Category: Aging and Gerontology (SWAG)

Aging in Ottawa: An Assessment of the Age-Friendliness of Ottawa Using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

SWAG’s Monthly Community of Practice. 

Elizabeth Kristjansson

Dr. Kristjansson will present a project comparing eight cities across Canada and how they measure up as age-friendly using the CLSA data, with a specific a focus on Ottawa seniors.

The descriptive report Aging in Ottawa identifies areas on which this city should focus in order to become friendlier toward older populations (and indeed, everyone), such as transportation, housing, social participation, social inclusion, civic participation, and community support and health services.

She will dig into the CLSA data available on the social needs of seniors in Ottawa as well as the strengthens and limitations of the report findings.
Dr Kristjansson will also explore the CLSA as a data source and how social workers can access the data as practitioners and researchers.

Thursday April 25th 3:30 to 5PM, Colonel By Retirement Residence, 43 Aylmer Avenue (parallel to Sunnyside near Bank street)

A front line practice change snapshot of: Advice

This article from Journal of Implementation Science helps to frame the infrastructure of implementing practice change, via a snapshot of the players and mezzo system in actual practice.

I found it helps me as a front line worker think about my own efforts at practice change can be understood— my place in the dynamic and how I could be more strategic in seeking and giving advice.

Understanding professional advice networks in long-term care: an outside-inside view of best practice pathways for diffusion

network building

…In this paper, we report our qualitative findings. We identified four themes from the data. One theme related to characteristics of particular network roles: opinion leaders, advice seekers, and boundary spanners. Opinion leaders and boundary spanners have long tenures in LTC, a broad knowledge of the network, and share an interest in advancing the sector. Advice seekers were similarly committed to LTC; they initially seek and then, over time, exchange advice with opinion leaders and become an important source of information for them. A second theme related to characterizing advice seeking relationships as formal, peer-to-peer, mentoring, or reciprocal. The third and fourth themes described motivations for providing and seeking advice, and the nature of advice given and sought. Advice seekers initially sought information to resolve clinical care problems; however, over time, the nature of advice sought expanded to include operational and strategic queries. Opinion leaders sought to expand their networks and to solicit information from their more established advice seekers that might benefit the network and advance LTC. …

See the article here: https://implementationscience….wtj514iJfkGYYOVAKMPY

Local elder abuse resources and knowledge sharing from SWAG

Beverlee McIntosh provides SWAG’s November meeting presentation notes which contributes to addressing interventions. It was focused primarily on the presentation by: 

Some Points of the Presentation

Stephanie Cadieux is Elder Abuse consultant for Eastern Ontario and chairs the elder abuse response committee.  They are funded through Gov’t of Ontario and some foundations and are mandated to combat elder abuse through supporting community resources, training front line staff and raising awareness about elder abuse. Stephanie reviewed the red-flags that should push social workers to look further.  Seniors lose on average $20,000 before they report financial abuse.  Victims often have a hx of abuse/trauma in childhood so therapists should take a complete history if they suspect elder abuse.

The trend to blended families and later life marriages increases vulnerability in senior who bring money into a late life relationship. Adult step-children from a second marriage may have ulterior motives in helping the step-parent with banking or re-writing a will and PoA.

As we are aware, unlike child abuse, there is no mandatory reporting of suspected elder abuse, however there is mandatory reporting of suspected abuse in LTC and in retirement facilities.

Social workers are reminded to document any interactions they have with vulnerable adults and their families when they suspect abuse is taking place. These records can later be used if a PoA is challenged by other caregivers.

See the Full Power Point Here: EATraining_SWAG_Nov22,2018 (1)

Brad Spooner presented information about the elder abuse respite care program run by the Nepean, Rideau, Osgoode Community Resource Centre (NROCRC).  He works with Visavie to find affordable beds when vulnerable seniors need to be moved out of a situation. This resource is underused and the program is anxious to ensure it is promoted in the social work community. Phone 613 596 5626 ext 230 for more information about this program and to establish eligibility for your vulnerable  clients.

Terry Black explained that Visavie  has partnered with  (NROCRC) to offer a City-Wide intervention program which provides both prevention and intervention for older persons experiencing abuse.  The Elder Abuse Response and Referral Service (EARRS), provide support to seniors who are victims of abuse.  In addition to this support, a short-term respite bed program is available for those individuals who need to be removed from an abusive situation.  Neither organization is compensated for their efforts.  NROCRC has partnered with Visavie to ensure the efficiency of securing a suitable respite bed for clients that are victims of abuse or who are experiencing caregiver burnout.  The time spent in the retirement home allows NROCRC and Visavie to determine an appropriate action plan for a safe discharge.

They get referrals from Ottawa Paramedics.  On many occasions the Paramedic will call Visavie while still in the patient’s home.  The Adviser can also meet the patient and paramedic at the hospital if necessary.

Handouts were provided for the various programs and resources and brochures may be obtained by phoning the agencies directly.

See the List of Resources, (including local) Here: KeyResourcesforIntervention_Eng_Ottawa (3)

Eastern Branch OASW asking for support letters for the social work profession to be mandated in LTC

From Beverlee McIntosh of SWAG.  Attached is a letter for the Eastern Branch of the Ontario Association of Social Workers ( of which SWAG is a committee). This was sent out to all Eastern Ontario MPPs to urge the government to include the profession of social work as a mandated service in Ontario Long Term Care facilities. Long Term Care Letter  Eastern Ontario Members of Provincial parliament constituency offices 2018

Key points in the letter:

We believe that each individual living in LTC should have the right to access a social worker as
part of the multidisciplinary team in every LTC. Social Workers are in a unique position to
make clinical and social assessments based on comprehensive training and expertise:

1) Social Workers are trained in dispute resolution and have the skills to facilitate
constructive dialogue between family members, nurses and personal support workers and
staff members. This can go along way to making sure that individuals in LTC have their
voices heard.

2) Social Workers have the training and expertise to pick up subtle signs of abuse that might
otherwise go unnoticed.

3) Social Workers contribute to the quality of life in LTC facilities by providing appropriate
psychosocial stimulation and monitoring the individual for signs of depression or
deterioration in their mental health.

4) Experienced Social Workers are aware of the regulations outlined in the Long Term Care
Act, allowing them to act as a monitor in the facility to ensure that families and residents
understand their rights and expectations for standard of care

SWAG is appealing to Eastern Ontario social workers to take time in the next month to write a letter to your local MPP and ask, as a constituent, that the government include the profession of social work as a mandatory professional service available to residents in LTC and to their caregivers.

You can refer to the OASW letter which your MPP will have received in November 2018, however, make the letter your own, include your personal experiences and address it to your local MPP as their constituent.

See the attached list of Eastern Ontario MPPs’ constituency office.

A few years ago the Professional Association of Dieticians conducted a successful campaign to have LTC regulations changed to mandate that dieticians be an essential service in LTC.

Social Workers are now being encouraged to advocate to have our profession mandated in all LTC facilities.

There is no SWAG meeting in December.
The next meeting is THURSDAY, JANUARY 24TH 2019

The topic will be : Bed Bugs in the City and the Impact on Our Seniors.

Season’s greetings  and best wishes for 2019 from the SWAG Steering Committee

Joanne Green

Karen Ann Blakely

Colleen Barclay

Bonnie Schroeder

Carmelina  Cimaglia

Wendy Birkhan

Catherine Bennett

Capacity Assessment, and How it Relates to LTC Decisions and Applications

From SWAG, SPEAKER: Catherine Butler BA, BScN, MHA Vice-President, Home & Community Care, Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)

(Picture from

Speaker will address these issues are they are relevant to social work scope of practice

  • How capacity is assessed in home & community care
  • Developing skilled capacity assessors in home care – education, ongoing learning & support
  • Impacts of poor assessments – what are the barriers & enablers to an effective assessment
  • Dispute mechanisms


Time: 3:30 to 5PM

Location: Colonel By Retirement Home, 42 Aylmer Avenue

( parallel to Sunnyside near Bank street and canal)

Contact Beverlee McIntosh for further information:

Public meeting with an expert panel on long term care to explore ways to rebuild public capacity, improve quality and accountability

From SWAG, please share and encourage others to join in this event

Long Term Care is a Municipal Issue!

You are invited to an open public meeting with an expert panel on long term care to explore ways to rebuild public capacity, improve quality and accountability for seniors’ care in the Ottawa Area.

Monday, September 17th , 7pm-9pm

McNabb Community Centre, 180 Percy St.  Assembly Hall

Visit or email

We have seen many stories of abuse, lack of safety and not enough care or accountability in long term care homes in our city. 
How can our municipality be part of the solution for these problems? 
Albert Banerjee
 – PhD, Research Associate, Trent University Centre for Ageing and Society

·         Susan Braedley – Associate professor at Carleton University whose research projects include: Re-Imagining Long-Term Residential Care: An International Study of Promising Practices and Healthy Ageing in Residential Places

·         Doreen Roque – Executive member of the Champlain Region Family Council Network , which advocates for the needs, rights and interests of residents living in long term care homes and supports family councils in long term care homes

·         Joanne Waddell – Works as a cook for over 30 years at Madonna Care Community, a long term care facility in Orleans. Joanne represents Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) health care workers in Eastern Ontario on the health care workers coordinating committee of CUPE Ontario.

Les soins de longue durée : une problématique municipale !

Vous êtes invités à une assemblée publique en compagnie d’un groupe d’experts en soins de longue durée afin d’explorer des solutions pour rebâtir les capacités du système public, améliorer la qualité des soins aux aînés et accroître la responsabilité des établissements de la région d’Ottawa.

Lundi 17 septembre de 19h à 21h

Centre communautaire McNabb, 180, rue Percy Assembly Hall

Visitez ou écrivez à

Les médias sont pleins d’histoires de maltraitance, de manque de sécurité et de manque de soins ou de responsabilité dans les établissements de soins de longue durée de notre ville. Comment notre municipalité peut-elle faire partie de la solution à ces problèmes ? 

·         Albert Banerjee, Ph. D., associé de recherche au Centre universitaire pour le vieillissement et la société de l’Université Trent.

·         Susan Braedley, professeure agrégée à l’Université Carleton. L’un de ses projets de recherche s’intitule Réimaginer les soins à long terme en établissement : une étude internationale sur les pratiques prometteuses et le vieillissement en santé en établissement.

·         Doreen Roque, membre de l’exécutif du Champlain Region Family Council Network qui plaide en faveur des besoins, des droits et des intérêts des pensionnaires des établissements de soins de longue durée et qui aide les conseils de famille dans ces établissements.

·         Joanne Waddellcuisinière depuis plus de 30 ans chez Madonna Care Community, un établissement de soins de longue durée d’Orleans. Joanne représente les travailleurs de la santé du SCFP dans l’est de la province au sein du comité de coordination des travailleurs de la santé du SCFP-Ontario.


Elder Abuse – a focused journal issue from BJSW

From the British Journal of Social Work, apparently free access for a short period of time.  

…This Special Issue of the British Journal of Social Work is dedicated to arguably one of the biggest challenges facing social work today: violence and abuse of older people. Despite increasing acceptance of elder abuse as a global public-health issue and violation of human rights, research, policy and practice in this area remain fragmented and there are serious gaps across all three areas. This Special Issue is devoted to examining the international development of research, theory, policy and practice in relation to elder abuse and domestic violence affecting older populations. …

Issue Cover

See the Journal Issue here