News spreads word about innovation for change advocate

News spreads word about innovation for change advocate

Stories emailed to network 'spread like crazy'. Calls come in from across the country.

Denise Bedard’s dream to change the focus of long-term care in Ontario (redesign care provision) is a step closer to reality, thanks in part to an extended series of articles published on the Morning Report news web site.

Morning Report is produced by Axiom News for the Ontario Long Term Care Association whose members operate 421 long-term care homes, providing care and accommodation services for more than 48,000 residents.

Craig Anderson of Axiom News first interviewed Bedard, administrator at Meadow Park, a Jarlette long-term care home in London, Ont., in October about her determination to change long term care to a “legacy teaching culture”.

Bedard wants the focus of long-term care to become more person-centred, honouring the complex histories of residents and celebrating their experience and knowledge. More emphasis on the psychosocial aspects of long-term care is needed, she says.

Since October, Anderson has written numerous articles describing her initiative that has grown immensely.

“I emailed the articles to friends and acquaintances and they sent them on to others,” Bedard says, “It’s spread like crazy. I have received emails and telephone calls from all over Canada in response.”

Some people have called in response to the articles wanting to get involved, she says. The three working focus groups established at Meadow Park to gain feedback and support on ways to implement the initiative have also responded positively to the news stories, she says.

Bedard is currently working to establish the initiative as a teaching model and included printed copies of the news stories in presenting her proposal to the University of Western Ontario. “The news stories definitely helped in our discussions,” she says.

After hearing her presentation, Dr. Allen Salmoni, head of Kinesiology at the university has committed his department and all research capabilities to Bedard’s initiative. The news stories were also included in her presentation to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care which has also pledged support.

Bedard says she decided to spread the word about her Meadow Park initiative because “I knew after more than 25 years in long-term-care that there are others who feel the same way.”

Through his stories, Anderson provided “the glue” that enabled her to spread the word about the “Legacy Teaching Culture” in long-term care, Bedard says. “I owe him a steak dinner,” she adds with a chuckle.