Transforming Care for Seniors and Veterans

Notes for an address by
Margaret Tansey, Chair, Board of Directors, Perley Health
to Annual General Meeting

June 6, 2024
Lupton Hall, Perley Health
1750 Russell Road
Ottawa, ON
K1G 5 Z6

[Note: Check against delivery]

Introduction and Acknowledgements

Good afternoon everyone, I am Margaret Tansey, Chair of the Perley Health Board of Directors. Thank you for joining us at Perley Health's Annual General Meeting.
80 years ago today, more than 14,000 Canadians landed on Juno Beach. Every day, and today especially, we honour the bravery and the contribution of those who changed the course of history during one of the best-known periods of conflict that led to the end of the Second World War.
On the 80th Anniversary of D-Day, we thank our Veterans and families and loved ones of members of our Canadian Forces, for all they've done, all they've lost, and all they've helped us gain through their service and sacrifice. Thank you for entrusting Perley Health with your care.
I extend my gratitude to our entire staff – nurses, personal support workers, support services, program coordinators, and administrators. Your dedication and professionalism are the reasons for our success. Thanks also to our dedicated volunteers, families, and generous donors. Together, we form a powerful community of care.
Transforming Senior Care
In 2023, Perley Health announced an ambitious plan is to double the number of seniors we serve by 2035. This vision drives our efforts to transform senior care and benefit the wider healthcare system in the Champlain region.
Canada's population over 70 is projected to double in the next decade, straining healthcare and long-term care systems. Traditionally, families, private homes, or public care provided this support. However, with smaller families and fewer caregivers, the demand for long-term care will surge.
Leading in Long-Term Care Innovation
Perley Health is a leader in transforming care and it is always begins with the bedside…or the person, answering the question, what would help. A prime example is our success in reducing pressure injuries, sometimes referred to as “bedsores”. These injuries significantly impact quality of life and are slow to heal.
An initiative launched by the Perley Health team a few years ago reduced worsening pressure injuries by 52% among our residents. This success story is driven by our dedicated team, including Registered Nurse and Wound Care Specialist, Samantha Boulerice. We recognize the generous contribution of the Perley Foundation for donating funds for a unique camera that provides essential information that guides treatment.
Sharing Knowledge and Best Practices
We recognize the importance of sharing our learnings. The Perley Health Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care™ was established in 2019 to begin at the bedside, to improve care, to gather evidence and conduct research and to share those lessons learned / best practices broadly. The Centre continues to grow, thrive and share to benefit others.
A recent example is the "Six Key Elements of an Effective Wound-Care Program" tip sheet, along with comprehensive guidelines and a dedicated website. These resources are being distributed at industry conferences and are available online to support continuous improvement in long-term care across Canada.
Addressing Frailty
Another key challenge is frailty, a condition that makes seniors more vulnerable to illness and slower to recover, often leading to expensive hospital admissions. Perley Health's approach is holistic.
The Centre of Excellence conducts research to identify and share best practices, while partnerships with Algonquin College provide on-site training and practical experience for future personal support workers and nurses.
Resident Quality of Life
We know that social isolation and loneliness is a serious and often life- threatening component of aging and long-term care. At Perley Health, where person-centred care is the cornerstone of all care, We surveyed each resident's experience and their feedback has shaped our programs and services. This year's Quality of Life Survey highlighted two areas for improvement: Socialization and Engagement, and Food & Dining.
Residents expressed a desire for more enriching activities and we're excited to announce the addition of several programs to the calendar, including:
  1. Advanced trivia nights;
  2. A lecture series;
  3. Documentary nights with group discussions; and
  4. Resident-led book clubs.
We believe these additions will provide more opportunities to connect and participate in activities residents will enjoy.

On the topics of food and dining, the feedback was clear. The Perley Health Quality Improvement Team and Resident Food Committee, a collaborative group representing residents, staff, volunteers, and families, are actively working on improvements.
Their focus has two areas:
  1. Enhancing the dining room atmosphere; and
  2. Menu consultations.
We acknowledge there's room for growth in this area and resident participation is key. Please know our team is committed to making your dining experience at Perley Health the best it can be.
Meeting Diverse Needs
Perley Health also caters to diverse needs, offering specialized care for Seniors and Veterans living with dementia; the Day Program, Respite House at Perley Health and Specialized Behavioural Support Unit.
In the past year, the Care Clinic at Perley Health launched to provide physiotherapy, audiology and other community services. We are also expanding foot care services to residents and tenants living in the Senior Living independent apartments.
Focusing on Our People
Our strategic plan update – launched during the pandemic - prioritizes our people and seeks to create the conditions and support for staff to excel. This has led to recent hires, additional educational opportunities and equipment investments.
Retention of staff is another strong focus. Given the healthcare and long-term care sector's ongoing labour shortages and ongoing challenges, Perley Health is stepping up efforts to attract and retain top talent.
Our Living Classroom now accommodates a second program: students enrolled in the Practical Nursing program attend classes and serve practicums on-site, learning the “Perley Way” and resulting in some direct hires our team.
Recognition and Appreciation
I want to acknowledge our outstanding Housekeeping staff, who have been recognized by the Canadian Health Care Housekeeping Association with both the Front-line Award of Excellence (their third consecutive year) and the Professional Excellence Award.
Focus on Staff and Community
Our advocacy efforts include a proposal for an on-site childcare centre in partnership with Andrew Fleck Children's Services. This innovative centre features intergenerational programming, where children and seniors engage in activities that stimulate their minds, bodies, and spirits. Staff from both Perley Health and Andrew Fleck are working with officials to establish a permanent program that will be popular with staff and families.
Volunteer Strength and Support
At Perley Health, "People First" is more than just a motto. People are the heart of our community, and that includes our invaluable volunteers. The pandemic's impact on our volunteer team was significant. We recognize the toll it took on our residents and healthcare workers. Moving forward, we are firmly committed to reintegrating volunteers into the daily life of Perley Health. The volunteer team is the “secret sauce” of what makes the Perley so successful.
Innovations in Senior Living
During the last year, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of 139 independent-living apartments for seniors. Known as Senior Living, the project was a bold move.
By becoming a landlord to Seniors and Veterans with a variety of needs and income levels, however, Perley Health significantly increased its contribution to the community.
The success of projects like Senior Living — the apartments have been continually occupied — along with ongoing strong donor support continue to drive innovation at Perley Health. We will continue to advocate for expansion to meet the growing need.
Strategic Partnerships and Donor Support
Strategic partnerships and unwavering donor support are essential for Perley Health's transformation efforts. Last year, the Perley Health Foundation's "Answering the Call" capital campaign successfully raised $10 million. Partnerships with organizations like the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the Ontario Long-Term Care Association and AdvantAge Ontario along with various government agencies enable us to develop and share innovative care models.
Looking Forward with Confidence
Over my tenure on the Board, I have learned to love everything Perley. There is a sense of goodness and even love in the air. Staff smile as you walk the hall, residents, too as they zoom by in electric scooters. A few moments in the art studios will lighten your spirits and the sound of music, laughter and even joy is common.
I am deeply grateful to have been included in its growth. While stepping down as Chair, saying goodbye, is not easy, I am confident in the future of Perley Health. The exceptional performance of Akos and the staff, the generosity of our donors, and the unwavering support from the community provide a solid foundation for continued growth. I have full faith in incoming Chair Lloyd Campbell, the Board of Directors, and management to lead Perley Health to even greater achievements and to continue the same commitment to excellence.
Living out Perley Health's motto. I am proud to say: Together, we will continue to improve the well-being of the people we serve.
Thank you.

2023 Financial Highlights

In 2023, Perley Health maintained a steadfast commitment to quality care and resident safety. While encountering higher costs primarily attributed to Bill 124 retro payments, the long-term care operations remained financially balanced, supported by increased funding from the Ministry. Seniors housing profitability increased owing to more efficient cost management. The Creative Art Services and Community Services continued their services, enhancing their ability to promote resident well-being and engagement. The Center of Excellence experienced a notable uptick in external grants, fueling expanded research activities. The ancillary operations played a pivotal role in bolstering the financial position, generating substantial profits largely driven by investment gains. This increased profitability facilitated greater contributions to the village expansion project. Furthermore, the non-resident food services, parking facilities, and other ancillary services are extended or recovered from the COVID pandemic, enriching the overall care environment for our community. Looking ahead, we remain committed to navigating future challenges while continuing to prioritize excellence in care delivery and financial sustainability.



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