“Losing someone you really love brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘forever’”. – Reflection Room® Participant
As we move towards a post-COVID-19 future, finding new ways to address grief and loss in long-term care (LTC) home communities is an important priority. The Saint Elizabeth Foundation, SE Research Centre, and Ontario Health Central Region Long-term Care Planning Table are collaborating to make the Reflection Room® experience accessible to all long-term care homes in the Central Region as part of a grief and bereavement strategy.
The Reflection Room® is an evidence-based art installation that uses storytelling to generate open dialogue about loss and grief, including that caused by experiences with dying and death. In LTC homes, the Reflection Room® offers an immersive and relaxing space to take a few quiet moments; read other’s reflections about their experiences with loss and grief; and share their own reflections by writing on a card and attaching it to a “Reflection Wall”.
The creation of this dedicated space for reflection in LTC homes is one way that residents, family and friend caregivers, and staff can start to process and share their experiences of loss and grief throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Illness and death, social isolation and loneliness are just some of the challenges that have been faced by all LTC community members- layered on top of a myriad of other difficulties faced by family caregivers in the context of the global pandemic. The Reflection Room® not only engages family members in acknowledging and processing these challenges, but also supports their experience of remembering, celebrating, teaching, learning, and connecting as a community centred in their LTC home, providing an opportunity to move towards collective recovery and healing.
Over the past five years, there have been more than 10,000 visits to 62 Reflection Room® installations across Canada. Since being introduced to LTC home communities in an initial roll-out period, eight homes to date are hosting a Reflection Room®. Overwhelmingly positive feedback demonstrates the impact it is having for community members. The experience is available to all LTC homes across the Central Region of Ontario, at no cost, to support family and friend caregivers, staff, and residents.
To find out more about how the Reflection Room® can make a meaningful difference in your long-term care community, please join the SE Research Centre, Family Councils of Ontario, and the Ontario Association of Residents Councils for our launch event on November 3rd, 2021, from 10 AM – 11 AM ET.
During the launch event, you will hear about:
- How and why the Reflection Room® was developed by the SE Research Centre
- The role of the Reflection Room® as part of the province’s Grief and Bereavement plan, given the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Testimonials from LTC home leaders in Central region who have been involved in the early roll-out of this project, as they share their experience of hosting a Reflection Room® and the impact it has had on their community thus far
- How residents, family and friend caregivers, and staff can get involved in coordinating a Reflection Room® installation in a LTC home.
Please visit thereflectionroom.ca/launch-event for registration information and details. If you have any inquiries about the Reflection Room® or the launch event, please contact the Project Manager, Shikha Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org.