Renfrew County is taking a new approach to long term care.
In a ceremony yesterday the county revealed that it would implement what is known as the Butterfly Approach. The program would be tested in Bonnechere Manor and Miramichi Lodge after successful pilots in Mississauga and the UK. The event was attended by Mayor Michael Donohue, Minister of Long-Term Care Marrilee Fullerton, as well as Lynette Katsivo director of public policy at AdvantAge Ontario. Sally Knocker and Nancy Cunningham from Meaningful Care Matters, the group that created the Butterfly Approach, lead the presentation.
The county says the Approach is a patient focused method of long term care, that focuses on engaging the patient on a more personal level. This way patients with dementia will have a better quality of life in their long term care homes. The approach lets the staff interact more with people at the lodge, moving away from uniforms and encouraging staff to interact more with the patients. The approach also moves away from large activities and lets patients live a life more like the the one they had before entering long-term care. They say they do this by enabling freedom and living in the reality of the moment. The approach says they want their residents to engage with activities they enjoyed before they needed long term care. They also aim to make activities less structured and more free-flowing, as well as structure meal times to make them feel more like home-cooked meals in a kitchen. They also encourage caregivers to let residents help them in day-to-day tasks, or even just allow them to watch them work, to help with engagement.
Miramachi lodge will now take steps to train staff and do physical alterations to the building. This includes creating doorways that look more like home doors, creating more vibrant shared spaces and eliminating staff-only areas. If the pilot project is successful, the county has plans to use this method in all of their long term care homes.