PSWs champion improved ADL rates at West Lake Terrace

Success leads to improvement in residents’ quality of life in other ways

West Lake Terrace’s personal support workers (PSWs) have been champions at improving late-loss activities of daily living (ADL) for residents at the 47-bed long-term care home, says administrator Neil Peterson.

Latest data reports that the rate of improvement in late-loss ADL among residents at the Prince Edward County home is 15 per cent. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s benchmark in this area is 10.4 per cent.

ADL refers to activities such as combing hair, brushing teeth and getting dressed. Peterson says the home’s PSWs have made an effort to encourage residents to do their own ADLs as much as possible.

He adds that PSWs are also giving residents as much time as they need to complete their daily living tasks. Giving residents that extra time to do their ADLs and encouraging them throughout the process has made a difference, the administrator notes.

Peterson says when residents can do these things on their own, their sense of accomplishment is enhanced which has a positive trickle-down effect.

“We’re finding that not only are residents’ ADLs improving, so are their behaviours and signs and symptoms of depression,” Peterson says.

“When you’re doing your own care and activities, you tend to feel better and, as a result, you’re having fewer issues with behaviours and fewer issues with depression. All these areas start improving when you (improve) ADLs.”

For other long-term care homes wishing to enhance residents’ ADLs, Peterson recommends managers engage PSWs in the importance of giving residents as much time as they need to complete their ADLs. This, he says, is the first step in getting their buy-in.

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