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!
Concept drawing for proposed Dementia Village in Metro Vancouver
Do you know what the main difference is between Ontario’s institutional long-term care home system and the innovative social models like the one now being proposed by Providence Health Care in B.C.?
Relationships, relationships, relationships – between and amongst staff, residents, families and the community
What does this actually mean?
It means a “constructive culture of care” enabling staff to know who their residents and families are – and what their life was like before.
It means residents are involved in many meaningful activities according to their abilities and what brings them joy.
It means schedules and routines are flexible to match the residents’ preferences and needs.
It means the surrounding community is invited to actively participate.
Providence Health Care is developing a concept for Metro Vancouver, based on the Dutch Hogewey Village model (scroll down for our first blog post re Hogewey in September 2017), that incorporates the above philosophy. Read more here.
Please contact your MPPs again to urge them to fund something similar, perhaps as a pilot project, in Ontario when approving the new 5,000 long-term care beds.
AND PLEASE – encourage 3 of your contacts to “follow” our blog. If you agree with our stance, we really need your help on this to increase our influence.
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.