Aging can bring many benefits including extra time to enjoy family, friends and personal pursuits. It can also include: declining physical and mental capacity; illness; disability; complex treatment and care plans; pain; emotional suffering; and the realization that the end of life is approaching.

As a result, Elder Care is a field that is ripe with the potential for difficult emotional reactions, challenging conversations and conflicts. While nothing can completely eliminate these challenges, there are things we can do that will make them better.

If you are a professional in the Elder Care field, ask yourself the following:

  • Are difficult conversations with patients, their families or Substitute Decision Makers a stressful part of your job that distracts from other tasks?
  • Do you find yourself having difficult conversations and wishing you knew how to handle them better?
  • Are there times when you feel that conversations get sidetracked or hijacked by family conflict?
  • Do issues of consent and capacity raise concerns for you?
  • Are you unclear how to identify who the legally authorized Substitute Decision Maker is at times and unsure about their duties and responsibilities?
  • Do you sometimes feel stressed or overwhelmed during or after these difficult conversations?
  • Do you have trouble understanding Power of Attorney for Care documents or what happens if there is no such document for a patient?
  • Do you wish you had a better understanding of the legal issues around Elder Care that impact your role?

This workshop has been specifically designed to help health care professionals and administrative staff to handle difficult conversations and difficult situations related to Elder Care with greater skill and confidence as well as understanding related legal issues.

You will learn six themes that make conversations difficult and how to enhance your ability to manage those challenges in the context of Elder Care. You will engage in practical and interactive discussions, exercises, and role plays focused on difficult conversations that arise in Elder Care. You will also learn key aspects of the law around consent and capacity as well as substitute decision making. You will leave the workshop with specific tips and techniques to increase your ability to have difficult conversations and reduce your stress at work.

For your convenience, a continental breakfast and catered lunch will be served each day of the workshop. Snacks, coffee and drinks will be available throughout the day.

Who Should Attend

The Mastering Difficult Conversations in Elder Care Workshop is designed for Directors of Care Nurses, Personal Support Workers, Long-term care administrators and staff, Retirement home administrators and staff, Hospital administrators, Hospice staff and Doctors.

We have designed and delivered customized workshops for organizations such as Extendicare, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Ontario Medical Association, Women in Medicine, William Osler Health Centre, Beaumont Hospital, Ontario Patient Relations Association, Aptus Treatment Centre, College of Nurses of Ontario, and St. John Ambulance.

Personal Benefits

  • Manage angry or upset people with less stress for everyone
  • Deliver difficult messages clearly to promote understanding
  • Increase your power to promote agreement
  • Overcome the fears that lead you to avoid conversations
  • De-escalate a conflict so it doesn’t become a complaint
  • Confront unacceptable behaviour calmly and respectfully
  • Understand the legal framework of consent, capacity and substitute decision making
  • Save time by avoiding unnecessary mistakes in difficult conversations
  • Improve your effectiveness and decrease your stress in difficult situations

Organizational Benefits

  • Improved client/patient care
  • Less wasted time having unnecessary or repetitive difficult conversations
  • Fewer complaints from clients, patients, families, substitute decision makers
  • Minimized risk of lawsuits or regulatory complaints
  • Improved morale due to less stress regarding difficult conversations
Faculty of Law Seal

Graduates receive a certificate from the University of Windsor Law School.

The instructors had broad legal knowledge and easily picked up on examples from the audience. There were lots of tips to help facilitate improved communication with clients and families in Long Term Care.

– Christine Whitmore, Family Physician, Oakville, ON, Canada

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