Kudos to Toronto for spreading innovation in long-term care homes

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.

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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.




Does This Look Like Home To You?


Does this photo show the kind of “home” in which you would like to live?

If you have had a relative in a long term care home in Ontario, you will understand. It’s about the choice between a medical model vs a “relationship” / social model of care.

Would you want to live out your final years in one of our existing long term care homes?  If so, please tell us. We would love to hear from you.

If not, please contact your MPP to tell them our system is broken and we need to consider replicating the innovative homes that already exist – some of which are referenced in our previous blog posts. Now is the time since the government is funding 5,000 new beds over the next 4 years.   Don’t have your MPP contact info?  Click here.

Help spread the word by sharing this with at least 5 of your contacts.

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You Can Bring Joy to Life in Long-Term Care

“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.  

Blog post #6

Barely a week goes by, when we hear yet another bad news story about our long-term care homes in Ontario. (See recent articles in the Ottawa Citizen and Toronto Star).

Despite the many millions of dollars injected into the system over the last 30 years, we seem to have fallen into an abyss from which we cannot escape.  Throwing good money after bad has not worked.  We need to transform our system!

The Ontario government has promised 5,000 new long-term care beds by 2021/22.  Models exist now such as Hogewey Villages (Netherlands), Eden Alternative models (in Canada and U.S.) and other innovative models which help to reduce aggressive incidents and promote quality of life.  Currently Langley, B.C. and Tasmania are building new homes designed after Hogewey Villages – 25 years after this model was created.

We cannot wait another 25 years for progress in Ontario. We need a willingness to act for significant change to our long-term care home system.  With new beds coming on stream, now is our opportunity to demand our government consider a new model of care!  Our residents deserve it.

The Ontario election is in June.  Please personalize the information in this post and send to your MPP urging them to address this situation!  Click here for MPP information.

And you can help to promote change by sharing this with all your contacts, posting on your Facebook page or on your Twitter account.  And FOLLOW US!


90% of Ontario’s long-term care home residents have some form of dementia


Why don’t we have more innovative dementia-friendly long-term care homes?  Ron Schlegel and his family started the ball rolling years ago when they developed Schlegel Villages in Ontario which included Memory Care Neighbourhoods.

Emma, Ron’s mom, was the catalyst for their innovative homes.   Her experience in a long-term care home “robbed her of her personhood”,  and “no effort was made to get to know who she was as a person and what gave her joy in life or caused her frustration.”  Ron wanted “to change the way those with dementia would be cared for in their final years” and created a new social model of care.

You can probably relate to Emma’s story – just take 2 minutes  and click here:    https://schlegelvillages.com/living/memory-care

Meet, email, send a letter or phone your MPPs to ask for their commitment to ensure that the 5,000 new beds will be awarded only to those organizations/companies who propose to build innovative, dementia-friendly environments.   See our previous posts which have highlighted many such models already in existence.   Your MPP info is here.

Please leave us a comment as we would love to know what YOU think.  You can help to promote change by sharing this with all your contacts, posting on your Facebook page or on your Twitter account.  And FOLLOW US!