Social media helping Garden Terrace get signatures for Better Seniors’ Care campaign

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Home already has 200 more signed letters than last year and is ‘hoping for more’

Garden Terrace is discovering that social media is an effective tool for engaging people in the importance of obtaining more government funding for Ontario long-term care homes.

The Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA’s) Better Seniors’ Care campaign and letter-writing contest will be on until spring, and Garden Terrace has already received 200 more signatures on letters advocating for more long-term care funding than last year.

As part of the campaign, the letters will be sent to the office of the local MPP.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Sylvia Monette says team members have been using Twitter and Facebook to connect with people. This has helped Garden Terrace receive about 700 signed campaign letters, she says, adding the home is “hoping for more.”

In 2015, Garden Terrace received 516 signatures, earning the Ottawa-area long-term care home the second-place prize in the contest’s category for homes with 133 or more beds.

After last year’s campaign, Garden Terrace was awarded a prize of $300 for its achievement. The money was donated to the home’s residents’ council. OMNI Health Care matched the prize dollar for dollar, so the home received $600.

“This year the life enrichment staff is once again trying to reach as many residents, families, visitors and staff (as possible),” Monette says. “The (life enrichment) department has been set up so that we can send letters on anyone’s behalf with their approval.”

This year’s Better Seniors’ Care campaign is focused on the need for more funding in four areas:

– Making long-term care homes safer and more modern

– Building capacity for better dementia care

– Supporting the role of smaller long-term care homes

– Staffing solutions that will lead to better seniors’ care

Monette says the No. 1 issue at Garden Terrace in this year’s campaign is the need for more funds allocated to increase staffing.

The OLTCA is Canada’s largest long-term care association representing charitable, not-for-profit, private, and municipal long-term care operators.

People can write letters online by clicking here.

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