A Life Worth Living

On Sept 15th, C.A.R.P. Ottawa provided a webinar on The Eden Alternative with speaker Suellen Beatty, CEO Sherbrooke Community Centre and Co-Regional Coordinator for Eden Alternative in Western Canada. Nearly 100 persons registered for this event and those that did attend were very pleased with the speaker and content.

The Eden Alternative is a philosophy of care that focuses on relationships. The philosophy has seven domains of well-being which residents and staff focus on to create a home. Their goal is to create a human habitat where people thrive and grow. They care for the human spirit as well as the human body. The staff know that people need to have a reason to get out of bed each morning, so they spend time focusing on what brings pleasure to each person and then they try to provide that program or activity at Sherbrooke.

Within Sherbooke Village, they welcome intergenerational communities: a Day Care Centre of 36 children on site who bring joy and pleasure to the residents: an Igen (Intergenerational) Program where a class of Grade 6 students use space at Sherbrooke for their classroom studies. In between, they build relationships with the residents.

To see a video recording of the webinar, click here.

What is needed to change an institutional model LTC home into Eden Alternative home? It requires a change in attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours. It requires a culture change which allows the resident to direct the type of life they wish to live and staff who are fully engaged and valued.  It requires leaders who become coaches and empower others.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to spend our later years in a home where there is identity, growth, autonomy ,security, connectedness, meaning , and joy. It would be “A Life Worth Living”.

Please do your part to bring transformative culture change to long-term care homes in Ontario.  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.

Will the Ontario Government finally clean up its “Act”!

 

It has been decades since any stripe of government has paid heed to or lived by the fundamental principle in the Ontario Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and Regulation 79/10 (which came into force in July 2010):  i.e. “[A] long-term care home is primarily the home of its residents and is to be operated so that it is a place where they may live with dignity and security, safety and comfort and have their physical, psychological, social, spiritual and cultural needs adequately met.”

 Supposedly the Ontario Government is in the process of proposing changes to the Act by the fall 2021.

The Government has long fallen short in meeting the existing Residents’ Bill of Rights (which falls within the Act).   Implementing an emotion-based model of care would meet those expectations:

Every resident has the right to be properly sheltered, fed, clothed, groomed and cared for in a manner consistent with his/her needs.  A culture change to an emotion-based model of care would make this happen.

  • Every LTC resident has the right to NOT be neglected by the licensee or by the staff. Transformative culture change to an emotion-based model of care would ensure no LTC resident is ever neglected.
  • Every LTC resident has the right to be protected from abuse. Transformative culture change to an emotion-based model of care would make sure no LTC resident is ever abused.
  • Every LTC resident has the right to be treated with courtesy and respect, in a way that recognizes their individuality and respects their dignity. A culture change to an emotion-based model of care is a MUST.

Please do your part to bring emotion-based model of care to long-term care homes in Ontario. 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.

 

The Ontario Government Needs to Take Action NOW!

 

Malton Village, The Toronto Star June22, 2018

Ontario’s Long-term Care COVID-19 Commission made 85 recommendations that need to be enacted in order to keep residents and staff safe in future viral outbreaks. The recommendations were divided into five areas. Highlighted here are the remaining three areas of the Report.

Person-centred care: Human Rights Code, the Long-Term Care Act and Residents Bill of Rights: With years of neglect, sweeping reforms are needed in our long-term care homes to protect residents and provide a quality of life. The Report highlights person-centred care but In order to provide person centred care, all the residents’ needs should be assessed and respected including lifestyle choices, diversity and emotional needs. (Recommendations: #29, #37, #38)

Staffing issues:  A severe staffing shortage and a work force poorly trained with few infection control measures compounded the COVID-19 situation. All the staffing recommendations in the Report are important. There is an urgent need for skilled staff but recommendations are not explicit enough in what training is required. Person-centred care requires staff to have emotion-based training. Recruitment and hiring practices need to be addressed. Staff recruitment should assess the attributes of emotional intelligence, empathy, compassion. All staff and students should have experience in settings where new models of care are being provided. Most importantly, there needs to be commitment from leadership to promote person-centred care practices.  (Recommendations: #40, #41, #42, #49)

Design Standards: Poor facility design and resident overcrowding heightened sickness and death in long-term care homes, with nearly 4,000 residents and 11 staff dying of COVID-19. All the design manual recommendations are important but alternative person-centred models and provision of incentives in order to create smaller home-like units needs to be included.  (Recommendations #61 and #64)

Transformative culture change is needed in our long-term care homes. Please send a letter to your MPP encouraging the government to take action NOW on the recommendations in this Report.