New challenges bringing forth new solutions
LTC homes forging partnerships to meet needs of changing resident demographicJuly 25, 2012
Team leaders at OMNI Health Care long-term care homes say they’re seeing changes in the sector that are shaping the future of care, and thanks to partnerships with other health-care providers, team members have access to resources that are helping them stay ahead of the curve.
Village Green administrator Linda Pierce says in recent years the Greater Napanee long-term care home has seen an influx of younger residents with addiction issues moving in, largely because they have nowhere else to go. With this resident demographic has come different types of responsive behaviours as well as mental-health issues.
But a partnership the home has had since 2008 with Providence Care, a Kingston geriatric-care centre, has helped staff members get psychogeriatric training, which has proven beneficial.
From the partnership, a committee called the responsive behaviour resource team was formed to include seven Village Green staff members representing each department.
“That team has been very effective at sitting down and looking at those situations and then planning out how to respond,” says Pierce.
“It has been one of the greatest things that we have done. The behavioural response team works very closely with the psychogeriatric outreach team. It’s a multidisciplinary team. We review complex cases in the home where we’ve had situations of individuals who have ongoing behaviours.”
Like Village Green, Garden Terrace in Kanata has also been making use of community partnerships to educate staff members on how to work with complex-care needs not previously common in long-term care.
Clinical care co-ordinator Vanessa Labrecque says the home is seeing an increase in residents who are coming from hospital after acute-care professionals have done all they can to help them.
For example, one resident, a 65-year-old woman, is diabetic and has had chronic kidney failure. She has had a nephrostomy tube for one of her kidneys and now has congestive heart failure, which results in her having occasional “flare-ups” that resemble heart attacks.
When issues arise, such as this resident’s “flare-ups,” the nursing team contacts the pain and symptom management experts at nearby Élisabeth Bruyère Health Centre.
“They will make recommendations for certain medications to be administrated when this lady has these flare-ups, and we’ve actually got a handle on it now where we can manage it,” Labrecque explains.
“As things progress with long-term care, it’s going this way where we’re going to have to do more advanced care in the nursing homes.”
Pleasant Meadow Manor in Norwood has also been utilizing a valuable partnership with an area hospital that’s largely aimed at addressing the needs of younger seniors, many of whom have addiction issues.
The Psychiatric Assessment Services for the Elderly (PASE) program offered through Peterborough Regional Health Centre is offering geriatric mental health assessment, consultation and educational services, as well as treatment and case management services for seniors.
Pleasant Meadow Manor has been accessing psychiatric consultation through PASE, and this has been helping the home meet challenges, says nursing administrative services manager Susan Towns.
“PASE is a great resource for us in getting the right medications on board and helping the residents settle in and feel better,” she says.
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