Author: Anil Gosai

New eLearning course on supporting residents’ mental health and wellness!

Enhance your team’s knowledge about residents’ mental health and wellness with our new Orientation eLearning course!

The Ontario CLRI at the RIA has launched an engaging new eLearning course, Supporting Residents’ Mental Health and Wellness in Long-Term Care. This course equips team members with knowledge and skills relating to supporting the mental health of all residents and residents living with mental illnesses.

Throughout this course, learners will be equipped to recognize indicators of mental illnesses or conditions that are common among older adults, and will understand how to use person-centred language when talking about mental health and mental illnesses. Team members will also learn how to respond empathetically and appropriately to residents who are in distress, and explain which observations about a resident’s mental health and wellness should be reported to a clinical team member. This course is available at no cost!

Take the course today!

PREP LTC receives an additional $94.5M boost to optimize student placements in long-term care

WATERLOO, Ont. (February 1, 2024) The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is pleased to announce that Ontario is investing an additional $94.5M in the Preceptor Resource and Education Program in Long-Term Care (PREP LTC) project to increase hands-on training opportunities for students looking for careers in long-term care (LTC).

This $94.5M investment from the Ministry of Long-Term Care is being led by the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (Ontario CLRI) at the RIA and is supported by the Ontario CLRI teams at Baycrest Academy for Research and Education and Bruyère Research Institute.

“We’re investing in programs that are building a pipeline of talent for the future and giving them more hands-on clinical training so our long-term care residents get the high-quality care they deserve,” said Stan Cho, Minister of Long-Term Care.

“We’re pleased for the opportunity to continue leading PREP LTC beyond the successful first three years,” said Tina Mah, Executive Director of the RIA. “PREP LTC has made a valuable contribution to long-term care, helping students gain much-needed skills and equipping and encouraging them to pursue meaningful careers in the long-term care sector.”

Building on the initial success of PREP LTC in workforce recruitment and training, this investment will continue to provide funding, education, and resources to support high-quality student placements in LTC for an additional three years.

In less than three years, the PREP LTC team has engaged over 80% of Ontario’s LTC homes, supported preceptors in spending more time with students, and developed eLearning that prepares team members to mentor students confidently. PREP LTC’s impact report shows the project is making a difference in the lives of those living and working in LTC today.

The PREP LTC project is a valuable resource to Omni. The location of some Omni homes can make it challenging to attract staff, so we welcome student placement opportunities with the goal of retaining these students for long-term, meaningful employment. The student coordinator funding through PREP LTC has given Omni the resources to focus on improving our student placement program, improving existing partnerships with schools, and creating new partnerships. As a result, we have grown our student placement program beyond nursing placements to include social service worker, occupational therapy assistant, physiotherapy assistant, recreation, and leisure students.

 

Sharon Reid, PREP LTC Coordinator, Omni Quality Living

Funding details for Ontario long-term care homes for Year 4 of PREP LTC (2024/25) will be available soon.

About PREP LTC

PREP LTC is led by the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (Ontario CLRI) at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and is supported by the Ontario CLRI teams at Baycrest Academy for Research and Education and Bruyère Research Institute. PREP LTC helps address the staffing needs of the LTC sector by providing funding, education, and resources to Ontario LTC homes to build capacity for student placements. The project also equips preceptors in LTC to support positive and successful student placements. Learn more at clri-prepltc.ca.

About the Ontario CLRI

For over 10 years, the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (Ontario CLRI) have been working together to enhance the quality of life and care for residents across the province. The Ontario CLRI does this by building capacity through training, education, innovation, and knowledge mobilization with the aim of improving the health and well-being of people who live and work in long-term care (LTC). The Ontario CLRI Program leverages the expertise and activities of its host centres, Baycrest Academy for Research and Education (Baycrest), Bruyère Research Institute (Bruyère), and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) to develop and deliver tailored solutions to sector-driven priorities. Learn more at clri-ltc.ca.

About the RIA

The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and care for older adults. The RIA tackles some of the biggest issues facing an aging population by integrating research, education, and practice. The RIA develops solutions that make a difference to benefit older adults everywhere. Learn more at the-ria.ca.

Media Contact 

Noel Gruber

Director, Communications and Public Relations

Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging

noel.gruber@the-ria.ca

New eLearning course on mandatory reporting and whistle-blowing!

New eLearning course on mandatory reporting and whistle-blowing!

Enhance your team’s knowledge of mandatory reporting and whistle-blowing with our new Orientation eLearning course!

The Ontario CLRI at the RIA has launched an engaging new eLearning Course, Mandatory Reporting and Whistle-blowing. Aligned with the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, this course equips team members, volunteers, and essential caregivers with knowledge and skills relating to raising concerns in situations of resident abuse.

Throughout this course, learners will explore their obligation to report certain specific matters immediately as they care for residents from a position of power and trust. By taking this course, team members will learn the importance of reporting and raising concerns in situations of abuse, neglect, or wrong doing to ensure the safety of residents. Team members will also learn what whistle-blowing is, when whistle-blowing is required, and what protection the Fixing Long-Term Care Act provides for whistle-blowers. This course is available at no cost!

With this course, learners will explore and respond to real-life situations shared by residents living in long-term care across Ontario.

Take the course today!

 


 

This eLearning course, part of the Orientation course series, was developed by the Ontario CLRI at RIA in 2023 with the generous support of Schlegel Villages. We would like to thank the people who contributed to the development and review of content for this course including:

  • Sherri Toleff, Director of Care, Fairview Seniors Community
  • Jaimie Killingbeck, Associate Vice President, Quality & Innovation, Schlegel Villages
  • Pam Wiebe, Quality Specialist, Schlegel Villages

 

Holding space for moral healing in long-term care

By: Kate Dupuis, Jane Kuepfer, Scott Mitchell

COVID-19 pandemic and long-term care

During the COVID-19 pandemic, team members working in long-term care homes were often required to perform duties outside of their typical day-to-day responsibilities. With limited access to vendors, visitors, and even some part-time team members being restricted from entering the long-term care homes, it meant front-line team members were expected to take on new roles – such as entertainer, confidant, spiritual care provider, and even, in some cases funeral director – while navigating their own fears and negative media coverage of their workplaces, with limited support or guidance from colleagues or leadership.

This led to an increase in mental health concerns, burnout, high staff absenteeism, and poor team member retention.

Team members were called upon to make rapid modifications to practice in order to best serve the needs of their residents while navigating and respecting constantly changing public health regulations. This left team members with little time and capacity to take care of their own mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual health.

We know the pandemic disproportionately impacted people living and working in long-term care homes. We also know the majority of deaths during the early waves of the pandemic were among long-term care residents, with many being physically separated from the comfort and care of their family and friends during their final moments.

Today, nearly two years following the height of the pandemic, many long-term care homes continue to be affected by it, with dozens of outbreaks occurring each week in homes across Ontario. Making it difficult for staff to see an end to the restrictions, and many feeling helpless because there is no finish line in sight.

Team members working in long-term care homes often feel an increased burden due to the nature of their work and the emotionally intimate relationships they develop with residents. This is in stark contrast to acute care partners where a patient may only be at a healthcare facility for a short-time without the opportunity to develop a close relationship with the person and/or family, friends, and care partners.

 

Moral distress and injury

With so much uncertainty and the need for rapid responses to emergency situations, many team members working in long-term care homes were called upon to act in ways that is inconsistent with their training, experience, and own moral and ethical belief system.

For example, team members recount harrowing stories of having to isolate people living with dementia who simply could not understand what was happening to them, or of trying to explain to distressed family members why they were not allowed an in-person connection with their dying relative.

Research shows these heart-wrenching experiences led to moral distress for many long-term care team members. Moral distress is defined as a feeling of incongruence between what you are required to do, and what your heart and soul are urging you to do. If left unchecked, this feeling can become more severe and lead to “moral injury,” which has often been linked to burnout, trauma response, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Team member well-being is closely related to staff retention. Given the ongoing staffing crisis in long-term care, it is crucial we address moral distress and injury as a targeted strategy to better support our existing workforce and ensure we set up morally safe workplaces to welcome and nurture new team members.

 

Supporting moral healing and moral resilience

When attempting to support healing from “moral distress and injury”, it is first important to acknowledge the feelings and experiences of people working in long-term care homes. Team members must know they are not alone and the situations that placed them at risk of feeling shame and guilt, and of experiencing “moral distress and injury”, are not their fault.

In fact, their feelings are a sign they are good people and quality healthcare workers, who truly care for their residents. They do not have to hold onto these feelings, and experience this soul damage, alone.

The current situation in long-term care homes may be difficult but it is not hopeless. We have learned so much during the past three years. There are evidence-informed strategies to help people move forward, strengthen their moral resilience, and support moral healing even in the context of ongoing uncertainty and restrictions in the workplace.

Providing dedicated time and space in which team members can process their experiences is a crucial part of moral healing. First and foremost, it is important to acknowledge both how and the high rate of resident loss in many long-term care homes.

Government restrictions prevented many homes from being able to honour a deceased resident with the typical rites and ceremonies related to their passing, such as a dignity walk, or draping the person with a dignity quilt. Following the lifting of many restrictions, spiritual care providers in many long-term care homes were able to help team members remember in a meaningful way. If this hasn’t happened yet, it’s not too late.

There are many ways to honour residents who have passed, including:

  • Creating a memory board
  • Tree of Life
  •  Memory gardens
  •  Candlelit ceremony to honour each resident

Scheduling regular, dedicated time to discuss morally complex issues can also be very beneficial for team members, supporting their well-being and creating a cohesive environment. Experiencing management presence and support “on the floors” helps to build a sense of understanding, trust, and teamwork. If possible, set aside time for Moral Office Hour, where staff can speak to a member of the leadership team about any moral tension they may be experiencing. We acknowledge this may be difficult to organize for all roles on all shifts. Some alternatives may include:

  • A Moral Healing Book that is stored in a communal space, for staff to write down their experiences and then colleagues can respond in writing at a later time with their own suggestions.
  •  A text-message system with staff, prompting them to share situations they have had difficulty with on a daily/weekly basis.
  •  Team huddles
  • A buddy system to facilitate one-on-one conversations among peers.

Moving forward, leadership should also think about how to ensure their workplace is morally safe for the existing workforce, as well as ways to share information about moral health when recruiting and onboarding new team members.

In this way, a community of moral resilience can be formed and fostered within the home, with peers assisting one another through difficult situations. Our ultimate aim should be to reduce or even eliminate the risk of moral distress in the workplace. To this end, the authors recently organized the first-ever Think Tank on Moral Distress in LTC at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging in Waterloo, Ontario. We brought together researchers, policy makers, care providers, and knowledge mobilization practitioners to share their own experiences and research. We continue to explore opportunities for future research, clinical practice, and collaborations that will enable us to work closely with front-line staff and leadership to address this important issue in long-term care.

 

Resources

 


Kate Dupuis (PhD, C.Psych) is the Schlegel Innovation Leader in Arts and Aging at Sheridan Centre for Elder Research and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA). Jane Kuepfer (RP, MDiv, PhD) is the Schlegel Specialist in Spirituality and Aging at Conrad Grebel University College and the RIA. Scott Mitchell (BA) is a Knowledge Broker at the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (Ontario CLRI) at the RIA.

Celebrating over 15,000 Person-Centred Language pledges!

We’ve reached over 15,000 Person-Centred Language pledges!

We have reached a new milestone in the Person-Centred Language (PCL) initiative. As of September, 26 2023 , 15,006  health care providers and persons with lived experience have committed to changing the way we interact with and refer to people living with dementia and other complex mental health conditions. Thank you to everyone who reviewed our commitment statements posters, signed our pledge, and encouraged colleagues, co-residents, family and friends to do the same.

Enhance student skills and knowledge in resident nutrition

 

Calling all post-secondary education institutions! You can offer your students new skills and knowledge in resident nutrition by incorporating our new Nutrition in Disguise (NiD) Lesson Plan into your curriculum!

The Ontario CLRI at the RIA is excited to introduce the NiD Lesson Plan aimed at educating the next generation of Food Service team members on the health and wellness of residents living in long-term care.

Our Lesson Plan is designed specifically to support instructors in preparing students to excel in bringing delicious, nutrient-dense foods to long-term care homes.

The NiD Lesson Plan has short videos, customizable assignments, and valuable resources to support instructors in teaching students about resident health and wellness.

Bring the NiD Lesson Plan to your class today!

New IPAC eLearning course released

 

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: Infection Prevention and Control While Supporting Residents Living with Dementia

“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 living with dementia. It applies a person-centred, strengths-based approach to situations including meeting a resident’s needs while they are in isolation, assisting a resident to stay in their isolation area, administering a nasal swab, and assisting a resident with effective hand-washing.

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.

 

Here are the eLearning courses that we have available for our IPAC series:
  1. Break the Chain of Transmission: IPAC Core Concepts and Practices (prerequisite for the other courses in the IPAC eLearning series)
    • 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
  3. IPAC While Travelling To and From an LTC Home
  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
  7. IPAC While Supporting Residents Living with Dementia

All of our IPAC eLearning courses are available in French!

Visit the IPAC in LTC page.

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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.

New eLearning course on pain and distress management

 

The Orientation eLearning courses, created by the Ontario CLRI at the RIA, provide education for new team members during orientation, and for existing team members during their annual training. These scenario-based learning courses ensure that learners have the knowledge and skills needed to assist the people they support and are in line with Ministry of Long-Term Care guidelines. They were developed using evidence-based best practices and adult education principles, in collaboration with subject matter experts and LTC leaders.

Managing Pain and Distress in Long-Term Care is a self-paced Orientation course on pain management that will equip or refresh long-term care team members on the knowledge and skills required to support residents. Pain and distress often indicate a medical condition that requires assessment, intervention, and treatment.  A person can experience pain and distress in different ways including physically, socially, spiritually and psychologically. Our new course can equip clinical and non-clinical team members with the skills and confidence to recognize signs of pain and distress, and develop and implement pain management care plans.

 

Click here to access the eLearning course for clinical team members

Click here to access the eLearning course for non-clinical team members

 


This eLearning course, part of the Orientation course series, was developed by the Ontario CLRI at RIA in 2022 with the generous support of Schlegel Villages. We would like to thank the people who contributed to the development and review of content for this course including:

Trisha Wilson, RSW, Performance Improvement Lead, NW Regional Palliative Care Program, Hogarth Riverview Manor LTC, St Joseph’s Care Group

Gwendolyn Cleveland, RN, BScN, MEd, CHPCN(C), Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Consultant (PPSMC), Community Health Team, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities

Tara Moffatt MN, RN, CHPCN, CON, Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Consultant, Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts, VON Canada

Kim Arquette, Clinical Specialist, Schlegel Villages

 

Achieve your EDI goals with the 2023 Diversity and Inclusion Calendar!

The Ontario CLRI at Bruyere and the Ontario CLRI at RIA is excited to share the 2023 print Diversity and Inclusion Calendar. Our print calendars are available in English, and for the first time ever, in French!

The calendar features religious and spiritual days of significance, cultural celebrations, awareness days and health promotion days. Learning about the many cultures, religions and days of significance is fundamental to inclusion, and this calendar can help you achieve your EDI goals in your home.

Take some time to explore the dates within the calendar! Staying aware of these days and scheduling activities around them will help you create an inclusive home, 365 days a year. You can also follow the links to learn more about each date in our digital version.

This calendar has been developed as a resource for LTC teams to demonstrate commitment to honouring and celebrating diverse communities, cultures and faiths of those who live, visit and work in LTC homes.

We have been hearing from a number of organizations, including LTC homes and hospitals that are using the calendar regularly to support their planning, their learning, and it is helping to guide their communications both internally and externally about days of significance.

“At the City of Toronto, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care utilize the CLRI Diversity Calendar alongside the Days of Significance Calendar for the Toronto Public Service to advance Equity, Diversity and Inclusion when communicating to stakeholders, in divisional communication and when planning resident and client focused events and celebrations. We have very diverse LTC residents, community-based programs clients and staff members, and these tools are helping us support divisional initiatives such as the Confronting Anti-Black Racism in the Workplace Action Plan, Indigenous Cultural Competency and Advancing the Truth & Reconciliation Action Plan, and Leading & Learning with Pride: A Tool Kit, Video, and Campaign to enhance support for 2SLGBTQI+ Seniors.”

Jennifer Dockery, General Manager, City of Toronto, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care

Click here for the printable English calendars.

Click here for the printable French calendars.