A year after joining the Senior Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI) (1), Actionmarguerite feels the experience has been a positive one.

A SQLI survey, aimed at measuring residents’ quality of life and administered to all cognitively able Actionmarguerite residents who were interested in responding, highlighted some of the organization’s weaknesses: personal (inter-resident) relationships, staff-resident bonding, and mealtime social interaction.

“It helps us determine our priorities based on what residents want rather than what we think they want,” says Charles Gagné, CEO of Actionmarguerite.

“Relationship quality is a big part of the overall quality of life here, given that residents see Actionmarguerite staff and their fellow residents more than the rest of the community. Even though the residents feel they are treated with respect, they would like to have a stronger bond with the people caring for them.”

Charles Gagné adds: “With SQLI, we have to meet international standards that are higher and therefore more difficult to achieve than those in Canada and the US. It forces us to do better in continuously improving our results.”

A comparison with the other 14 SQLI member organizations also showed that, while Actionmarguerite’s overall results were above average for depression and mood disorder management, they were lower for pain management, with the exception of preventing worsening pain, where the results were consistent across the group.

“We must improve our use of antipsychotics and pain management,” says Charles Gagné. “However, given that the American and Canadian protocols are different in this area, we need to take the time to compare the data in greater detail to get a better idea of where we stand.”

Lastly, Actionmarguerite plans to review its fall management policy, given that the bed alarms currently in use are too noisy and fail to prevent falls. The organization has therefore begun to look into the new “purposeful rounding” system introduced in a Boston facility.

“The staff regularly visit residents’ rooms to anticipate and address their needs before they arise,” explains Charles Gagné. “With this new practice, which will replace bed alarms, we hope to address the fall and noise issue.”

(1) SQLI is an international group of 15 leading senior care organizations from across Canada and the United States working to find sustainable and effective solutions to enhance quality of life for long-term residents.