From Institutions to Homes

Many of Canada’s long-term care homes (LTCHs) are still being operated as institutions. This despite four decades of systemic weaknesses that were brought to light because of the horrific tragedies of the pandemic.

For CARP, this is a matter of priority at both the national and chapter level.

Some of our chapters are working tirelessly on this. Ottawa CARP chapter is one such example.  Recently Ottawa chapter called on the Ford government to mandate and fund the ongoing transition of LTCHs from institutions to homes so that residents can live in dignity and with the respect they deserve.  Read their press release here.

Positive changes in models of care already exist in the province. For the last five years, CARP and other like-minded organizations in Ontario have been working hard to highlight those positive changes. The models include: The Eden Alternative, The Butterfly Approach, Hogeweyk Villages, and the Green House Project. Other homes, such as the municipal homes in Toronto, have opted to use a hybrid model. They all use the same philosophy of care.

More awareness is needed. Residents deserve to live with respect and dignity.  Georgie’s compelling story, described in the video shows how ‘The Butterfly’ approach enabled her to come to life again, even though living with dementia. The other describes ‘The Eden Alternative model – how its philosophies care for the whole person and create a home – and how it values its staff, resulting in a remarkable 95% staff retention rate.  View the videos here:

There are many long-term care home operators in Ontario, other provinces and internationally, that have already transformed their institutions to homes.  The Quebec government has just announced it will be transforming all its nursing homes using similar approaches. These shifts result in significantly better outcomes for residents, staff, and families, both pre and during COVID-19. 

If we don’t begin to fix the long-term care home system now, after two years of horrific tragedies, they will be forgotten again for decades or until another pandemic hits.