Expanded education, mental health training for long-term care

Posted On: August 10, 2022

Long-term care team members in Ontario will have access to diversified education offerings that respond to the sector’s needs and capacity as the Ontario CLRI at the RIA expands training options through the Personal Support Worker Education Fund in Long-Term Care. The Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care funds the training.

“The PSW Education Fund enhances continuing education for personal support workers—as well as other team members and leaders—in the long-term care sector. Through developing and fostering a skilled workforce, the quality of life for residents is enhanced,” says Tina Mah, executive director of the RIA.

In its fifth year of operation, the fund provides long-term care homes with tuition and backfill for their team members to participate in skill-building education that fulfills the newly implemented requirements outlined in the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 by improving staffing and care to protect residents.

Continuing to diversify the education offerings ensures team members learn practical skills in person-centred care, infection control, supporting residents living with dementia and mental health awareness and resilience training.

This year, the fund will support

• Excellence in Resident-Centred Care (ERCC)
• LIVING the Dementia Journey (LDJ)
• The Working Mind (TWM) Healthcare
• Learning Inter-Professionally Healthcare Accelerator (LIPHA)

ERCC provides team members with practical skills in resident-centred care. The virtual education offered through the fund includes seven modules: person-centred care, infection control, safety and mobility, self-care, working with others and nutrition. This course increases team members’ self-confidence, job satisfaction and morale. Conestoga College and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging co-developed ERCC.

LDJ is an award-winning, evidence-informed training program for those who support people living with dementia. Participants gain awareness and understanding that changes not only the way they view dementia but the way they support people living with it. The RIA’s Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program created LDJ in collaboration with people living with dementia and their care partners.

TWM Healthcare is an evidence-based course that gives those in healthcare the tools to promote mental health in the workplace while also reducing the stigma of mental illness. TWM provides training to participants through three core modules, plus a fourth module for leaders. The Working Mind (TWM) is part of the Opening Minds initiative, managed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). Launched by MHCC in 2013, TWM was developed by clinicians and peers and based on scientific research and best practices.

LIPHA is a simulation, coaching and community platform based on the latest practice recommendations. It provides a virtual space with simulated cases, and a serious educational game for teams to practice care with virtual patients or residents. This initiative is led by the Ontario CLRI at Baycrest and the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation with support from Launch 57 and the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest.

Long-term care homes can begin enrolling online for select virtual training options on August 10, 2022. Watch for announcements of other program training dates in the coming weeks.

The PSW Education Fund started in 2017 with more than 18,000 personal support workers and other team members receiving training in long-term care homes across the province.

Learn more about the fund, or enroll online by visiting the PSW Education Fund website.

About the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care

The Ontario CLRI is funded by the Ministry of Long-Term Care, and hosted at Baycrest Academy for Research and Education, Bruyère Research Institute, and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.

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