2022 Dates: July 13, 20, 27 and August 3, 10

While death and dying are not new to long term care, the pandemic has accentuated the need for changes and improvements in the delivery of person-centered palliative care. The challenge of transforming this final stage of life into a meaningful, respectful, and valuable experience for residents, families, and care providers, has never been more critical.

This program utilizes the concept of Recovery in Long Term Care, where the approach to care is focused on the resident’s strengths, values, and relationships as they come to the end of their lives. By gaining an understanding of the importance of the residents’ dying time and death, and of their lives leading up to this stage of life, care providers will be able to utilize effective, meaningful, and life-fulfilling approaches to care. Concepts of quality of life improvement, symptom management, psychosocial and spiritual support and end of life care will be covered.

The medical aspects of Palliative Care will be discussed; however the focus will be on practical honest and respectful conversations with the individual, their families and supports, and the time of dying.

Role plays and case studies provide opportunities for practicing those difficult conversations with residents, with the focus on highlighting the uniqueness of each individual in the interaction.

The program consists of 5, online, live modules, each completed in 2 hours. The learning outcomes will be achieved through a combination of highly interactive lectures, computer presentations, case reviews, participant breakout groups and large and small group interactions and discussions. Session recordings will be available for viewing for one week following each session. The course material is based on evidence-based research, and facilitator expertise.

Program Outline

SESSION ONE

Introduction to the Palliative Philosophy of Care

2 hours

Session Focus

  • Definitions
  • Changes to the Long -Term Care Act – Ontario, Canada (Post Pandemic)
  • Language of Palliative Care versus the language of dying
  • Recovery Care
  • Honest conversations – break out session
  • Leaving a legacy

SESSION TWO

Quality of Life – Individualized

2 hours

Session Focus

  • How would you describe quality of life for yourself – what key points would you reflect on? (individual/group discussion)
  • Strengths and values discussion
  • Conversations about wishes, substitute decision maker, DNAR or CPR, preferred location for death

SESSION THREE

Symptom Management

2 hours

Session Focus

  • Pain assessment and management, nausea and vomiting, dyspnea, and other symptoms
  • Delirium – treatable versus end of life delirium
  • Use of assessment tools including Confusion Assessment Method, Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS), Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) – breakout small group session

SESSION FOUR

Psychosocial Support

2 hours

Session Focus

  • Psychological support opportunities in LTC
  • Dignity conserving care
  • How all staff and residents can embrace the dying time within the LTC home

SESSION FIVE

End of Life Care

2 hours

Session Focus

  • Place of expected death – who choses?
  • What does dying look like?
  • Exploring the mysteries around death and dying – stories we have heard
  • Physical changes and what to expect
  • How to provide comfort and support to resident and family
  • Embracing the opportunities – has the person met Maslow’s stage of self actualization?
    • Has a legacy been left?
    • What about bereavement?