How to Make These Changes

Transforming our long-term care facilities into warm and nurturing environments requires a comprehensive and concerted effort. Changes that promote a Home-Like environment can be achieved when the following key points are thoughtfully and proactively addressed.

Staff and Volunteers

Working Conditions

  • Value, support, recognize and respect all staff and volunteers for their work.
  • Provide fair compensation with fitting salaries and benefits including sick leave.
  • Ensure staff positions are full-time wherever possible with staff dedicated to working only in one long-term care home and with realistic workloads.
  • Provide more hours for direct care.

Recruitment and Retention

  • Recruit staff and volunteers who exhibit emotional intelligence, empathy, compassion, have a willingness and ability to learn new approaches, and work as a team.
  • Actively involve staff and volunteers in decision-making that is integral to better resident care.

Education / Training

  • Educate staff and volunteers on relationship-based approaches.
  • Strengthen staff and volunteer skills in empathy, social interaction and team work.
  • Provide timely, on-the-job continuing education for staff and volunteers that is responsive to changing residents’ needs.


  • Many LTC homes in Ontario are old and outdated with some residents living four to a room and sharing one bathroom.
  • Support shift from institutional to home-like environments.
  • Require facilities (existing and new) to create an environment that supports a culture focused on the resident, shared living spaces, and private bedrooms.
  • Change provincial design guidelines
  • Shorten provincial timelines for requirement of homes to meet


  • Use cumulative reports of LTC home inspections and data to guide timely improvements in Ontario’s provincial LTC system. Engage family councils, residents, families and front-line staff in this process.
  • Evolve the role of LTC inspectors to that of compliance advisors or resource persons who foster a partnership between government funders and providers of care.


  • Value, support, recognize and respect families and caregivers as part of the community in the home.
  • Activate timely and up-to-date communication protocols between families and LTC homes when a crisis occurs.
  • Support and help maintain family-resident relationships when a crisis occurs.

Innovative models

There are several innovative models of care that have embraced effective change and that already exist in other countries, with a few in Canada and even Ontario. These are The Butterfly Approach, The Eden Alternative, The Hogeweyk Villages, and the Green House Project.

Explore the models here »