In partnership with some of the province’s leading educators, The Living Classrooms at Schlegel Villages offer students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Village’s supportive environment while learning the fundamentals of true person-centred care. In a demanding field where care providers are straining to recruit the best team members, these students have the opportunity to learn from the best.
The Living Classroom concept embodies all aspects of our quest to create true community hubs within our Villages. Alongside our partners, we commit to leading innovation by bringing front-edge research into practice. When we welcome these students into our Villages, they become ambassadors of our unique, social model of living because they learn how rewarding working in this field can be.
The Living Classroom is a partnership model that integrates education into a long-term care or retirement home to support workforce development in senior living. Students, faculty, and those living, visiting and working in the home engage in a culture of shared learning. Students gain real-life experience and are well prepared for a career in senior living. Residents, families and team members from the home benefit from student engagement and provide mentorship opportunities.
The Living Classroom addresses four important public policy objectives that are foundational to all educators, students and senior living homes:
Access: Living Classrooms increase student enrollment in educational programs, such as the PSW or RPN program, by bringing education closer to prospective students and by locating programs within communities that do not have an existing educational program;
Education Capacity: Living Classrooms enhance the education capacity within LTC homes demonstrating the teaching and learning value of these settings. The Living Classroom promotes continuous learning and teaching among existing LTC teams and educators by sharing best practices and evidenced-based care from student-staff-resident interactions;
Workforce Capacity: Living Classrooms graduate more PSWs with an interest in seniors living by creating opportunities for interaction with residents and families and by fostering a life-learning environment within LTC for students and staff;
Quality and Sustainability: Living Classrooms develop caregivers with skills that prepare them for careers working with older adults and provide opportunities to develop and share new approaches for practical learning in LTC homes. Another goal is to develop caregivers who want to contribute to continual improvement in LTC and all seniors living environments.
When a PSW or Practical nurse is in a college classroom learning their fundamental skills, many may not consider the opportunities available in the senior living sector. When they are immersed in such a setting, however, they see just how wonderful the connections with residents can be.
At the same time, these future caregivers also learn about the realities of health conditions directly from the residents and team members they train alongside. The value of hands-on, practical experience in the caring professions can never be overstated.