RNAO action – Supporting Long-Term Care


RNAO is listening, anticipating and responding to the needs of the long-term care sector during this unprecedented time. All of the resources described below are available to anyone requiring them in the fight against COVID-19. Our deepest gratitude to the directors of nursing, attending NPs, medical directors, CNSs, RNs, RPNs, PSWs, and other workers in nursing homes and retirement homes, as well as our RNAO staff who are diligently and proactively supporting them, always and especially during the pandemic.  

Addressing staffing needs

RNAO has been working since March 13, through its ViaNurse program here, to address human resource needs of nursing homes and retirement residences seeking RNs, NPs and PSWs. Nursing students in 2d, 3d and 4th year can legally work as PSWs. If you would like to register for work, or if you are an organization seeking help, please go here.

Nurse Practitioner Knowledge Exchange Webinars

We have already held several webinars with NPs working in LTC.  This knowledge exchange Zoom forum centres on a wide range of needs and the identification of practice issues requiring more direction and tools, which we have quickly developed to support our colleagues in the field. We know these needs will continue to expand over the coming days, weeks and months, and we are eager, able and ready to respond. The new resources, tools and supports are summarized below:

Protocols/Resource Identification:

Suggestions and Strategies for Isolating Residents in Long-Term Care

To our knowledge there is no current research evidence or best practice guidelines that directly address COVID-19 isolation measures in relation to the population and residents with dementia in long-term care. This document outlines suggestions and strategies for isolating residents in long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. RNAO has gathered this list of suggestions and strategies from a number of long-term homes, and has received endorsement from both AdvantAge Ontario and the Ontario Medical Association. For details, see here.

Palliative Care Delivery in Long-Term Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This summary of palliative care and end-of-life resources is for health care providers in Ontario long-term care homes to help them to quickly address the issues they are confronting during this COVID-19 pandemic. Recommendations for advanced care planning are based on the Ontario legal framework. For details, see here.

Mental Health and Well-being: Resources for Psychosocial Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mental health and well-being is essential to our overall health. To maintain the safety of health care workers and their families during this pandemic, a list of recommended resources has been compiled to support you in getting the help you may need. We will continue to update this document as new resources are identified. For details, see here.

Facebook Supports

VIAFamily: RNAO LTC Support for Connecting Families

We recognize the profound impact social distancing is having on families and friends who have loved ones living in long-term care homes. Given the current visiting restrictions, RNAO established a Facebook Group the week of March 30th to provide a forum for families and friends of nursing homes and retirement homes residents to share stories and get support from others experiencing a similar situation. As of today, there are 150 members in the group. To join, go here.

Two emerging groups this week - we are responding to your needs – were launched yesterday!

Professional’s Peer-to-Peer Support During COVID-19
We know that as a health professional you are facing unprecedented stresses with the COVID-19 pandemic. You are working exhausting hours, making harrowing decisions and are anguished about the safety of your patients, yourselves and your own families. RNAO established a Facebook Group to provide a forum for health workers — nurses and other colleagues — to share stories with your peers and offer mutual support. To join, go here.

Sharing and Tackling Emerging Care Issues

This Group is for you, health workers - nurses and other colleagues - who are facing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic to raise concerns about practice issues affecting staff and/or the recipients of care and to offer mutual support that promotes safe, high quality care. You are encouraged to share your experiences and strategies to address practice concerns and cope with the challenges. To join, go here.

All three Facebook Groups will be moderated by RNAO staff, including registered nurses and policy experts. RNAO staff will direct participants to credible resources and identify unanswered questions, emerging issues and trends that require further action from us at RNAO and top officials in the province. You can join any of the groups through the links in RNAO’s Facebook page, here.