Webinar: Shifting the Culture of Care in Peel region

Presenter: Monica Goodban
Since 2018, Peel Region has been on a journey to change the culture of care in our homes, first through the implementation of Meaningful Care Matters’ Butterfly Approach in select home areas, as well as through the expansion of emotion-based care philosophies through our service areas and with our system partners. Join FCO and CARP Ottawa as we welcome Monica Goodban to share the full story. Q&A to follow.

Webinar recording from Jan 17th, 2024

Webinar: Sunnyside’s long-term care home has taken off!


On September 13th, we heard from Lindsay Marinovic and Julie Wheeler about the transformation that has taken off at Sunnyside. While it took two years to obtain accreditation, the Butterfly approach on two units was obtained in July 2022.

Lindsay and Julie provided information about the process they followed as well as lessons learned: change takes time; environmental change is not the most important thing; schedules and tasks were replaced with flexibility; staff are connecting with residents at an emotional level. Staff say they don’t want to feel they are on an assembly line and that the most important thing is getting to know the person, engaging in activities, building meaningful relationships in a long-term care home that looks and feels like home! Click here to learn more!

Transformation is happening and there are Homes in Ontario, Canada, and beyond who have changed their Institutions into Homes! Please join us as Champions for Change in Long-term Care Now  by forwarding this post to your contacts, MP, MPP and city councillor.

From Institution to Home: It Can Be Done

Nora, a PSW, and Lionel, a resident in one of the many rooms with tranquil murals – photo is courtesy of the Glebe Centre

On February 22nd, 2023, Susan Zorz, Executive Director (Acting) of the Glebe Centre, a long term care home in Ottawa, gave an informative and animated presentation on how the Centre transformed its Bankwood Unit from ‘institution to home’ with the implementation of the butterfly model of care.   The journey was longer than anticipated as Covid created a bit of havoc with their schedule but the Centre was steadfast in its determination to complete the process and attained its ‘butterfly’ accreditation status in November 2022.  The Centre is strategically planning to bring this approach to its other units.

As Susan noted in her presentation about the cultural transformation, “The introduction of the Butterfly Model of Care requires changes in staff roles, training, day-today operations as well as to the physical design of the home…..”

Some key outcomes and improvements include decreasing use of psychotropic/sedative medications; reaching people’s emotional reactions and distress responses; people living with increased well-being; meaningful engagement; fewer falls through greater independence; and reduced staff turnover – less absenteeism.

To view this exciting presentation and learn more, please click here .

Ontario needs more homes where residents thrive in a place that looks and feels like home, not an institution.

Please help make this transformation a reality by forwarding this post to your contacts or by sharing on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts; or with your municipal or provincial representatives; or with your local community papers or other media contacts who might help promote this cause!

Hugs become OK in Sunnyside Home!






Congratulations to Sunnyside Home Long-Term Care home, the first home in Waterloo Region to be accredited in the “Butterfly” model of care, which creates a more homelike space for residents.

Connie Lacy, Director of Seniors’ Services at the Region of Waterloo, says that “It’s not about the task, it’s about the kind of care a family member would give.” Staff engage with residents in more human ways: having tea, offering a hand massage or painting fingernails”. Read more here.

Sunnyside has 49 beds within their LTC home converted into the Butterfly model of care. The home has seen a reduction in the use of antipsychotic medication, increased resident and staff satisfaction and improved quality of interactions.

Sunnyside long-term care home has joined nearly 20 other long-term care homes in Ontario in providing a model of care that promotes dignity and quality of life for our seniors. What about the long-term care homes in your area. Have they embraced an emotion-based model of care or are they still sitting on the fence? It can be done and is proving to be successful!

Transformation to Butterfly model of care coming to long-term care home in Orangeville

Photo courtesy of Jarlette Health Services
Photo courtesy of Jarlette Health Services

On July 6, 2022, Jarlette Health Services announced that it has begun a transformation to the Butterfly Approach to care at its Avalon long-term care home in Orangeville, Ontario.

It is embracing “the Butterfly Approach” to help create a more natural home and community setting. This includes fostering stronger interpersonal relationships between residents and team members, building daily routines around peoples’ needs and interests, and creating a living environment which more strongly resembles a private dwelling.

The care model, which has already been implemented in parts of Ontario, elsewhere in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, has a proven record of positive outcomes for residents, including improved physical and emotional health and well-being, reduced use of medication, and greater engagement by residents in daily life.

The Butterfly Approach will be implemented at other Jarlette Health Services communities in the months ahead.”   Read more here  Butterfly Approach to care in Avalon Care Centre


No matter which model is used, meaningful care matters!

266 people registered for the webinar led by Sally Knocker on “What does emotion-based care look like in practice?”  Sally, a consultant with Meaningful Care Matters, said that LTC homes need to create a sense of home, slow down the pace, and staff need to sit more with residents and share themselves.

The Butterfly model, an emotion-based model of care, is not just about the environment, but about creating a meaningful environment with pictures and memorabilia that is significant to the resident. The key is to find out what makes sense to the person’s well-being and allow them to express and be themselves.

Based on Kitwood’s flower of psychological needs, the Butterfly model embraces the following elements: a sense of identity, comfort, attachment, inclusion and occupation. Sally then added two more elements. The first was the need for freedom, being able to do the things that makes sense to the person. This requires staff to manage risk in a positive way so that the person feels both safe and free. The second was that fun needs to be foremost, as laughter enhances engagement with others.. Click on link to see more

 Participants rated the webinar very positively with a wish that all LTC homes could embrace this culture of care. Please make this a ballot box issue in the upcoming provincial election and ask the candidates if they will commit to including funding for emotion-based models of care in the budget process in the first year of their term if elected.


Moving from Institutional to Emotion-based Care


Malton Village, Region of Peel

Over 125  persons attended a recent webinar on “Moving from Institutional to Emotion-based Care” co-hosted by Family Councils of Ontario (FCO) and C.A.R.P. (Canadian Association for Retired Persons) Ottawa Chapter.

The webinar featured Mary Connell who implemented the first Butterfly Model home in Ontario in Peel Region  and Gerry Kupferschmidt whose wife lives in a Butterfly Model unit at Sheridan Villa Long-term Care Home in Mississauga.

An emotion-based model of care is the heart of all the innovative models (Eden, Hogewey, Butterfly, and Green House) that have been implemented in some long-term care homes in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada.

To watch the webinar,  click here:

Life can be beautiful for residents and staff in long-term care homes!

Redstone, Malton Village, Region of Peel

‘Life can be beautiful’ is the name of the exhibit which opened recently at the Peel art Gallery Museum and Archives.

An emotion-based model of care makes a huge difference to an individual’s life.  That’s exactly what inspired Mary Connell (Dementia Advisor and Person-Centred Care Project Manager – March 2017 to November 2021) to lead the way with the implementation of the Butterfly Home in several long-term care homes in the Peel Region, and this gratifying exhibit is her brainchild.   For a virtual visit to the exhibit, click here 

Please do everything you can to convince your candidates in the upcoming provincial election and/or the incumbent MPP in your riding (click here for list)  that this is the route to go.  Make bringing ‘an emotion-based model of care’ to Ontario’s long-term care homes a ballot box issue this June.

“Let’s Fly With Butterfly”


Nora, a PSW, and Lionel, a resident, in one of the many rooms with tranquil murals –  photo is courtesy of the Glebe Centre

There are lots of innovative models for long-term care homes to ‘fly with’ and make culture change a reality.  The Glebe Centre in Ottawa has chosen to ‘fly with Butterfly’ and the Centre is the first Home in Ottawa to implement this innovative model.

“Every resident comes into long-term care with a history of family, friends, work, passions, desires, likes and dislikes.  Each has individual wants, needs and expectations. Many come into care with reluctance and apprehension. Long term care is often a necessity because of their physical or mental fragility.

So, what does the Butterfly Model involve and why is it different from other forms of care?

  • It is all about BEING not DOING. It is about enabling and supporting those in care rather than passively caring for them. Doing things WITH the residents and NOT for them.
  • We don’t DO Person-Centred care, we need to BE “Person-Centred.”
  • The Butterfly Model is all about getting to know each resident. Understanding their previous life stories and connecting— using active listening skills and maintaining a positive view of the importance of everyone’s emotional life journey. It is about treating each resident more like a friend than a patient.
  • Staff must be enthusiastic, have positive energy and be able to look at the world from the resident’s perspective.
  • The physical space is different in this model. Who wants to live with grey, green or beige walls? Talk about institutional! The colours used on a Butterfly floor are bright, sunny, and happy. The walls are filled with murals and each resident door is a different colour and design.

Donna read about the Butterfly Model, watched the video and got excited thinking of how her 98-year old mother with dementia would flourish in this environment.

But when she saw a completed floor at The Glebe Centre and experienced the full impact of how this works, she was very impressed! It far exceeded her expectations. The sense of calm and soft music provides a peaceful setting. The place felt like home, safe and secure – a family atmosphere.  The staff were relaxed, flexible, smiling and affectionate towards each other and the residents.

Many of you reading this article are starting to think about future care. Person-Centred Care is the way of the future. We have to make long-term-care a place where seniors go happily and not with dread and reluctance.”*

Let’s hope that other long-term care homes in Ontario ‘fly’ with an innovative model and pave the way for a happier future for their residents.

Please encourage the Ontario Government to bring culture change to its long-term care homes.   Write to your MPP or to your City Councillor,  or write a letter to the editor, or any other action that you think will help to promote a quality, dignified life for our seniors living in long-term care homes.

*Extract from the Glebe Centre Long-term Care Home and Abbotsford House 2020-2021 Donor Community Newsletter


Why can’t all homes be like this?

Redstone, Malton Village, Region of Peel

In February, 2021, The Toronto Star ran a Special Edition called “Crisis of Care” which focused on our broken long-term care home system and the decades of reporting on tragic failures in long-term care with little action to change the status quo. The last article in this special edition, written June 24, 2018, focused on Redstone at Malton Village, Region of Peel.

Redstone embraced the Butterfly model of care and after one year of data, they report that staff sick days are down, fewer residents are falling, antipsychotic drug use is lower and social engagement is higher, all of which saves money! The article, entitled The Fix: Part IV Butterfly’s future is full of wonderful stories about the changes in the people living there. Residents are smiling, engaged in activities, and people who were non-verbal or progressed back to their first language, are starting to speak English again. Redstone is now a place of engagement and love. More information can be found in “The Fix: Part 4”, The Toronto Star, June 23, 2018 which was republished in the Special Section: Crisis of Care, The Toronto Star, February 7, 2021.

When will the Ontario government take notice that good things are happening in Ontario and that there are models of care that are working and have been proven to save money! This is not a matter of profit versus non-profit long-term care homes. By the way, Malton Village is a Municipal Home! The issue is all about how care is delivered. COVID-19 has shone a light on so many atrocities in long-term care homes. These failings were there long before COVID-19 appeared. More staff, more direct care hours, better PPE, will help but will not fix our long-term care homes! We have an opportunity now to change the system. Let’s just do it!

Please support Transformative Culture Change in Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes by sending an email to info@LTCcommission-CommissionSLD.ca or to your local MPP  here.