This guide provides information and tools for Long-Term Care (LTC) homes and post-secondary educators (e.g., community colleges) that have an interest in collaborating to create shared learning environments for Personal Support Worker (PSW) education and workforce development. Our experience demonstrates that the Living Classroom environment produces strong graduates, capable of contributing to LTC, as well as engaged LTC teams and post-secondary faculty committed to life-long learning and continuous improvement. Older adults and their families become part of a team atmosphere where, as a result of the Living Classroom shared learning experience, they enjoy enhanced quality of care and services.
The authors and contributors to this guide hope that other post-secondary educators and LTC organizations will be inspired to become part of this new innovative, educational, and workforce development strategy. This model extends the capacity of current approaches to post-secondary education and placement relationships by increasing options for collaborative work, in order to meet growing and changing workforce needs.
The Living Classroom is an inter-professional approach, whereby a post-secondary education program is delivered within the context of a LTC home; with team members consisting of faculty, students, staff, residents, and families, who engage with each other within a culture of interactive learning.