Our Culture Change Journey

Working Together to Put LIVING First

There are nearly 18,000 long-term care homes in North America, including more than 600 in Ontario. The overwhelming majority of these homes were originally designed to provide services for older adults that reflect a medical model or institutional model of care; the focus is primarily on providing day-to-day care and medical attention.

In 2009, Schlegel Villages recognized the need to shift the way we offer care, the way we viewed older adults in general, and the way we supported the well-being of all within our community – residents, family members, team members and all care partners. We decided to embark on a journey that would transform and reshape the culture of aging at Schlegel Villages. In particular, we decided to move away from the “institutional model of care” and transform into an organization that honours a “social model of living.”  Below is a comparison table that highlights the key differences between the two models.

Institutional Model versus Social Model


To help us with this transformation we constantly seek counsel, guidance, and engagement from within our Village Communities. Residents, families and team members have a major role to play in this ongoing process, as do our trusted community partners. Throughout the journey we’ve engaged in various activities to share our culture change experience with others.