AGE Recognition Awards – AGE

AGE Recognition Awards

Thank you to the 1,500+ GPA Certified Coaches (CC) and their organizations across Canada for your steadfast commitment to GPA dementia education for healthcare staff and students. The  AGE Recognition Awards are a way to recognize your commitment, celebrate your achievements and share your successes.

This year (2021-2022), instead of presenting awards, we chose to celebrate “resilience” during the pandemic, inviting GPA CCs to submit GPA Stories from the Point of Care during COVID-19.. These stories speak beautifully to love, hope and resilience in a difficult, often tragic period for all of us. We share them with you below.

(To see the profiles of past award recipients, scroll down.)

Parkview Home, Parkview Services for Seniors, Whitchurch-Stoufville, Ontario

GPA Certified Coach Monika’s Story

Over the years at Parkview, we’ve noticed a significant changes in the home thanks to the GPA program. Staff are able to provide person-centred dementia care in a more confident manner. Nurses’ progress notes show that staff incorporate GPA strategies into daily care. They might use Gentle Redirection to separate residents during an altercation and Validation to make sure a resident knows their feelings and concerns are being heard.

 — Monika Berinde, Resource Nurse, GPA Certified Coach since 2012 (far right in photo, facilitating a GPA Basics 4th edition session).

Milton Adult Day Program & Allendale Long Term Care, Halton Region, ON

GPA Certified Coach Sandra’s Story

I love my work, but during the pandemic there was just so much going on. It was eye-opening, emotional and tragic, like being in another world. In GPA coaching sessions, I reminded everyone that as care providers we had to leave our own worries at the door and put ourselves in our residents’ shoes. If COVID-19 was making us anxious and afraid, imagine what it was doing to our residents. — Sandra O’Neill (second from left, top row), CSW, GPA Certified Coach since 2014.

Summerset Manor, Summerside, PEI

GPA Certified Coach Tabatha’s Story

“Each time we went into lockdown family and friends couldn’t visit. We noticed the effects on our residents right away. There was more wandering, confusion and sadness. GPA practice was vital. We saw the positive impact of using GPA strategies. We validated residents’ feelings, we distracted them from their worries and tried our best to explain what was happening. We called people wearing masks “Blue Nosers” to help quell anxiety and fear. GPA strategies (e.g., STOP and GO, redirection, validation) were so helpful. We sang a lot. We danced with residents. We took time to enjoy even the little things, because with family unable to visit, staff became everything to residents.” – Tabatha Gallant, Therapeutic Dementia  Worker, GPA Certified Coach since 2014

Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga, ON

GPA Certified Coach Mariam’s Story

The tools learned in GPA are used daily in our practice in the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP). They help us recognize Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD). GPA also helps us communicate more effectively with each other when discussing how to help patients with protective behaviours. GPA reminds us not to label patients or behaviours. We’re able to see each patient as an individual. Having taken GPA Basics, I feel more confident in care and it empowers me. I feel in control when faced with protective behaviours. As a team trained in GPA, we are less frustrated and more effective knowing that all
behaviour has meaning.” – Mariam Mokhtarzada-Salim, Physiotherapist, Elder Life Specialist, GPA Certified Coach since 2018

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Sherbrooke Community Centre, SK

GPA Leadership Excellence ‘with distinction’

Sherbrooke Community Centre is home to 263 residents and 100 Community Day Program participants, supported by more than 500 staff, 400 volunteers, families, friends, students and quite a few furry pets! GPA was implemented in 2010. Before taking their first shift, new staff must complete a GPA education session. Currently, 100% of staff have participated in GPA and 93.1% have completed GPA-Recharged to refresh their knowledge and skills.

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Halton Healthcare, ON

GPA Leadership Excellence ‘with distinction’

Halton Healthcare introduced GPA into the acute care setting in 2014 with two GPA Certified Coaches. Fast forward to 2018 — the number of coaches has now more than quadrupled across all three sites and coaches come from a variety of roles and programs. GPA education sessions rotate monthly between sites and include staff from the point-of-care, allied health, medical personnel, diagnostic imaging, unit clerks, housekeeping, dietary staff and volunteers.