An Inspiring Collaboration

Colleen Reidke

In November 2017, Actionmarguerite, one of CHCM’s Communities of Service, took a step into excellence through knowledge and experience sharing. It joined the Senior Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI), an international consortium of leading senior care organizations from across North America working since 2002 to improve quality of life for long-term residents.

Actionmarguerite is the first in Manitoba to belong to this group. “In personal care, the management gives us a plan that we are tasked with implementing,” says Colleen Reidke, Assistant Director of Care at Actionmarguerite. “SQLI encourages us to go further to introduce long-term improvement solutions.”

Thanks to SQLI, facilities learn from each other. “If one facility identifies a problem, it shares that information. We work together on a variety of programs.”Pain management, a key issue, is a good example. “When you look at the Manitoba data, it’s hard to know how to approach the problem. With SQLI, all the group’s institutions can work together, testing various options across North America and sharing the results to found out which one was the most effective.”

For a few months, Actionmarguerite has also been looking into the issue of depression in residents. “When residents arrive at our facilities, their whole world is turned upside down and they become more aware of their own mortality. We want to be able to treat their depression using an approach that targets their body, mind and spirit, not just with medication.”The Community of Service first gathered information from the other institutions with the idea of conducting a detailed survey on quality of life in its institutions and subsequently using the group’s information to see how it can address its residents’ depression. This initiative brings new perspectives on elder care to Actionmarguerite.

“When we compare ourselves with the other organizations, not for competitive purposes but in terms of collaboration, the impact is sizeable. SQLI will help us think outside the box, ask new questions, explore new ways to strive for excellence to better serve our residents.”Take one facility in Florida for instance, where rather than having a Board that makes all of the decisions, the residents are involved in the management process. Those responsibilities changed these residents’ quality of life. “It’s inspiring”, concludes Colleen Reidke