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Tyndall Seniors Village

Tyndall Seniors Village Trains for a Continuum of Care

Sasha Orman

Through training and education, Tyndall Seniors Village offers residents and their families quality care
Tyndall Seniors Village Trains for a Continuum of Care

At Tyndall Seniors Village, a 151-bed care facility in Mississauga, Ontario, the mission statement is simply: “pride.” That pride covers a lot of bases, from pride in its well-trained and educated staff to pride in the care it takes to ensure that its residents and families are receiving the best care possible. It takes a lot of work to maintain a facility that everyone can be proud of, especially with every change that has come to the industry in recent years. But at Tyndall Seniors Village, accomplishing that work is a passion.

Modern Challenges for Resident Care

“Nursing homes have changed tremendously from when I started in long-term care: going back to the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of people being placed into nursing homes were lighter care,” says Pat Bedford, Administrator at Tyndall Seniors Village. But between the aging of the post-WWII baby boomer demographic, a population that’s living longer in general, and services in place to help the elderly stay independent longer, that expectation is changing. “What we’re seeing now is a whole different trend,” she adds. “Our population now is more aged.”

One issue that nursing homes are facing, one that goes hand in hand with a more advanced-in-age demographic, is the more frequent instance of complex medical problems. “Individuals coming in to long term care now are much more medically compromised,” Bedford notes. “You’re looking at a population where the average age coming in to long term care can be 85 or even older. They’re not just diabetics – you’re looking at people with multiple medical conditions, which could be cardiovascular or neurological. People need much more complex care.” There is also the issue of balancing appropriate care between the elderly and younger residents who are admitted with their own sets of health issues.

There have also been changes to the village landscape in terms of resident diversity. “There is a lot of immigration – in this region in particular, there’s been a huge influx of immigrants coming into the region which changes the mix,” says Bedford. “You have challenges with language barriers, different cultural foods, religious and spiritual needs – all of this has changed over the years and we have to really look at what has been the past lifestyle and what is their tradition that we have to incorporate into making this a best possible situation?”  

Meeting Challenges Through Education and Training

While long term care facility staff certainly face unique challenges in this day and age, Tyndall Seniors Village is up for a challenge. For Pat Bedford, it’s her reason for getting up in the morning.

“I remember when I first got into management, I used to say: if I ever lose the ability to have a challenge and meet those challenges to make life better for our residents, that’s the time I need to consider a different career or hang up my management position and go back to basic nursing,” she says, noting that those challenges could be anything from medical issues to behavioural issues to helping an unsure or difficult family feel confident and cared for. “I think that in all of the years I’ve been in long term care, from floor nurse to shift nurse to management, looking at the different systems and processes to try to make things better, I’ve never lost the ability for a challenge.” 

One of the most vital ways that Tyndall Seniors Village meets each of those challenges is by providing its staff with as much education and training as possible. “I firmly believe that no one can ever get enough knowledge,” says Bedford. “It’s all about getting that knowledge and being able to put it into practice, or helping people to put it into practice, because in the long run who benefits? Our residents and our staff.” Indeed, training in concepts like gentle persuasion and dealing with behavioural issues are as much for the safety and protection of the facility’s nurses and staff as for that of the residents. But in addition, Tyndall’s course offerings are extensive.

“We’ve provided courses for our registered staff and even our unregistered staff: some of our registered staff members have done palliative care courses, advanced palliative care, a [year long] non-acute infection prevention and control program,” says Bedford, also touching on online occupational health and safety programs, educational guest speakers, and the new Behavioural Support of Ontario program where three staff members are in training to become leads. “There’s a lot of opportunity for staff to be involved in different programs from all levels – every area you can think of, not just what the Ministry says is mandated, but looking at the whole continuum of learning and advancing.”

A Reason to Work Hard

At the end of the day, Tyndall Seniors Village is all about “I think to pull things together and make sure that any organization is doing the best they can, it’s about having a very comprehensive innovative quality of treatment process,” says Bedford. “Each individual home has to assess its own strengths – where they want to be in five or 10 years? Where are the gaps?”

That’s a process that Tyndall is committed to for one very important reason: the lives and families that are at stake. “We’re only here for one reason,” Bedford notes, “and that’s because of our residents.”

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