Seniors Care Project

SIM-one's Seniors Care Project enhanced the Province’s capacity to care for seniors in the community, and particularly those living at home. The project was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) in support of the Province’s Seniors Care Strategy.

The project is now complete.

PHASE 1  |  2012-13

As part of its Seniors Care Strategy, the Province has committed to funding 3 million additional PSW hours for seniors in need. Effective implementation of the Seniors Care Strategy will rely on well-educated and highly skilled PSWs who can effectively support seniors living at home and collaborate with other community-based healthcare professionals supporting seniors living at home.

Simulation resources for PSW training

SIM-one allocated over $2,300,000 in one-time funds to PSW programs within Ontario’s publicly funded education and training sector to purchase best practices simulation equipment to support seniors living at home. The project fundamentally and significantly improved access to training for PSW learners. As a result of this funding, over 95% of all PSW learners in the Province will have access to best practices in simulation-based training to support seniors living at home. Only 27% of PSW learners received this training prior to the project.

Defining current knowledge and needs

Two environmental scans were completed as part of the Project: “Interprofessional education and care for seniors” and “Simulation for at-home care of seniors”. Both these scans identified research literature and some current Ontario initiatives specifically describing simulation-based and inter-professional practices for at-home care. Knowledge gaps identified by the scans will inform the planning of two needs assessments related to at-home seniors’ care.

Online training for PSWs

Online educational modules have been produced to support best practices for knowledge transfer incorporating simulation-based training into PSW curricula. These modules will be made available to all PSW faculty, via the SIM-one website, to assist them as they incorporate simulation-based training into the PSW curricula starting with the Fall 2013 intake. View educational modules

PHASE 2  |  2013-15

To build on the achievements of Phase 1, the second phase focused on expanding the simulation skills of PSW educators, as well as bringing simulation-based education to current home care providers to address priority learning needs.

PSW Educator Training

Additional videos were created to expand the online modules for PSW educators. Also, SIM-one hosted a series of workshops on simulation-based education for PSW faculty and educators across the province.

Needs Assessments

There were two central issues impacting at-home seniors care by community-based teams that we wished to investigate further:

  1. Healthcare team and administrative structures currently in place to enable at-home interprofessional care to older adults; and

  2. The specific knowledge and skill needs as identified by current front-line practitioners from various healthcare professions providing at-home care to seniors, as well as current practice challenges and barriers/enablers to continuing interprofessional development.

To explore these issues SIM-one commissioned five supplemental assessments: one to describe at-home interprofessional care models in the Province and four to gather information on learning needs, challenges, barriers and enablers from practitioners in various regions of the province. These studies supplemented recent research conducted by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).  We would like to thank the members of the project's interprofessional Advisory Panel; these healthcare professionals and administrators are currently involved with providing care to seniors in the community and provided invaluable guidance and advice. Patients and caregivers were engaged through one of the COU studies as well as outreach as part of reviewing the learning in this study.

Meta-Summary Report

Published in Januay 2015, the meta-summary report summarizes, aggregates and triangulates data from the 5 supplemental SIM-one commissioned reports (linked below), the 6 MOHLTC/COU reports, and 1 similar needs assessment recently completed by the Seniors Care Network of the Central-East LHIN. This report presents the priority learning needs of home care providers, prevalent practice challenges, and enablers and barriers to interprofessional and simulation-based continuing professional development (CPD).

Individual Reports

  1. Report on interprofessional home care models being used or tested in Ontario.
  2. Reports on the learning needs of front-line home care providers, practice challenges, and barriers/enablers to CPD:
    1. Greater Toronto Area
    2. Eastern Ontario
    3. Northern Ontario
    4. Southwest Ontario

Continuing Interprofessional Development

Phase II culminated with SIM-one funding the development of a simulation-based continuing interprofessional development program to address the priority learning needs.

PHASE 3  |  2015-16

Seniors Care PHASE 3 funding

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) provided SIM-one with one-time funds to better enable Personal Support Worker (PSW) training to support Ontario seniors aging at home. This one-time funding strengthened implementation of the expanded (2014) PSW Vocational Learning Objectives. The funds supported the development of a Strategic Framework of simulation equipment recommendations related to the expanded Vocational Learning Objectives for PSW learners.  

The funds also enabled simulation equipment resources for PSW training in Ontario’s publicly funded community colleges. Funds were allocated toward the strategic investment in and utilization of simulation equipment specifically relevant to the expanded 2014 Vocational Learning Outcomes, to support seniors aging at home. This funding leveraged previous MOHLTC funding provided for at-home simulation training equipment for PSW learners in Ontario’s publicly supported community colleges.  

These investments will lead to improved PSW training and thus better care for the aging population, enabling more Ontario seniors to remain at home.

Resources and publications: