Emerging Stronger: Canada’s Long-Term Care Sector

Long-Term Care Staff

The past 18 months have been a harrowing experience for Canadians, particularly for those working within the health system, and even more so for staff and residents in long-term care (LTC) homes. COVID has hastened growing critical shortages in the long-term care system, in areas such as staffing and resources, and has left leaders scrambling to fill the gaps while simultaneously managing sudden outbreaks within their homes.

With staff stress levels at a record high, and morale at an all-time low, leaders within the LTC sector are taking action to protect the health and wellbeing of their workforce and the residents they serve. For example, the leadership team at Maxville Manor, a 122-bed LTC home located in the small eastern Ontario town of Maxville, implemented a crisis management plan that prioritizes the safety of staff as well as residents. This includes rapid testing to reduce anxiety, developing and sharing mental health resources and facilitating open sessions to better engage with and support staff during these difficult days. As a result of implementing their plan, the home has been able to manage and limit outbreaks successfully.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous suffering and loss in Canadian LTC homes, leaders in LTC from across the country have intensified their commitment to improve safety and planning. This includes forming pan-Canadian partnerships with knowledge-sharing organizations such as HealthCareCAN, to help spread leading practices and lessons learned to the next generation of leaders.

At CHA Learning, HealthCareCAN’s professional development division, we have invited LTC leaders from across the country to share the very best of these leading practices as part of the curriculum of our newly-launched Long-Term Care Executive Leadership program. Through compelling storytelling and scenarios, students can learn directly from leaders what the most important elements of leading during a crisis are , how to set priorities and effective policies in a crisis and how to safely bring vibrancy into to their  LTC homes in challenging times.

HealthCareCAN and our CHA Learning division are committed to helping LTC leaders protect the wellbeing of their workforce, continue delivering high-quality care to their residents and safely navigate recovery from the crisis so that we can all emerge stronger and better prepared for the opportunities for change and improvement that are to come.

Dale Schierbeck

Vice President, Learning & Development