CARP Demands Change in LTC Care Models

What do we want?
A drastic transformative change in LTCH’s to emotion-based care

Vision statement
Ontario’s LTC homes urgently need a revolution in how they provide care.
Cold and clinical warehouses where people go to die must change to warm, compassionate, homelike places where residents can truly live.

Key Messages

Current system is broken
Ontario’s LTC home system is a mess. It doesn’t provide respect and dignity for its residents. It doesn’t value its staff. Family members do not feel valued.
Most Ontario LTC homes provide cold, clinical care for their residents. There is too much emphasis on getting tasks done, and not enough on spending meaningful time with the residents.
Staff are stressed. They have too many tasks to do. They feel rushed, and are at risk for injury on the job. Many staff have to hold down multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet.
Most Ontario LTC homes are warehouses where our older, frail citizens are held until they die.
Life in these LTC homes has no colour nor joy. They don’t feel like home, but more like hospitals.
For many, the need to enter an LTC home feels like a death sentence.

There are 628 LTC homes in Ontario. Thousands of residents need and deserve a better environment.
COVID-19 resulted in shocking loss of life in LTC homes, as well as disastrous living conditions for those residents who survived. We cannot afford to let this happen again.
Very little has changed over the past 40 years in how care has been provided in Ontario LTC homes. Can we afford another 40 years of the same neglect?
This is your future. Would you want to live in an Ontario LTC home as they are now? Does the idea fill you with dread?
Ontario is entering an election year. LTC homes are under review. There is huge opportunity to influence the government to make the right changes, rather than throwing money at the same old system.
New LTC homes are being built, but on the same old institutional model. Nothing will change in how care is provided if this continues.

What we want
We want to see all LTC residents living in small, cozy, homelike settings where all residents, staff and family members- are treated with dignity and respect.
Residents need to feel that they matter. They need to feel comfortable and cared for, because they really are at home.
Everyone functions as a family. Residents live there. Staff work there. Family members visit. But they are all part of one cohesive family unit, with the resident at the centre. Excellent care is provided in a flexible and responsive way, taking into consideration the personality, needs and preferences of the resident. There is joy, fun, and laughter! Residents are recognized for who they are and what they need physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially.

Change is happening in some LTC homes
There is a revolution taking place in how care is provided in LTC homes. But it’s happening painfully slowly in Ontario.
A growing number of Ontario LTC homes have embraced a new model of care that puts love and respect at the centre of everything they do.
Examples of these new models of care are: Butterfly Model of Care, Green House Project, Eden Alternative and Hogewey Villages.
The benefits are clear and proven. In these homes, there is much more interaction and engagement between residents, staff and family members. Everyone is happier!
There is reduced staff sick time, use of antipsychotic drugs, incidence of falls.
In the US, homes using the new model of care experienced 50% fewer COVID cases, and 30% fewer deaths due to COVID in 2020. Administrative costs per patient were 6% lower.

Call to action
Change can happen. It is happening!
This is your future. Which type of home would you choose? Cold, clinical and hospital-like? Or warm, compassionate and homelike?
It will a take a lot to make the needed changes. Revolutions always come with a cost. It will need commitment and funding upfront. But there will be a return on investment.
It will take visionary leadership; commitment from all the players to make it work; education and training in emotion-based care; and a sustainable plan to ensure success.
We must demand change. From our politicians. From the bureaucrats. From everyone involved. Now!