Teaching Culture gets support from University of Western Ontario
The administrator of Meadow Park London, who
has watched her “Legacy Teaching Culture” initiative grow
immensely over the course of the last six months, says it represents
the fruition of the work she began in long term care as a 17 year-old
health care aide.
“I feel complete,” says Denise Bedard.
“It’s here – it’s not a dream anymore.”
Bedard, along with Kim Hennin, friend and long-time
MPP and mayoral assistant, recently met with Dr. Allen Salmoni,
head of kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario. After
hearing a presentation on Bedard’s “Legacy Teaching
Culture” initiative – which aims to redesign
care provision in long term care to one more community-oriented,
person-centred, and celebratory – Salmoni has committed his
department and all research capabilities to Bedard’s initiative.
“It was like he was waiting to find us,”
Dr. Salmoni, who is currently doing research on
healthy aging, will act as the university liaison for the project,
and any funding applications for the project will be assisted by
the university. The project will be able to access all departments
related to health care, says Bedard.
“All the elements in LTC will be changing
soon so this is very important,” says Bedard. “It’s
estimated that by 2011 those age 65 and over will represent 15%
of the Canadian population.”
Bedard and Hennin also recently discussed the
“LTC” initiative with Tim Burns, a representative of
the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, who has pledged a mentoring
partner to help guide the research.
Hennin, a long time friend of Bedard’s,
has a personal interest in the project, which was initially discussed
casually between the two over late evening drinks last summer.
Since the idea was informally hatched that day,
Meadow Park has established three working focus groups – staff,
residents, and families – and authored and completed two surveys
to gain feedback and support on ways to implement the initiative.
The home officially unveiled the initiative - with the support of
MPP Khalil Ramal – at last year’s Fall
Bedard has designed the initiative in three phases
– Enchantment, Enlightenment, and Enrichment – and once
it is established as a teaching model hopes to feature it as a certification
The model will address major issues in long term
care, such as conflict management, dementia and aging, aggressive
behaviour and staff-resident relations.
After taking members of the family focus group
out to dinner last week, Bedard realized that Meadow Park is already
being transformed by the involvement and input of all who work and
“I got more of a family sense from the residents,”
says Bedard. “They were so excited.”