
We are talking about low tech, low cost solutions
Solutions to what?
Solutions to our broken institutional long-term care homes.
If you want our vote
You must not be afraid to change the culture in these homes
You must allow residents to engage in meaningful activities
If you want our vote.
Thousands more beds are being allocated to long-term care
Now is the time to lead others in an innovative social model
A model in which you and your family would be happy to live
If you want our vote.
Residents with dementia living in our long-term care homes deserve a better quality of life. Please take just a few minutes to help these residents by sending an email or making a phone call to your local councillors or mayors.
And please click on the “follow” our blog button to provide more support to our cause and share with your own contacts.
The Toronto Star article “The Fix”, June 20th, 2018, states “in Peel Region, a couple of bureaucrats decided to take a risk on a care model that promotes, well, love…shoving aside the old clinical ways with plans for laughter, friendship, energy, tenderness, freedom and hope”. And guess what? It’s working! Residents, staff and families from one unit are living as a community resulting in a decrease of aggressive incidents, decrease in psychotropic drugs as well as a decrease in staff sick days.
Click here to view the 21 minute video that shows how this unit was transformed. You will be amazed!
Are other municipal politicians gutsy enough to champion real change? Mayor Tory seems to be. He wants ‘The Fix’ in other Toronto nursing homes. Read more here.
It is a mystery why there has not been a revolution to challenge the problems that have plagued our Ontario Long-Term Care Home system for decades. But we can all start now by forwarding this blog post to all the candidates who will be running in the October Municipal elections to plant the seeds now and to demand that other cities embrace innovation as Peel has done.
As Peel City Councillor Ron Starr said “A program like this should spread like wildfire”.
And please forward this post to your contacts and encourage them to “follow” our blog to build up support for a transformation in our long-term care home system.
Sharing the “stuff of life” at a Butterfly Care Home in the U.K
Do you know what the main difference is between Ontario’s institutional long-term care home model and the U.K.’s Butterfly Model just adopted by Malton Village Long-Term Care Home in Peel, Ontario?
Relationships, kindness and compassion
Sound familiar? That’s because the Butterfly Model is similar to the Hogewey and Eden Alternative models which were highlighted in previous blog posts.
All of these 3 models allow time for staff to develop relationships with residents and families. Our current medical model of care in Ontario does not.
The Butterfly model stresses a departure from “a culture of care that believes the best facilities can do for dementia patients is provide physical safety and hold them in a building” to “a transformation in the way people are cared for, with a focus on people’s emotions and the creation of homelike environments and everyday activities people enjoyed earlier in life”
After the success of its one year pilot project, Malton Village Long-Term Care Centre in Peel has become the first Butterfly Care Home in Ontario. Read more here.
Once the election is over, contact your MPPs again to urge them to consider these success stories. All the MPP posts are listed as vacant until the election is over.
AND PLEASE – encourage 3 or more of your contacts to “follow” our blog.Long-term care home residents need our help!