Brampton hospital first to use ‘Butterfly Approach’ towards dementia patients


Published March 8, 2023 at 11:45 am

Brampton Civic Hospital is now the world’s first acute-care hospital to begin using a new method of dementia care called “The Butterfly Approach.”

The approach — developed in the UK and currently implemented in a number of long-term care homes across the UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia — attempts to care for a dementia patient’s emotional needs just as much as their physical needs by using a variety of activities to stimulate the patient’s mind.

The Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) Unit at Brampton Civic has recently implemented brightly coloured walls, doors and common spaces, and various interactive stations, games, puzzles, books, and other activities.


Meaningful Care Matters, the UK-based consultancy that developed the approach, says there’s research to show significantly improved patient outcomes including an enhanced physical and mental state, and reduced behavioural responses.

“Achieving accreditation as the first acute care setting to implement The Butterfly Approach is a tremendous achievement, and a testament to the innovative and compassionate care provided at Osler,” said Jane deLacy, Vice-President, Clinical Services, William Osler Health System.

“I am very proud of the hard work and determination of Osler’s ACE Unit team and all those involved in leading the change in how we provide care for seniors with dementia in hospital.”

Dr. Sudip Saha, Osler’s Medical Director of Seniors’ Health and Division Head of Geriatric Medicine, says the communities served by Osler have a population growth rate three times the provincial average.

“Projections indicate that there will be an 83 per cent rise in the senior’s population nationally in the next eight years, so we need to incorporate new methodologies like The Butterfly Approach to ensure we continue to provide excellent care for senior patients, specifically those with dementia,” said Dr. Saha.

Photos courtesy of William Osler Health System

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