The time has flown by so quickly as I have now reached the end of my placement here with Family Councils Ontario. I can definitely say I have learned so much over these past few months and my experience here has been nothing short of incredible.
While I started off this placement with some knowledge on long term care that I had gained through my professors, classmates and the news, I knew that there was still so much more to learn. With this placement I have been able to spend this summer fully engrossed in all topics pertaining to long term care. I wanted to be able to learn as much as I could in this short time and each week brought on new information that I wouldn’t have considered prior but would now never forget.
Attending webinars almost every week really allowed me to gain further insight on so many different things pertaining to long-term care such as the gaps that exist in the sector, the current needs and issues that residents, family and staff have and are facing, the recommendations that professionals and families have for improvements as well as the types of social policies and the impact they have. Each of these webinars were very eye opening and I appreciate that I was able to hear from so many different people each with their own unique background, perspective and lived experiences.
The big project that I was able to work on for the past few months was updating the FCO resources list. This list consists of different organizations that Family Councils Ontario can redirect families, residents and staff too when the requests, advice and feedback they need is beyond their scope and mandate. I went through this list and removed any inactive organizations, updated any contact information and added in some newer organizations that were not previously included. Through this I was able to further deepen my knowledge on the various other organizations, agencies and services that exist within the long-term care sector and what exactly it is that they do. This also brought on more awareness of the gaps that exist as it was difficult to find organizations that could meet the needs of everybody. For example, there were many services for those who are facing health conditions such as diabetes or cancer but not for those facing conditions that would be considered uncommon or rare.
Overall, I would like that thank FCO for giving me this incredible opportunity to work with them this summer. This placement has definitely inspired me to continue pursuing the idea of working in long-term care as a social worker to advocate and support for residents and their families in the future. Thank you so much to my supervisors Tiffany and Cathleen for your constant support and for all of your knowledge and insight!