The Many Facets of Learning in Long-Term Care

Posted Date: February 1, 2017 Posted By: Emily Kuurstra


An update from the CLRIs is a regular feature of the OANHSS Action Update. A shorter version of the article below appeared in the January, 2017 issue of the OANHSS Action Update.


By Emily Kuurstra and Zsofia Orosz


Lifelong learning is a reality in Ontario’s dynamic long-term care sector. It is vital to meet the changing needs of residents, to continuously improve care, and to manage changing operational conditions. Offering a variety of high quality learning opportunities is also key in retaining satisfied and skilled staff in a complex learning landscape. Ontario’s CLRIs work with LTC homes, academic institutions, and other stakeholders to design, deliver, and evaluate innovative learning opportunities. From students to multidisciplinary teams and managers, over 4,000 staff and students have engaged in CLRI educational programming.


It is essential to tailor educational offerings to match the range of clinical, cultural, geographical, and operational needs of homes and the learning preferences of the many people that together form the sector. Time, resources, and fatigue are often cited as barriers to embracing learning opportunities. In response, the CLRIs developed a range of programs, toolkits and products, including e-modules, videos, simulations, and serious games. Recognizing the time crunch in which we all work, micro-learning and in-services are built into modules that trainers can use, for example, to teach or mentor staff about communication at the end-of-life.


“One of the best workshops I’ve been to in years.”

Communication at End–of-Life Workshop Participant


Online courses and webinars are for longer engagements, while in-person workshops allow for in-depth exploration of topics such as culture change, nursing leadership or teamwork. Annual LTC Educators’ Days help experiment with practical resources like an online tool that simplifies poster and infographic design and innovative educational methods, such as arts-based learning. What is more, for maximum flexibility, teams can attend some events such as the next Culture Change Exchange in person or through online live streaming.


“It’s an excellent, excellent day, I could not have asked for a better day.

The tools that were given were really useful; I can’t wait to use them.”

LTC Educators’ Day Participant


Colleges, universities, and LTC homes collaborate with the CLRIs to enhance evidence-based curriculum and clinical experiences. This prepares students for the sector and builds staff capacity and leadership. For example last fall, Algonquin College, the Perley & Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre and the Bruyère CLRI teamed up for a 4th year BScN student gerontology-intensive placement. Homes looking to enhance students’ experiences can use the Schlegel CLRI’s implementation guide on the Living Classroom model for PSW training and the Baycrest CLRI’s summer interprofessional internship toolkit.


Learning opportunities also target other stakeholders. For example, CLRI researchers presented to decision makers at the 2016 OANHSS Capacity Planning Summit. The Bruyère CLRI and the Champlain Region Family Council Network organized a one day conference for families. The Baycrest CLRI supported an evaluation of the Ontario Long Term Care Clinicians’ medical director curriculum. In March, OARC and the CLRIs will run Togetherness Training Workshops for Residents’ Council presidents, assistants, and administrators (Toronto March 9 and Ottawa March 28).


Since 2011, the CLRIs and their partners have developed and delivered a myriad of educational opportunities in keeping with their mandate. In looking to the future of the CLRI program, participants in a 2016 province-wide Stakeholder Engagement and Needs Assessment rated education-based options most highly for continued engagement with the CLRI program.


To download tools including e-learning modules, trainers’ modules or guides, visit the Resource section of this website.


Details of upcoming learning opportunities are available in our News/Events section.