Dear Residents, Family Members, Friends, and Staff:
‘No one can go back and start a new beginning. Always we can start today to create a new ending “
Shalom Village as described by the MOHLTC inspection report (reporting actions from earlier this year and late last year) and reported in the Spectator this morning is not the Shalom Village of today.
It does not speak to the new ending we are currently living. It does not clearly appreciate today’s reality of an
organization that has learned from all its experiences and is building on the strength and clarity of mission,
dedication and the courage of its loyal staff, sound quality improvement actions, and the growing impact of solid informed leadership.
In the past months we have, and continue to do, the hard work to understand the root causes of these findings, built actions that address those findings, and are already seeing visible changed outcomes and the evolution of sustainable practices. Families, residents, and staff are speaking of the changed lived experience at Shalom Village. We have come a long way and are energized by the visible impact of our hard work to do more.
The report spoke to five areas, with specific examples that did not meet the standards of the MOHLTC and in
truth did not meet the standards of Shalom Village. In each of these areas we have taken significant steps:
1. Care that was not Acceptable. We agree that the examples given did not respect or give comfort to our
residents. In our investigations we did three necessary things in determining how to prevent such
incidents occurring in the future.
a. We investigated the actions of the staff and given the serious nature of several of the incidents directly tied to the behaviour of one staff member, we terminated their employment.
b. We examined the reporting of such behaviours both internally and to the MOHLTC. We have
reviewed with 99% (soon to be 100%) of all our staff the resident’s rights and their duty to
report when they see or hear interactions that are not acceptable. We talked about how hard it
is to have these crucial conversations and the support they have in doing this. We have
tightened up our practices in reporting to the MOHLTC to meet their expected deadlines.
c. We have met with the residents and families involved, apologized and done our best to
demonstrate that this is a safe home, where they can live with an expectation of each staff
member treating their choices with respect, listening to them and being transparent.
d. We are now meeting, and will continue to meet all MOHLTC guidelines for reporting
2. Infection Control (IPAC). We have identified a lead for these practices and reviewed this with all staff. The results can be seen when we have identified people with COVID symptoms. We have acted quickly to isolate them and put measures in place immediately to prevent spread.
We have fully and transparently communicated what was happening and what we were doing to all our stakeholders. Theresult has been very limited spread, and often no spread. By working closely with public health, we were able to resolve these unavoidable cases of COVID in a timely manner. Our outcomes have reinforced the quality of the newly implemented procedures and expertise we have put in place.
3. Individuals with dementia who sometimes respond in unexpected ways to others and their environment
(which the MOHLTC calls behaviours). We have created an experienced team, led by a senior nurse, that includes our social services worker to design and implement caring strategies to help mitigate the impact of their disease on themselves and co-residents. Additionally, the team will soon be further bolstered by a daily compliment of specially educated Personal Support workers to help all our team members develop and consistently implement effective plans of care. We already use the Hamilton BSO team and will continue to do so. Potential altercations between residents with dementia will continue to be an issue for all Long-Term Care Homes, and we will work hard to mitigate these with our team leading the way in both learning and practice.
4. Hiring practices. Our hiring practices were updated and changed prior to the last inspection and were in
place at that time. They continue to be in place and are imbedded consistently into our practices.
5. Nutrition and Choice. Our dietary staff have reviewed and reflected on the incidents reported in the
inspection. They have together found the underlying reason for the mistakes and implemented changes
to ensure our residents get food that tastes wonderful, is safe and allows them choice in how they want
to manage their own lives. Food is important to most of us, both from a nutrition point of view and from
a personal perspective. Finding a balance between what is healthy and what soothes our soul, especially
when we are ill is hard for most of us. We will continue to work on that balance with our residents.
These changes have been augmented by ongoing regular staff education and huddles, many fine new staff
joining our teams, the revitalization of relationships with external partners and internally, the sprucing up of our living spaces, as well as idea sharing. We have developed and continue to refine a robust quality improvement process with regular reporting that will help us keep an informed eye on our outcomes and allow for early detection with regards to any standard that is not being met.
Our whole team are now working solidly together; dedicated, skilled professionals who are truly making
moments matter at home at shalom village. We are confident with our current practices, reviewed weekly that the next report from the MOHLTC will engender much deserved confidence in the care and practices at Shalom Village.
I spoke with Joanna Frketich earlier this week and was very transparent about the past, while also being clear that we have made incredible progress. I invited her to visit us to see the current reality of Shalom Village as it is today. The invitation stands, and I hope that someday soon, The Spectator will enthusiastically report the wonderful stories that unfold at Shalom Village every, single day.
I am proud to be leading such a courageous and dedicated team. They have reflected on the learnings from the past and are moving from that learning into the future. My commitment to the staff and residents is to continue to be on the ground running with them, holding the vision so they are always clear where we are going, to be a sound and solid place to land, to plan and that helps them back up again. I will work with the Board of Directors to engage and recruit leaders whose passion, knowledge and leadership excellence match and can advance those of the A.T.H.O.M.E team, a team that thrills me each day in their growing capacity to make every moment matter at Shalom Village.
Interim CEO, Shalom Village