Brand New Healthcare Concept Coming to Mississauga

If you're looking for a long-term care health facility for a loved one, you might be relieved to hear that a brand new health concept to coming to Mississauga.

The Region of Peel recently announced that Butterfly Homes, a facility that provides care for patients with dementia, is setting up spaces in every city in the region (Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga).

The region says it will create five more Butterfly Homes in its long term care centres over the next three years.

To be clear, the Butterfly Homes are not new buildings, but are households within the region’s existing facilities that will be transformed into special homes that meet the emotional needs of people with moderate to acute dementia.

The region says the the plan was endorsed by Peel Regional Council after a pilot project led to the successful creation of Ontario’s first Butterfly Home at Malton Village Long Term Care Centre in Mississauga.

The Butterfly Household Model of Care, created by Dr. David Sheard and Dementia Care Matters in the United Kingdom, is designed to improve quality of life for people living with dementia. According to the region, it does this by encouraging staff to learn about the people in their care and meet their needs for affection, activity and meaningful occupation.

“The home is joyous and active,” said Cathy Granger, director, Long Term Care, Region of Peel. “People are busy and happy. They participate in running the home as a way to regain a sense of meaning and purpose.”

The region also say that staff sick time has also decreased, as staff are encouraged to be less focused on tasks and more on the people living in the home.

“Long term care traditionally does an excellent job of caring for the body, but often fails to provide what people need emotionally,” said Nancy Polsinelli, commissioner, Health Services, Region of Peel.

“In this model, staff learn about emotional needs, by reflecting on their own feelings, which helps them to become more attuned to the needs of the people they are caring for, including recognizing when someone needs a hug or supporting them with an activity that gives them purpose.”

Dementia is a group of diseases including Alzheimer’s that cause gradual decline in logic, the ability to interpret the world and communication. Responsive behaviours—including aggression, repetitive motions and calling out—often occur when a person's needs go unmet.

The region says Butterfly Homes work to give patients emotionally meaningful and compassionate care—something they call "person-centered."

"What do we mean by person-centred? It means doing more than just addressing clinical needs," the region's website reads.

"It means connecting emotionally, which, due to dementia’s impact on logic and memory, can be a powerful way to connect with people in a meaningful way. It means making the house truly feel like home, a place we could welcome family and friends. By meeting people’s physical and emotional needs, we never forget they are complex, valuable, feeling beings. This, to us, is how we become person-centred."

The region says it made the following changes:

  • Enabling staff to connect emotionally with people and building staff capacity to understand cognitive and functional abilities across the different stages of dementia
  • Creating a more relaxed home-like feel to the day with less task-orientation and more emphasis on people living and working in the home feeling relaxed
  • Redesigning the home to be more welcoming and intimate, and filling the household with the “stuff of life” so that people can connect with a variety of colours, textures and objects that reflect their past lives, work and hobbies
  • The home is now a place of engagement, interaction, family and comfort. This has allowed us to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications, increase social engagement, reduce falls and improve staff satisfaction.

"The Region of Peel is supporting the model by funding training and staff for its Butterfly Homes," the region said in a recent news release.

"The Region is advocating to regulators and funding bodies to support these requirements as a way to enable models such as Butterfly to become the norm in Ontario."

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