The Living Classroom
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 model was first implemented in Ontario through a partnership with Conestoga College, the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging and Schlegel Villages.
- 10. Promote and Sustain/Expand Value
10. Promote and Sustain/Expand Value
Investment and opportunities do not stop once the LC is up and running.
- 7. Identify and Connect Post-Secondary Education Faculty and Long-Term-Care Teams
7. Identify and Connect Post-Secondary Education Faculty and Long-Term-Care Teams
People are the greatest asset in Living Classrooms, as in many other businesses and collaborations.
- 8. Integrate Curriculum and Long-Term-Care Activities
8. Integrate Curriculum and Long-Term-Care Activities
A curriculum is the heart of any given educational program.
- 9. Define Communication and Coordination Mechanisms
9. Define Communication and Coordination Mechanisms
Open and ongoing communication is encouraged and valued.
- 4. Formalize the Collaboration
4. Formalize the Collaboration
A business relationship focused on collaboration is optimal for our Living Classroom.
- 5. Commit to the Physical Space for the Living Classroom
5. Commit to the Physical Space for the Living Classroom
There are many items that go into making the LC an inviting and interprofessional working
- 6. Create Standard Operating Protocols and Formal Agreements
6. Create Standard Operating Protocols and Formal Agreements
There are many Standard Operating Protocols that have to be considered between both organizations when
a Living Classroom is developed, but only two formal agreements are recommended.
- 1. Agree on the Living Classroom Definition
1. Agree on the Living Classroom Definition
This is an important first step to promote a full and shared understanding of the Living Classroom.
- 2. Determine Operational Viability
2. Determine Operational Viability
Operation viability involves the “make or break” elements that determine if a Living Classroom is possible.
- 3. Identify Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
3. Identify Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
The Living Classroom offers many opportunities for both a Long-Term Care home and a Post-Secondary Educator.
- Living Classroom
Unlock the potential. Open the door to the living classroom.
Who is going to be an advocate for residents and long-term care in the years to come? Our students! Those students that we mentor and support today — those are the people that will lead long-term care in the next decades. Those are the people I count on to build on what we have developed, and they will continue our work, to make sure that older adults receive the best possible quality of care and services.