Terraceview Lodge has restructured its staffing system and is one of only 15 per cent of B.C. senior homes meeting the provincial care-level requirement.
A recent report from B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie says that 85 per cent of senior care homes do not meet the provincial guideline of 3.36 hours of direct care per resident per day in 2016-2017.
That’s an improvement from last year when only nine per cent was meeting that guideline.
Fortunately for Terrace, Terraceview Lodge is meeting the standard and slightly exceeding it with an average of 3.59 hours of care per resident per day.
Run by Northern Health, Terraceview provides 99 residential care beds, 95 at the time of the report, in addition to the 24 assisted living beds at McConnell Estates.
Terraceview manager Brad Leier said he is pleased with staffing levels and how things are going and hopes that some recent changes will also boost the quality of care.
One of those changes is a staff restructuring, started last summer and completed last month.
In the past, nurses and staff would rotate between the different wards of the facility, but now they work consistently in one ward.
It allows staff to build better relationships with residents and visiting family members and improves communication between all parties, said Leier.
“It gives more consistency for residents… and it fosters improved trust and better communication with their family members and caregivers,” he said.
He adds that it also boosts staff morale by creating a more team-based approach.
The other key change is that, along with care homes across B.C., Terraceview is shifting to a more social model of care, offering more programs and meaningful activities.
“A stimulated individual is a more well individual,” said Leier, adding that they’ve added more therapeutic and recreational programs for their residents.
There are now “Focus on Function” kits available, which includes puzzles, games, crafts, bags of laundry to fold or bins of cutlery or nuts and bolts to sort.
Residents are also able to take part in the daily chores in the home, helping with dusting or watering plants if they want to, Leier said.
More live music is being played, mostly by volunteers, and there are group outings, bingo, and exercise programs, as well as reading programs in partnership with schools, where school teachers bring a class of students to read for residents.
Terraceview family council members Michele Freethy and Heather Reay said they are pleased with the direction.
It’s easy for people to get “bored to death,” said Freethy, especially since most of the residents have had a very active life.
“There’s only so much TV you can watch,” she said.
Freethy, who just returned to the council after a break, and Reay said their relationship with Terraceview managers has fluctuated over the years.
“We like to think that we work in partnership with them,” Freethy said. “It depends on the manager if they see us as a hindrance or a help.”
The Terraceview Family Council is a support group aimed at promoting the quality of life, service, education, health and safety for residents at Terraceview Lodge. It’s also a space for families to talk about challenges, get advice, and advocate for their loved ones in care.
Freethy and Reay said they have a good relationship with Leier at Terraceview, who meets with them at least every other month.
“And they have made improvements over the years,” said Freethy of Terraceview managers.
“I used to walk in that building, and it used to smell like an old folks place… but it doesn’t smell like that anymore.”
They’ve also noticed changes in heating and air conditioning, she said, something they’ve raised concerns about in the past.