A Year and Legacy of the “Leading & Learning with Pride” Tool Kit

Posted On: June 20, 2023

2SLGBTQI+ inclusion has become a hot topic among LTC homes, care providers and seniors. Last spring, we shared that the City of Toronto refreshed an older version and launched the Leading & Learning with Pride Tool Kit. We wanted to catch up with Joseph Friedman Burley, staff lead and one of the co-creators of the Tool Kit to learn more about what’s happened since launch.

SSLTC has achieved great success over the first year of implementing the Tool Kit. Joseph, a Management Consultant, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC), described that he and other SSLTC team members had the “experience of a lifetime creating this Tool Kit,” connecting and working with older members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. The Tool Kit has been rolled out in the ten City of Toronto directly-operated LTC homes. Over 40 presentations on the Tool Kit have been delivered, reaching 1000+ providers in LTC homes and seniors services across the province. SSLTC also worked with The 519 and the Senior Pride Network, two local 2SLGBTQI+ organizations to develop, deliver, and evaluate interactive workshops on the Tool Kit for staff. These workshops engaged SSLTC staff in thoughtful dialogue and exercises to enhance their capacity to provide more inclusive care to Rainbow Seniors in LTC.

Each of the City of Toronto’s ten long-term care homes has appointed a Pride Lead on staff to champion 2SLGBTQI+ inclusion. Many of these Pride Leads have helped create initiatives to advance  2SLGBTQI+ inclusion, such as Pride events and a Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). True Davidson Acres (TDA) is one City of Toronto LTC homes that has taken strides to implement recommendations from the Tool Kit. They have many 2SLGBTQI+ identifying residents, coordinate pride celebrations and community outings to The 519 , and TDA’s GSA connects with the GSA at the local middle school for intergenerational initiatives, including a Pen Pal program.

Many lessons were learned through the Tool Kit refresh. Burley highlighted the value of  bringing diverse people and perspectives to the table, noting that “No one knows everything, but together we know a lot”. The Tool Kit helped unite LTC providers, residents and community stakeholders to share knowledge on this critical topic. Burley explained how this experience taught him how to work with Rainbow Seniors to effect change and transform care and services. Since every individual in the 2SLGBTQI+ community is different and has unique needs, providers must listen to and support them based on their needs. It is vital to listen to multiple perspectives from the community as each individual has their own intersectional identity and lived experience in healthcare and LTC.

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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