Caring for the Future: Health Centre Community Report 2017 & 2018 (Q1)

Caring for the Future: 2017 Update

Update to [the Health Centre's] Strategic Plan 2010-2025

"Perhaps the most important accomplishment of 2017 happened behind the scenes: the update to our Strategic Plan, which runs through 2025. Our Board of Directors led the process and consulted widely with members of the Perley Health community.  The update addresses key challenges, such as demographic trends, and takes advantage of our facility, and staff expertise and experience. Under the updated Plan, we will become a nationally recognized Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care while continuing to specialize in the care of Veterans.

The updated Strategic Plan is on [the Health Centre's] website:

More Veterans Eligible for Care
In March, we reached an agreement with Veterans Affairs Canada and the Province of Ontario to provide 25 beds for Specialized Veterans Beds/Other Qualified Veterans: men and women who served after the armistice in Korea. The agreement helps ensure our sustainability while maintaining our focus on Veterans’ care as the population of men and women who saw active service overseas during the Second World War and Korean War continues to decline.

The Living Classroom
Perley Health has long partnered with post-secondary institutions to train students and to conduct research. In May, 2017, we expanded our partnership with Algonquin College significantly by creating a classroom at Perley Health for students of Personal Support Worker program.  Starting in 2017, students in the program come to the Perley for both classroom instruction and to acquire hands-on practical experience. This combination will help them succeed as professionals and help the Perley and other homes meet their staffing needs. And given Canada’s demographic realities, there’s no doubt that demand for well-trained professionals will increase.

Specialized Behavioural Support Unit
In 2017, Perley Health reached an agreement with the Province of Ontario to open a 20-bed Specialized Behavioural Unit. The Unit features a secure environment and provides safe, enriched care to people with dementia whose behaviour may jeopardize their safety, and the safety of staff and fellow residents. The addition of this special designation increases Perley Health’s contribution to the community, and creates leadership and training opportunities for staff.

A New Level of Care for Frail Elderly
In October, we announced a pilot project to deliver a new level of care to elderly patients recovering from acute illness. Known as SAFE – Sub-Acute care for Frail Elderly – the project involves a partnership with the Ottawa Hospital and the Champlain Local Health Integration Network. Under SAFE, eligible patients who no longer require hospital care but are not well enough to return home will recover in a special 20-bed unit at Perley Health.
SAFE increases our contribution to the community, provides our staff with training and leadership opportunities, and takes us a step closer to our goal of becoming a Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care.

Comfort Care Rounding
During 2017, we implemented a practice known as comfort-care rounding: checking in on every awake resident every hour in a formal, documented way. Research shows that comfort-care rounding improves health and well-being. And while rounding has been standard practice at Perley Health for many years, we’ve now formalized the process and staff complete eight specific steps with each awake resident. The result is a drop in the number of resident falls and residents are much happier with the response time of staff.

Develop and Evaluate Best Practices in Care
The next accomplishment focuses on continually improving the quality of care delivered to residents. Under an agreement with the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO),  Perley Health will develop and evaluate best practices in care to become a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO). The RNAO shares proven best practices with other long-term care homes. By putting the latest research into practice, reducing variation in care and eliminating interventions that have little effect, the initiative promises to further improve the quality of care that we deliver to residents. 

Therapeutic Recreation and Creative Arts
Therapeutic Recreation and Creative Arts has been an important program throughout Perley Health’s history.  In 2017, we took steps to incorporate the program into the care plans of Veterans and other residents. This way, staff can maximize the impacts and document the outcomes that recreation and creative arts have on health and well-being.  Aging in inevitable, social frailty shouldn’t be! 

Active Seniors Website
Work began on a new website that will share some of our expertise in therapeutic recreation and creative arts with people who live outside these walls. A generous grant from the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) enabled us to post videos and articles that provide professional guidance on how to engage seniors’ minds and bodies. is an interactive website featuring more than a dozen original videos on everything from flower arranging and chair-adaptive yoga, to laughter therapy and painting from memory to benefit seniors and caregivers.

Lifelong Learning
Another new initiative is Lifelong Learning, a series of lowcost courses and lectures available inside Perley Health. Participants can take advantage of opportunities to learn, grow and to connect with others with similar interests, without the pressure of grades and exams. Topics include everything from art history and memoir writing, to learning to play the ukulele.  Lifelong Learning increases our contribution to the community and shares our expertise. More information is available at > Lifelong Learning.