Excellence in Resident-Centred Care shines at Centennial Place

Nestled in a valley in the quaint town of Millbrook, Ontario, is a long-term care (LTC) home called Centennial Place. The 128 people who call this place home are treated as family by the team members, and the home is proud of the fact that a large portion of the team has been there since the doors first opened 15 years ago.

Recently, daily life at Centennial Place paused for a moment. In the home’s bright atrium, coffee, tea and cake were served to personal support workers (PSWs) and residents in celebration of a milestone achieved – 80% of PSWs at Centennial Place had completed the Excellence in Resident-Centred Care (ERCC) education course offered through Conestoga College and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA). Now, that number has grown to 100%.

Director of Care Tracey Roy says she wanted to offer this educational opportunity to their team members because she knew it would help them enhance resident-centred care and would have a positive impact on everyone who lives, works and visits in their home.

“We hear about advancement for people in professions like registered nurses and nurse practitioners, but for personal support workers, that opportunity isn’t always there,” says Roy. “This was a good way for them to advance their skill set and say ‘yes, we are professionals and we should be involved in ongoing education.’ ”

The course operates as a train-the-trainer model. Two PSWs were selected to take the trainer course, and they then taught ERCC to their peers.

The course encourages PSWs to take on the role of the resident and reflect on how they’d feel during various personal care scenarios such as bathing and mealtime assistance.

Kim VanVolkenburg, a PSW and ERCC Trainer, says their home’s engagement in ERCC is a testament to the way she and her fellow team members approach their work every day. She says the course serves as a strong reminder that every person they encounter is unique, which means properly supporting them requires time, patience and a true understanding of their individuality.

VanVolkenburg says the course is something everybody should do, even if they’ve been a PSW for 20 years. “It’s about feeling what the residents feels — and sometimes it’s so easy to lose sight of that. Being able to be part of this course just brings you back to that again.”

Conestoga College training specialist Carly Szabo says the team at Centennial Place should be proud of the fact that so many have completed the course, and also that they did it so quickly.

“It’s really remarkable to see an organization take this into their place and really work together to foster the development of their team,” she says. “It’s a remarkable recognition to achieve.”

To learn more about ERCC courses, please contact the RIA at info@the-ria.ca.