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

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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:    http://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!

Another innovative model in long term care homes

Did you know ….

  • 46% of residents have demonstrated some level of aggression with the most common type being “resistance to care.”
  • Normal daily home activities and creative care that is individualized for each resident will maximize functioning and quality of life.

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Here is another innovative model that was implemented (even though it hadn’t been done before) and it worked – The Green House Model – not the gardening kind…

 “THE GREEN HOUSE® Residences at Bartram Park in Florida offers Assisted Living to individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.  The Green House Project counts 242 licensed homes in 32 states to date, with 150 more in various stages of development. http://www.bartramlakes.org/memory-care/what-is-the-green-house-model/

We know the Ontario Ministry of Health will be funding 5000 new beds by 2021/22.  This is an excellent opportunity to inspire innovation

If you agree, please ask your MPP to urge the Ministry to dedicate funding for these new beds to organizations that will commit to an innovative environment such as The Green House or other models we have highlighted in previous posts. The same old Ontario model is not good enough.  For a list of all the Ontario MPPs and their contact information click here

We would really like to know what you think!  If you haven’t done so already, please complete the  2 question survey .  Your name will not appear on the blog.

“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.  

 Please become a follower by clicking on the button on the right side of this post.

 

The opportunity to act is now!

Did you know …

… that renovating an existing facility or increasing funding for education for staff has been going on for decades in Ontario and it just won’t do the trick?  We do know that there are many innovative models used in long term care that increase quality of life and decrease the need for medication (some examples in previous posts).

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If you agree, please ask your MPP to urge the Ministry of Health to restrict funding for these new beds to those who will commit to an innovative environment and not the same old Ontario model!  For a list of all the Ontario MPPs and their contact information click here

Follow us by clicking on the button to the right side of this post and link to your  Facebook or twitter account if you have one. 

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes an existing model obsolete.”  R. Buchminster Fuller

TRANSFORMING LONG-TERM CARE HOMES WITH INNOVATIVE MODELS

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” R. Buckminster Fuller.  

Did you know that over 300 long-term care homes are using the Eden Alternative Model of Care? 

In just 3 minutes see how the Eden Alternative model revolutionizes care and reduces the need for drugs.  And this is only one of several model options.

“How many of our MPPs, or those running to become one, have taken the time to study alternative models of elder care? Most provincial politicians seem stuck on a vision that teeters on the verge of failure.”  Continue reading the Citizen’s Editorial here.

We would really like to know what you think!  Please complete the 2 question survey here.  Your name and contact info will not appear on the blog.

Let us know you are interested by following us!

An Innovative Model from Saskatchewan

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”  R. Buckminster Fuller.

Long-term care resident Jodi Grant says teaching the students enrolled in Saskatoon's iGen program has given her 'a reason to get up in the morning.'

Sherbrooke Village program turns long term care home into a grade 6 classroom. They use an Eden Alternative model of care which focuses on moving away from the institutional hierarchical (medical) model of care into a constructive culture of “home”. http://www.edenalt.org/about-the-eden-alternative/mission-vision-values/

Click here for a W5/CTV interview with the Executive Director of the Sherbrooke Village to see this approach for yourselves: http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/saskatoon-care-home-offers-unique-approach-for-residents-with-dementia-1.1686936

As we mentioned in our introductory blog, our long term care system in Ontario is broken.  Our goal is not to endorse any particular model of care but rather to present information on innovative long term care models that already exist in our own country or elsewhere in the world and to provide some tools to create the political will for transformation of our system.

And we’d like to know what you think.  If you like the Sherbrooke Village Model or the Hogeway Village model from our first blog post,  please send us a comment to let us know what you like about them.

And YOU can help to transform the system by sending a letter to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and copying your local MPP/MP.  For a draft letter that you can personalize, click here:  17draftMPPletter

Don’t know who your MPP/MP is?  Click here…

Please note: The authors of this blog are not endorsing any particular model of care. We are offering this blog as information and as an impetus for change and action. If you agree with what is written and want to take action, then you are encouraged to write to your local newspapers, write letters to your politicians, and speak out at public forums which address elder care. (MPP website). Together we can make a difference!

One Innovative Model

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” R. Buckminster Fuller  

Our long-term care system is broken and it needs to change! Recent news reports from long term care homes in Ottawa and elsewhere highlight the urgent need for transformation. It is time to stop trying to repair a system that is broken and think about what quality care should look like for those living in long term care.

Many strategies have been tried to repair the system such as changes in policies, more education for staff, increased oversight by owners and government departments, and stronger evaluation practises. While these are worthy measures, they have not changed or prevented terrible incidences to occur. This is not to say that there are not compassionate, competent staff who work in long term care homes.

In fact if you ask staff how they feel after their shift, most will say that they did the best they could in a system which does not allow them to spend time with their residents in order to provide quality care. They go home tired, exhausted, and wishing that things could be different. Most will say, “If only there were more staff, more activity programs, and less regimentation, perhaps I could make a difference in the work I do.” Certainly more staff, and more funding would help, but would it really change what is currently happening? Is it time to look at a new way of organizing how long term care is delivered?

hogewey

Hogeway Dementia Village, Holland

In March of this year, CBC news reported on an alternative model of elder care, Hogewey Dementia Village in Penetanguishene, Ontario. The concept originated in Holland in 2007 and caught the attention of health care professionals in Ontario and Alberta. Hogewey has a grocery store, a theatre, a barber shop, gardens and community gathering places. It looks less like a sterile hospital environment and more like a cozy little neighbourhood. The only twist is that many of their residents live unaware that their orderly community is actually a nursing home for people with severe dementia. The concept is all about “social inclusion,” something that’s often missing from existing long term care homes. Residents are encouraged in this environment to continue their lives and focus on what they can still do. By normalizing life, especially for persons with dementia, it will help reduce outbursts and promote positive feelings thus enhancing quality of life. For full news article go to: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/dementia-village-alzheimers-alberta-calgary-gerontology-1.4024693

The Hogewey Dementia Village is just one innovative model of elder care available that enhances quality of life. The Alzheimer Society of Canada has identified other models within Canada that are innovative and seem to be offering a “home” where the quality of life is being enhanced for the residents. More research needs to be done but our understanding is that these “homes” do not cost more than the traditional long term care home model. There is no need to re-invent the wheel. There are innovative models of care that already exist in Canada and elsewhere. What is needed is recognition of the need for significant change in our present long term heath care system and a willingness to act! According to the Ontario Long Term Care Association, currently 90% of residents living in Ontario long term care homes have some form of dementia.

Please note: The authors of this blog are not endorsing any particular model of care. We are offering this blog as information and to provide an impetus for change and action. If you agree with what is written and want to take action, then you are encouraged to write to your local newspapers, write letters to your politicians, and speak out at public forums which address long term care homes. You can make a difference! For easy reference, links to MPPs and MPs:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/members/member_addresses.do?locale=en https://lop.parl.ca/ParlInfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC