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Reflecting on the first six months of 2017!

June 28, 2017

It’s hard to believe that the first half of the year is almost over. Summer has come, our Changing the Way We Care conference has been held, many Councils will be wrapping up their work until the fall, and so it’s time to reflect on the first six months of 2017!

We kicked off the year with new webinars (MOHLTC – LTC Homes Inspection Program Updates, The Role of Caregivers and Substitute Decision-Makers in LTC, Working Better Together: The Benefits of Family Involvement in LTC!, and Solving Group Conflict via Mediation: A Presentation from the Osgoode Mediation Clinic). These great webinars provided Council members and Long-Term Care Home staff across the province with opportunities to learn about issues affecting caregiving, changes to the Long-Term Care Homes sector, ways for Family Councils and LTC Home staff to work collaboratively, and the basics of conflict mediation. Webinars are a great way to spread knowledge across the province and increase the number of Family Council members and Long-Term Care Home staff who can participate in our sessions. We’re currently planning our fall webinar programming, so if there’s a topic you’d like to know more about, email us at with your suggestions!

In January, we launched the first phase of our eReading in Long-Term Care program. Sponsored by Kobo, the Digital Library Project aims to increase access to eReading and eBooks in Ontario Long-Term Care Homes. Stay tuned for details of the next phase of the eReading program. Also in January, we launched our new slate of group development workshops for Family Councils. We started with our Succession Planning module in January and continued in March with Facilitation Skills for Family Councils. We’ll continue to roll out our group development sessions in the fall.

April was a busy month for FCO staff! We presented at both the OLTCA Together We Care and AdvantAge Ontario Conventions. Both presentations were hugely successful! We moved with that momentum into May where we presented at the Annual NICE Knowledge Exchange. We continued the work on the Change Foundation lead Councils Project, results which were first presented publicly at our Changing the Way We Care Conference. In addition, we continued our involvement on the many committees on which we sit, including the Long-Term Care Stakeholder Liaison Committee, Behavioural Supports Transition Unit collaborative, the Enhanced Long-Term Care Renewal Strategy committees, and more. All of these tables are important opportunities to bring forth the voices of family members and advance our mission of leading and supporting families in improving quality of life in Long-Term Care.

June brought Family Council Week and our Changing the Way We Care conference. During Family Council Week, Councils across Ontario celebrate their successes in numerous ways. If you have a Family Council Week story to share, email it to We’d love to read your stories, see your photos, and share them with Councils across the province! Later in June, our Changing the Way We Care conference was our best yet. It was two days full of learning, networking, and sharing. You can read the full event recap here: Thank you to everyone who presented at and attended the conference!  

June was also when we said goodbye to Olivia Saric, our Bachelor of Social Work placement student turned conference coordinator. Olivia helped us to develop new workshops (see above), develop our needs assessment survey, plan and execute the Digital Library project, organize our conference, and more. We can’t thank her enough for choosing to spend her time with us and wish her all the best on her journeys ahead.

Importantly, over the last six months we’ve had numerous opportunities to hear from and consult with Family Council members and Long-Term Care Home staff. Every opportunity not only provides us with an opportunity to help Council members and Home staff resolve their challenges and achieve their goals, but also to help us realize our vision that people in Long-Term Care have a vibrant experience and the best care. Thank you for all of your phone calls and emails. It’s always a privilege to work with you.

The first six months of 2017 have come and gone, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the second half of the year. We have a few things in the works that we’ll share with you later this summer and early fall. Until then, have a wonderful summer!

  • Lorraine and Samantha

We’ll be taking a break from blogging over the summer. Stay tuned for new content in September 2017!