CapitalCare co-hosted the Walk With Me conference with the Research Institute for Aging (RIA) in Ottawa, Ontario this past May 1 - 3. During this innovative national conference older adults, residents in long-term and continuing care centres, family members, researchers, educators and health care workers gathered in Ottawa to discuss changing the culture of aging and improving seniors’ care across the country. A group of staff representing CapitalCare as volunteers, presenters and participants helped ensure the conference was a success throughout the three days.

“The conversations at Walk With Me encourage innovation and promote change in the culture of aging to create care focused on the unique needs of each resident and client,” says Aileen Wong, COO of CapitalCare Edmonton. “Everyday at our centres I see the direct effects of these conversations from the previous conferences. I can’t wait to see the evolution of the innovative ideas that this conference will generate and the impact it will have on quality of life for our residents and our staff’s work environment in the coming years.”

The conference inspired many insightful conversations, including a few highlights from Dr. Allen Power, the Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation at the Schlegel-U. Waterloo Research Institute for Aging. Dr. Power spoke about the range of care needed for many different forms of dementia, critiquing the excessive focus on safety while emphasizing the importance of balancing resident safety with resident choice, autonomy and activities.

Many residents of care centres, including speakers from the Ontario Association of Residents Councils, also reminded attendees that viewing residents as equal contributors to their homes is vital to ensuring older adults can live their lives to the fullest.

The three day event also included the presentation of the Trailblazers for Culture Change awards which recognize individuals and groups working toward culture change in seniors living and continuing care.

CapitalCare staff who attended the Walk With Me conference will work to bring these ideas home and inspire future innovation at our centres.

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