Category: News

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

 

Supporting Resident Quality of Life During Isolation

So many LTC homes face continual challenges that come with residents being made to isolate because of COVID-19. This was the topic of a recent question brought up by our Social Worker and Social Service Worker Community of Practice, a group supported by the Ontario CLRI at Bruyère and Family Councils Ontario. Our social work (SW) and social service work (SSW) colleagues shared what they have been doing to mitigate loneliness and isolation for residents during times when they are spending the majority of the day in their rooms. Below is a compiled list of strategies and resources to support the quality of life for residents during periods of outbreak and isolation they may have to go through. We hope hearing from other homes will spark ideas and solutions for your own home and/or community.
Social Worker in LTC Virtual Community of Practice.

Three key themes emerged from the group around enhancing the quality of life of residents in isolation or in outbreak protocols:

  • Technology: There’s a variety of ways to get technology into the hands of residents in your home and it will make all the difference to virtual engagement – especially if they come with Wi-Fi access. Residents have enjoyed using YouTube or iTunes to watch movies/videos or listen to music that can help boost the morale of residents. These devices can also help support virtual visits with family and friends. Look to the community for donations of old tablets and phones with Wi-Fi capabilities.
  • Public library resources: Utilize your local library – Public libraries often have book sets (including audio books) for lending and a variety of online programs. Read books either in resident groups or via aloud over the PA system to reach residents in their rooms.
  •  1:1 Check-Ins: Taking the time to check in with residents and their families, as team members are able, is crucial to residents; well-being during outbreaks/isolation. This is a role that SWs and SSWs in LTC are fulfilling regularly.

Hallway activities

Hallway activities bring residents together at their doorways and can allow for appropriate spacing between residents, while still being able to follow COVID-19 protocols. Some examples for hallway activities SWs and SSWs shared are listed below:

  • Art: Painting or drawing is a great way to help residents express their creativity.
  • Bingo: Use printed Bingo pages; you can also use themed Bingo pages.
  • Music program: Residents can use bells, shakers, or other instruments to create songs
    and play along to music.
  • Drum Fitness: Using exercise balls and drumsticks (or cut pool noodles as an adaptation)
    is a great activity where everything can be sanitized.
  • Spiritual programs: Prayer Groups, Hymn Sing (when singing is permitted), chair yoga, and mindfulness activities such as setting intentions, reading reflections, breathing exercises, and guided meditation.
  • Collaborative story or poem: Using a whiteboard or iPad have the residents pick a theme and take turns adding sentences or lines to the story/poem.
  • True or False: Using paddles, have one side representing “True” and the other representing “False.” As you ask your questions, residents raise their paddles with their answers for everyone to see.
  • Crosswords/Trivia: Print copies of your clues/questions for residents to follow along. Giant crosswords can be mounted on boards to make them portable and easy to set up on a stand in the hallway.
  • Leisure Time: Prepare a variety of activities for residents based on what they feel like doing in that moment.

Additional Resources

  • Strategies for Building and Maintaining Social Connection for Long-Term Care Home Residents – This report (done earlier on in COVID-19) provides strategies identified from published research and illustrated with stakeholder input that can help build and maintain social connections in LTC residents. (ENCOAR Research Team)
  • Social Relationships are Important for the Mental Health of people living in long-term care homes – An Infographic (available in French and English) showing the connection between social connectedness and physical and mental health and well-being. (ENCOAR Research Team)
  • A Guide to Virtual Creative Engagement for Older Adults – this guide can help LTC address the under-stimulation and loneliness felt by residents from restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The VCE Guide features a curated list of free virtual services appropriate for residents with various health conditions and ability levels. The guide is intended for recreation therapists, social workers, nurses and other team members in LTC.  (Ontario CLRI at Baycrest)
  • Boredom Busters – Developed in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce boredom and loneliness for residents in LTC, this tool pulls together links to free resources and activities. The tool can be utilized by family care partners (and team members) who are spending time with residents and looking for creative ways to engage. Available in English and French. (Ontario CLRI at Bruyere and iGen Ottawa)

Thank you to the members of the SW and SSW in LTC Community of Practice for bringing up this important question, for the spirit of sharing ideas and willingness to have these ideas shared more broadly.


Bruyère logo

Now Hiring Multiple Positions for PREP LTC

A group of people site with laptops and paper at a table. "We're Hiring Regional Engagement Liaisons"

All hosts centres of the Ontario CLRI  are hiring key positions for the Preceptor Resource and Education Program in Long-Term Care  (PREP LTC). The Regional Engagement Liaison will be responsible for planning and implementing strategies to engage LTC homes, academic institutions, students and preceptors within an assigned provincial region. These positions will be part of an Ontario-wide team of Regional Engagement Liaisons.

Come work with a collaborative and innovative team dedicated to making an impact where it’s needed most!

 

We are also hiring a communications officer and knowledge broker to support PREP LTC:

New project provides financial support to long-term care for optimal clinical placements

Preceptor Resource and Education Program in Long-Term Care (PREP-LTC)

Ontario long-term care homes will receive education and financial support to provide optimal clinical placements for personal support worker and nursing students through the Preceptor Resource and Education Program for Long-Term Care (PREP LTC) project. This $73M project, funded by the Ministry of Long-Term Care, is being led by the Ontario CLRI at the  Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) in collaboration with the Ontario CLRI teams at Baycrest Health Sciences and Bruyère. 

Over the next three years, backfill funds will be sent to eligible Ontario long-term care homes to support more than 15,000 student placements and train more than 17,000 preceptors in homes across the province. PREP LTC will help build a highly-skilled workforce to address the staffing needs of the long-term care sector. 

We are thrilled to lead this project and support successful student clinical placements in long-term care,” said Tina Mah, PhD, Executive Director of the RIA. “This project not only supports students in gaining much-needed skills and experience in working with older adults but encourages them to pursue meaningful careers in the long-term care sector.”

PREP LTC will provide long-term care homes with financial support to host student placements for personal support workers, registered and registered practical nurses, and build capacity to accommodate future placements. In addition, the project will develop eLearning and mentoring tools to equip long-term care preceptors or mentors with the necessary skills to support positive and successful student placements.   

The PREP LTC team will build on the success of the Ministry-funded Preceptor Education Program (PEP) in collaboration with the University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College, developing eLearning courses specific to long-term care. PREP LTC will also strengthen and establish new partnerships between homes and educators to increase opportunities for placements. 

Ontario long-term care homes that had active student clinical placements in the 2021-22 fiscal year are eligible for funding. 

Apply for PREP LTC funding

Read MLTC press release

 

 

COVID Resource Page Updated

We have updated our COVID-19 web page to better serve the current LTC priorities and challenges as the sector navigates the Omicron variant. The web page houses useful tools to support LTC homes during the current wave of COVID, including internal and external resources for:

  1. Team member mental health
  2. Orientation for new staff
  3. Person-centred care
  4. Families and care partners support
  5. Communication at end-of-life and palliative care

Explore these at clri-ltc.ca/covid19 and let us know if there are resources your home needs that are not represented here – email us at info@clri-ltc.ca

Please note the French update will be released soon.

New IPAC eLearning Courses Released

New IPAC eLearning Courses from the Ontario CLRI and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging

New IPAC eLearning Courses from the Ontario CLRI and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for AgingThe COVID-19 pandemic placed a spotlight on infection prevention and control (IPAC) in Ontario’s long-term care (LTC) homes. In the Spring, 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 two new courses:

  1. IPAC While Administering Medication
  2. IPAC While Supporting Residents with Personal Care: Peri-Care, Continence Care and Using the Toilet

The two new eLearning courses will increase IPAC knowledge and empower learners to apply their IPAC knowledge and skills to specific scenarios in LTC homes.

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

Learners are still encouraged to take the pre-requisite course: Break the Chain of Transmission: IPAC Core Concepts and Practices.

eLearning courses now available

  • Break the Chain of Transmission: IPAC Core Concepts and Practices (a prerequisite for the other courses in the IPAC eLearning series) – Also in French!
  • IPAC While Supporting Residents at Mealtime – Also in French!
  • IPAC While Travelling To and From an LTC Home – Also in French!
  • IPAC While Administering Medication
  • IPAC While Supporting Residents with Personal Care: Peri-Care, Continence Care and Using the Toilet

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.

Get ready for 2022 with new printable Diversity and Inclusion Calendars

Is your LTC home looking to find ways to honour diversity and support inclusion?

The Ontario CLRI at Bruyère and the Ontario CLRI at RIA are excited to announce the launch of the two printable Diversity and Inclusion Calendars! We have created two versions of the printable calendar in the hopes of best supporting LTC homes’ equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) journeys. The printable calendars are intended for residents, educators, recreation managers and teams.

Bulletin Board EDI Calendar

The first version of the calendar is in a graphic format. This calendar offers large print text, beautiful seasonal visuals, and descriptions! This bulletin board version is ideal for residents to hang up in their rooms, or to hang in the common area bulletin boards. Putting the Diversity and Inclusion Calendar in a visible space will help encourage conversations and awareness about diversity and inclusion.

The bulletin board version can be printed either as a 12-month document or by month. To view and print the bulletin version of the Diversity and Inclusion Calendar, check out the following link clri-ltc.ca/resource/diversitycalendar-print/.

EDI Planning Calendar

The second version of the new printable Diversity and Inclusion Calendar is in a list format. This version is most broadly intended to be usedQuote image: thank you so much for doing this and sharing it with us, it saves the Life Enrichment Team so much time - the resourceful info is at our fingertips and we can offer even more programs and celebrate with all our residents and staff. It also enables us to feel more connected virtually with others in the field” by recreation team members, leaders and educators. The list format includes descriptions of all day-long, week-long, and month-long events. Each event is categorized as religious and spiritual, cultural celebration, or awareness and health promotion days.
We hope that having all of these events accessible in one place will help team members plan activities to support diversity and inclusion within their homes. The planning version of the calendar includes links on all event titles, which will take users to additional sources to allow for continued learning when planning activities.

 

The planning calendar is available to be printed as a 12-month document, but users can use printing options to select specific months if desired. To view and print the planning version of the Diversity and Inclusion Calendar, check out the following link clri-ltc.ca/diversitycalendar-print.

An important note for the calendars is that not all events have released their 2022 date. We have included TBA* (to be announced) into the calendars as placeholders. Please consult the digital version of the calendar, which will be updated when dates become available. To learn more about the events listed in the calendar, explore our Digital Diversity and Inclusion Calendar, which can be accessed at clri-ltc.ca/diversitycalendar.

 

How can the calendars be used?

There are many ways the Diversity and Inclusion Calendars can be used to support the shift to a more inclusive environment. Acknowledging and honouring events is a way to support people in feeling seen. For example, February is Black History Month. Some ways a home might honour this event is by:

  • inviting guest speakers
  • showing film, art, or literature by Black artists
  • making a display board featuring biographical information about notable Black individuals

The digital calendar includes links for every date so that users can deepen their knowledge. We encourage people to take time to learn about different cultures, religions, and awareness days, and consider what action you can take as an individual and organizationally to be more inclusive.

We look forward to hearing all the great ways the two new printable calendars are used in LTC homes! If you are interested in providing us with feedback, please contact us at info@clri-ltc.ca.

 

Government awards funding to scale LIPHA program into LTC homes, schools

The Ontario CLRI at Baycrest is excited to share the official announcement of funding from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to help LTC homes and schools incorporate LIPHA into their training and orientation practices for PSWs, Nurses and students ( and soon to expand to other roles as well).

Read the press release below or find it on the Government’s website!


The Ontario government is investing $1.2 million through the Learning Inter-Professionally Healthcare Accelerator (LIPHA), a new program to support innovative and flexible training for current and future personal support workers (PSWs) and nurses. The program is being made available for free to over 80,000 nurses and PSWs currently employed in Ontario’s long-term care homes and will provide a virtual space with simulated cases for teams and individuals in the sector to practice caring for virtual residents.

“The new LIPHA program is an important investment in the education of current and future PSWs and nurses in our province,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “I encourage all long-term care homes and postsecondary education institutions in Ontario to consider adopting LIPHA, as it is a valuable training tool that can provide personalized, on-demand training for students and existing health care professionals.”

LIPHA is a virtual simulation- and game-based learning program that will be provided free to all of Ontario’s long-term care providers and students training to work in long-term care as PSWs or nurses. The Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation (CLRI) in Long-Term Care has been working in collaboration with the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), Baycrest’s Centre for Education and Knowledge Exchange in Aging and Rotman Research Institute (RRI) to further refine, evaluate, implement, spread, and scale the innovative training platform.

The LIPHA app, which can be accessed from any computer or mobile device 24/7, can be adopted by long-term care homes to enhance and accelerate their existing training and orientation processes for nurses and PSWs. LIPHA can help provide onboarding to new hires, refresh the skills of existing staff, and upskill redeployed staff.

LIPHA is also a valuable training tool for Ontario’s postsecondary education institutions, as it propels students to higher levels of competency, while enabling self-directed learning within a serious educational game. By offering multi-media, experiential learning that includes case-based simulations and educational resources, students can safely practice caring for virtual patients and get instant feedback on their progress.

“As a result of COVID-19, long-term care is facing staff shortages unlike any we’ve seen before. We urgently need more frontline staff working to directly care for these most vulnerable members of society,” said Dr. Allison Sekuler, Managing Director, CABHI and the Rotman Research Institute, and Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Vice-President Research, Baycrest. “Moving forward through and beyond this pandemic requires new approaches to skill building, re-skilling, and up-skilling within the sector, including novel ways of attracting more students to consider careers in healthcare. We are thrilled that CABHI and the RRI have played such critical roles in the refinement, validation, and mobilization of LIPHA – supporting training for LTC teams to help all older Ontarians live their best possible lives.”

“The Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation at Baycrest and our partners are excited to offer long-term care team members and students an easy to access, high quality virtual training solution to ensure residents receive excellence in care,” said Dr. David Conn, Vice-President Education, Baycrest. “Closing the skills gap in long-term care requires an innovative approach to support rapid progress. LIPHA’s applicability with existing and next generation frontline healthcare providers, and its gamified and self-directed approach allows learners to become more engaged with their training yielding benefits like better retention, which leads to better care.”

“Our government is hiring a historic number of PSWs, RPNs and RNs to increase the hours of care and improve the quality residents receive, now and in the future,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care. “By funding innovative learning tools like the one announced today, we are ensuring that we are able to recruit and train the tens of thousands of new staff that the long-term care sector needs.”

This investment is part of the government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan and is another example of how the province is working with key partners to improve the care and quality of life for people living in long-term care, while addressing the shortage of trained health care professionals.