Author: Anil Gosai

Residents’ Voices – OARC needs your help!

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The Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC) has launched a survey to explore the current needs of Residents’ Councils and learn more about how residents are involved in their long-term care homes. In addition to hearing directly from residents, OARC is seeking the invaluable feedback of those who directly support and enable Residents’ Councils in every home. Results from the survey will be used to inform OARC’s supportive approach and future education offerings.

This survey is resident-focused, and open to:

  • All residents (including those who do not attend Residents’ Council meetings)
  • Residents’ Council Assistants
  • Administrators/Executive Directors

The assistance of family care partners, team members and volunteers is sincerely appreciated to ensure that every resident who wishes to complete a survey is supported to do so.  OARC’s survey will be live until June 20th, 2022 and each entry will be eligible to win a $50 gift card prize.

Complete your survey online here.  Printable survey version available here.

Requests to complete a survey over the phone may be directed to OARC team member Chloe Lee at 1-800-532-0201 ext. 290 or by email clee@ontarc.com.

Promotional posters to post in your long-term care home available here.

Additional information about our survey can be found in our recent bulletin.

English Survey

French Survey

New IPAC eLearning course released

"IPAC while supporting residents with bathing, dressing and grooming"

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on infection prevention and control (IPAC) in Ontario’s long-term care (LTC) homes. In Spring 2021, the Ontario CLRI at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) released an IPAC resource page and eLearning series.

Now we have added to the eLearning series with a new course: IPAC While Supporting Residents with Personal Care: Bathing, Dressing, and Grooming.

 

 

“Our eLearning courses are based on situations that team members encounter in their work,” says Audra Thompson-Haile, Interim Director for the Ontario CLRI at the RIA. “This eLearning helps team members and essential care partners transfer IPAC knowledge to the care they provide.”

The new eLearning course focuses on using IPAC best practices while assisting residents with personal care, such as bathing, dressing and grooming. It will increase IPAC knowledge and skills while empowering learners to protect themselves, residents, their co-workers, and community members. 

With the IPAC resource page and eLearning series, learners will be able to apply their IPAC knowledge and skills to specific scenarios in LTC homes and situations encountered in the community.

eLearning courses now available

  • 1. Break the Chain of Transmission: IPAC Core Concepts and Practices (prerequisite for the other courses in the IPAC eLearning series) – Also in French!
    • Types of Transmission and the Chain of Transmission
    • Additional Precautions and Routine Practices in Long-term Care
    • Applying Best Practices for Hand Hygiene and PPE
  • 2. IPAC While Supporting Residents at Mealtime – Also in French!
  • 3. IPAC While Travelling To and From an LTC Home – Also in French!
  • 4. IPAC While Administering Medication
  • 5. IPAC While Supporting Residents with Personal Care: Peri-Care, Continence Care and Using the Toilet
  • 6. IPAC While Supporting Residents  with Personal Care: Bathing, Dressing, and Grooming

Visit the IPAC in LTC page


The IPAC in LTC courses and training materials have been developed by the Ontario CLRI at the RIA in collaboration with an expert panel of IPAC specialists working in LTC and an advisory panel of LTC team members, essential care partners, and The Ontario Caregiver Organization.

Are medical students ready to lead the change in long-term care?

"student reflections on a LTC research project"

By Ammar Saad.

During some of the darkest months of the past two years, most Canadians heard the grim news coming from long-term care (LTC) homes, and many witnessed first-hand the heartbreaking and devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives and wellbeing of LTC home residents and their families. 

As students, we wanted to help, but many of us didn’t know how. LTC homes were “locked-down” and we were “locked-out”. We also lacked the training and experience needed to provide long-term care, so we decided to learn through experiment, gain experience through research, and start by shedding light on the health inequities of LTC home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We formed a research team of medical, nursing, science, epidemiology, and public health students. We designed a research study to explore how the initial lockdown impacted LTC home residents’ lives, and if the visitation strategies that followed were of any help. With the supervision of a frontline physician who had expertise in long-term care, and support from the Ontario Centre for Learning, Research, and Innovation in Long-Term Care at Bruyère, we were ready to undertake an adventure of a lifetime, one that would ultimately shape our perspectives and careers. 

Our project entailed surveying and virtually interviewing LTC home residents, their family members, and designated caregivers. We believed that one-on-one interviews would allow residents and family members to speak their minds and tell us about their experiences and stories candidly and safely. For some of us, this was not our first research study collaboration, but for all of us, it was the first time that we had the opportunity to hear real-life stories and experiences in LTC homes during the pandemic. Residents and their families had a lot to say, their words were emotionally charged, their stories laden with anger, despair, guilt, and confusion. We felt what they felt, ached as they ached, and at certain points, could not believe what we had heard.

This was a challenging time for everyone, including us, students, who were navigating a changing education system, coping with COVID-19 stress, and trying to see this research study through. While many argued that we did not have the capacity to take on an emotionally charged study such as ours, we found solace in what this adventure brought to us and what it would bring to the scientific community for years to come. Through this study, we found a purpose and cause to fight for, a channel to streamline our efforts, and an opportunity to expand on what health equity means in long-term care and COVID-19. We were and still are, confident that the stories we heard and experiences of residents and family members that we documented, coupled with our robust approach to research will shed light on an understudied issue; the health inequities experienced by LTC home residents. Our findings can serve as the first step towards making sure that LTC home residents never have to experience the same inequities they have ever again.

So where do we go from here?” we asked ourselves as we submitted the research paper for publication earlier this year. We are now equipped with the experimental knowledge we need to shape our careers and support equitable and evidence-based care to LTC home residents, but how about other students who were not able to share this opportunity with us? Our work cannot be exclusive to our team or it will defy its purpose and objective. All and every student with the desire to learn more about the health inequities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic to LTC home residents should have the opportunity to do so. Our next step going forward will be to lead the way for other students to learn as we learned and shape their careers as we did. We now have the duty to lead the change. Through advocating for the integration of long-term care education into our undergraduate and graduate curricula, and through working with our respective university programs to create new initiatives, such as community service-learning programs, we can provide students the opportunity to care for and improve the health equity of LTC home residents. We are now ready to lead the change in long-term care. The real question remains: who is willing to help us lead this change?

Learn more about our study, and our protocol

Ammar Saad is a medical student who pursued a master’s degree in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa. He is the lead author on the aforementioned research paper, Health Equity Implications of the COVID-19 Lockdown and Visitation Strategies in Long-Term Care Homes in Ontario: A Mixed Method Study