Toronto Long-Term Care Homes and Services
- Family Committees
- Purpose of the Family Committee
- Some of the accomplishments of the Family Committees
- Just for you... Improving Care and Services: Contacting your Family Committee
- Ontario Family Councils' Program
We know the value and vital role that family relationships play in our personal lives and we understand that this is the same for residents who live in our Long-Term Care Homes. Each of our homes has an active Family Committee and we encourage all families to become involved.
In some of our homes, families prefer the name Family Committee in others, the committee is called a Family Circle. Whatever the name, the commitment is the same working with the home's staff to enrich the environment and quality of life for their family members who live in the home.
By virtue of having a loved one residing in the home, you are considered family and you are more than welcome to attend Family Committee meetings. We define family as the "family of origin or the family of choice" recognizing that these special relationships provide support and nurturance and are both significant and unique for residents.
Similar to Residents' Council meetings, the Family Committee is provided with support from the home to form, organize and maintain administrative matters as required. All Family Committees meet on a regular schedule throughout the year. Check with the Administrator for details. Some committees are less formal than others; however all Family Committees are chaired by a representative chosen from the family members themselves.
If you are not able to attend the Family Committee meetings, but still have an interest in the committee's work, minutes are prominently posted in the family communication centre for your review.
We understand and foster an environment built on true partnerships with family members in providing the best care possible.
Purpose of the Family Committee
The key functions of the Family Committee are:
- to provide a forum for family input into the operations of the home
- to provide families with a voice in decisions that affects them and their family members
- to establish two-way communication between family members and the home staff
- to provide a means of mutual support for Family Committee members and families of new residents
- to allow family members to be informed about the long-term care system as a whole and to provide a forum for discussion about strategies for improvement
- to promote and encourage activities directed at the provision of quality care and quality of life for the residents
Some of the accomplishments of the Family Committees
The creativity of our Family Committees has resulted in numerous achievements, which have truly enriched residents' lives and enhanced our homes. We are proud of the success of our Family Committees and thank them for their dedication. Some key accomplishments include:
- Developing processes to reach out, welcome and support new residents' family members
- Building family member awareness about long-term care issues; promoting and enhancing the effectiveness of the Family Committee
- Developing effective linkages between the Family Committee, the Home Advisory Committee and the Administrator
- Participating in fundraising and special events (e.g. the Toronto Challenge, Gala Events) which are designed to raise funds and/or enhance resident programs and services
- Designing creative projects that beautify the environment and/or provide "extras" for particular programs (e.g. Garden Projects, Comfort Baskets for palliative care residents
- Sponsoring special Family Education sessions in the homes;
- Hosting staff appreciation events
- Being informed and current about long-term care home policies; facilitating dialogue and understanding of key policy areas, such as bed holding, zero tolerance for abuse, least use of restraints, infection prevention, dementia care and control, safety and quality improvement
Just for you... Improving Care and Services: Contacting your Family Committee
We recognize that some family members may be uncomfortable raising an ideas, issue or concern at a Family Committee meeting or may be unable to attend meetings due to other obligations. Alternatives are available. Families are encouraged to correspond with the home's Family Committee by using secured drop-off box is conveniently located near the family communication centre in the home. The Nurse Managers, Director of Nursing/Care and Administrator in our homes all have "open door" policies - feel free to drop in. We also invite you to communicate directly with the Division's General Manager or our Resident - Client Advocate if this is a more comfortable means of communication for you. We are here to help.
Ontario Family Councils' Program
Family Committees are also supported and encouraged to connect and liaise with the Ontario Family Councils Program, as well as consider actively participating on the Toronto Family Council Network.
Contact information for the Ontario Family Councils' Program is:
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