Andrea Wilkinson has a PhD in psychology with a specialization in cognitive aging. She is a CIHR-Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) Health System Impact Fellow and is also a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on evaluating and enhancing quality of care and well-being for residents living in long-term care (LTC) homes, their families and LTC staff. She is also interested in the examination of innovative models of care to explore the art of the possible in resolving capacity challenges, as they relate specifically to the seniors population.
Long Term Care Plus: Realizing Innovative Models of Care
In the last several years, the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) has conceptualized several innovative models of care to explore the art of the possible in resolving capacity challenges, as they relate specifically to the senior population. As a next step, we are conducting an in-depth study with LTC operators to take the Long Term Care Plus (LTC+) initiative beyond the visioning stage.
The three main objectives of the current project are to: (1) Understand the new Psychogeriatric and Senior Care Community models of care that are currently being implemented; (2) Explore ways to improve upon these novel models of care; and (3) Examine requirements to enable model sustainability and spread.
In order to accomplish these goals, a mixed-methods, case study approach was implemented to identify recommendations for system changes required to support the operationalization and sustainability of the two care models. Specifically, LTC operators and care staff who are currently implementing a Psychogeriatric or Seniors Care Community model were invited to participate in a 1-hour conference call to describe their existing program and their vision for an ideal state (art of the possible). Furthermore, if applicable, a tour of the LTC home/campus was taken to capture photographs and gather unstructured observations. Last, if available, supplementary data (e.g., administrative, programming, staffing and funding models) were incorporated to provide additional descriptive information about participating homes.
All data (transcribed interviews, photographs, supplementary data, etc.) were analyzed using Nvivo12 software. Key areas of focus included model operations, results (outcomes), as well as facilitators and barriers to model execution, including regulatory changes, funding, or staffing and policy requirements.
Our anticipated outcomes include the identification of new and existing supports necessary to promote sustainability of the proposed LTC+ care models, requirements for policy and regulation modifications, as well as staffing and financial modeling.
Learning about innovations that are currently taking place in the LTC sector, as well as envisioning the “art of the possible”, will help us to delineate facilitator and barriers to bringing new models of care to seniors in Ontario and across Canada. Armed with this information, we can begin to frame legislation, policy and regulation changes required to support the sustainability of two innovative models of care: Psychogeriatric and Seniors Care Community. Implementation of these innovative care models will help to resolve system capacity challenges, while leading to optimized system and client outcomes.