Springdale’s family circle forms ring of support and positivity

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Successes and ideas shared with other long-term care homes

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — Deron Hamel

In the world of family councils, the group at Springdale Country Manor is nothing short of a team of superstars.

In fact, they don’t even call themselves a family council, opting instead to use the term “family circle.” This term is much more friendly, welcoming and, indeed, more reflective of what the group of family members stands for, says chair Carol Delahey.

One of their missions is to highlight the great work that goes on in long-term care homes and to give kudos to staff members whenever possible.

Family councils, Delahey emphasizes, should not be bodies that exist to lay blame or find fault in a long-term care home’s staff. Instead, these groups should be supportive of staff members and highlight the good work they do every day.

This, she says, encourages a positive atmosphere for staff members, which helps people enjoy their jobs more. The trickle-down effect can lead to a happier environment for residents, Delahey says.

This is the message that Springdale Country Manor families bring to the other long-term care homes in the region they visit. Yes, this family council visits other OMNI Health Care long-term care homes as well as other homes in the Peterborough area, sharing their successes and encouraging family councils that support long-term care home staff members.

“We visit other homes and we take these ideas to these homes,” Delahey tells the OMNIway.

Springdale families have even consulted with other long-term care homes to help them establish councils when they had challenges forming them, Delahey notes.

For example, when OMNI’s Pleasant Meadow Manor experienced challenges forming a family council, the Springdale group met with life enrichment co-ordinator Chris Garden to help form one, Delahey says.

The Springdale Country Manor families also share with other councils the programs they have to promote staff confidence.

One of these programs is Guardian Angels, with families voting for staff members they see go above and beyond the call of duty to create a happy environment for residents. (The OMNIway will be featuring a story on this program later this week.)

So, how does Springdale Country Manor’s family council get families from other homes interested taking the first step forward to form their own council? Often, it’s as simple as asking them to meet for coffee, Delahey says.

“Everyone likes to go to Tim Hortons,” she chuckles.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

More NPs in LTC will build upon individualized care: administrator

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Maureen King commends province for announcement

March 17, 2014 — Deron Hamel

The 75 new, in-house long-term care nurse practitioners (NPs) the province has promised to fund over the next three years will play an important part in strengthening individualized, person-centred care in the sector, says Maureen King.

Nurse practitioners, says Springdale Country Manor’s administrator, “are phenomenal” for the long-term care sector because they can address many unique resident-care issues that need immediate attention. Residents are used to having this type of person-centred care, King adds.

Having accessed NPs through the Central East Local Health Integration Network’s Nurse Practitioners Supporting Teams Averting Transfers (NPSTAT) program, King says she has seen first-hand the difference timely, in-house care makes to the Peterborough-area long-term care home’s residents.

Through NPSTAT, NPs visit long-term care homes in the LHIN’s catchment area to provide on-site care for medical issues that front-line staff members are unable to treat. Some of their work includes writing prescriptions for antibiotics, administering IV therapies, doing post-fall assessments and performing G-tube reinsertions.

“Physicians have full practices and we’re looking for an answer in a timely manner — as in right now — and (without access to an NP)  we’re mostly told that we have to wait until the end of the physician’s work day which could be hours and hours,” King explains.

“It is nice to have someone in the situations that we deal with to come now because that is their role. It’s also good that we are not sending people to emergency rooms. It’s very upsetting for our residents if we have to send them to hospital.”

While a hospital visit can negatively impact the quality of life for anyone, it can be especially traumatic for a person living with a cognitive impairment — and a significant portion of the long-term care resident population consists of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, King notes.

In addition to being added to long-term care homes’ staffing mixes, NPs can soon expect to see their scope of practice expanded. Through Bill 179, the federal government has approved NPs to prescribe more medications and order most lab tests. The next step is for the provinces to approve the legislation.

Click here to read more about the Ontario government’s announcement.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.