This content is made possible by our sponsors. Learn more about our OBJ360 content studio here.

How Perley Health supports Ottawa seniors and their families

The three pillars of care, research and knowledge translation impacts the local community and beyond

Perley Health Century Club member Roland Lalonde at his 100th birthday celebration.
Perley Health Century Club member Roland Lalonde, at his 100th birthday celebration. Photo by Andréa Fabricius

When Akos Hoffer realized he wanted to work in a mission-driven organization, it put him on the path to become the CEO of Perley Health.

For more than 16 years, he’s been serving the non-profit, long-term care community for Ottawa seniors and veterans, taking the helm in 2013.

Hoffer’s other priority was working with an innovative team, and that’s why he leads Perley Health with an entrepreneurial spirit focused on growth. 

Commitment to innovation, growth and quality care

One of the key ingredients for a growth mindset in a non-profit is a strong relationship with people like Courtney Rock, director of development, community engagement and partnerships  at the Perley Health Foundation.

“We forge community partnerships that support the hard work we’re doing to impact long-term care and the overall health-care sector,” said Rock. 

And Perley Health’s impact already extends far beyond its own walls, due its comprehensive three pillars of care approach for delivering long-term care: quality care, research and innovation, and knowledge translation. 

It’s how they discover and share best practices with any facility that wants to improve. 

In Ontario, all long-term care facilities must have a quality improvement plan. Perley Health goes one step further by participating in accreditation, which means they comply with 575 standards of care for accreditation, which Perley Health has met with 100 per cent success for five years running. 

“We’re very proud of that achievement because it sets the stage for our Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care,” said Hoffer. “By mastering the fundamentals, we can conduct meaningful, forward-thinking research and share results that fill gaps in the continuum of care.”

Strengthening the continuum of care

One of Perley Health’s most impactful initiatives to bolster their continuum of care was adding 139 on-site apartments for seniors who want to prepare for the future while living independently. 

Another initiative solved Perley Health’s need to find high quality staff. 

They partnered with Algonquin College to reimagine the personal support worker (PSW) and registered practical nurse (RPN) programs by converting a dining room into an on-site “living classroom.”

“Students can interact with residents, families and staff right from the start,” said Hoffer.

What’s clear, is the need to keep filling those gaps in care is growing every day due to our aging population. 

“The community we serve is about to double in size,” said Hoffer. “So we need to keep growing and double the number of seniors we serve — it’s that simple.”

Wound care: An innovation success story

One of the biggest challenges Perley Health has solved is wound care, or pressure injuries.

When a resident develops a pressure injury and becomes bed-bound, it has a massive impact on their quality of life, while also putting significant demands on a facility’s human resources. 

Perley Health’s research gives care providers at any facility a set of proven steps for better wound care. “What we’ve developed can be applied right away in any care setting,” said Hoffer. “The first goal is prevention, and nipping them in the bud is a close second.”

Freeing up your staff to care for active residents instead of tending to wounds at the bedside creates an enormous positive ripple effect for residents and staff alike.

At Perley Health, one of those ripples became The Century Club. “It’s an exclusive club that takes 100 years to get into,” said Rock. “This year we have more than a dozen members, with the oldest being a remarkable 105.”

These seniors are living life to the fullest while offering simple but sage advice we can all learn from, like “never give up.” Unfortunately, when one centurion, Roland, was approached for comment, he was too busy making beautiful wooden flowers for an upcoming craft sale to weigh in.

But Roland’s busy schedule certainly speaks to what Perley Health does best: remind us that quality care makes writing a fulfilling final chapter in our books-of-life, possible.

If you want to help Perley Health continue its important work click here.