Palliative Care Education for Interdisciplinary Staff of Long-Term Care Homes and Community Support Service Organizations in Toronto


Hospice Palliative Care Ontario offers palliative care education for Long-Term Care Homes (LTC) or Community Support Services (CSS) located within the Ontario Health Toronto region.  These courses are designed to meet the palliative care educational needs of interdisciplinary staff in long-term care facilities and retirement residences. This education was designed to provide flexible virtual learning opportunities.

This education is offered free of charge for individuals working at a Long-Term Care Home or Community Support Service Organization within the Toronto region.

Please contact us to discuss education opportunities:

Upcoming Webinars

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Previous Webinars – Email to access the recordings:


#1 – Traumatic Loss and Grief in The Time of COVID

Facilitated by: Tara Cohen

Overview:  The pandemic has presented everyone with an unprecedented and traumatic experience of loss and its inherent grief.  This has occurred not only with the deaths of those we knew or cared for, but the sheer loss of control over the situation, and the loss of the ability to live our lives and provide care the way we were used to.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Examine the many different types of grief, thereby expanding grief literacy for the participants
  • Recognize the range of individual responses to loss and grief, with time to acknowledge and reflect on one’s own personal experiences of loss and grief during this time of pandemic
  • Identify strategies which may be helpful in acknowledging and process grief personally and in the workplace


#2 – Integrating a Palliative Approach: 101

Facilitated by: Danielle Just, Research Coordinator for SPA-LTC Research Team at McMaster University

Overview:  Understanding the concept of the palliative approach to care is important to all health care workers in all sectors, particularly in Long Term Care (LTC) and Community.  This session will help to introduce the palliative approach, and give practical suggestions as to how to integrate it into their own practice setting.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Examine the philosophy of palliative care, and concept of the palliative approach to care for anyone with life-limiting illness
  • Reflect on how this may or may not be currently incorporated into their practice settings
  • Identify ways to champion a palliative approach to care in their setting


#3 –  Therapeutic Conversations at End-of-Life: Building on the Basics

Facilitated by: Shoshana Helfenbaum, Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in LTC  (CLRI) & Dr Cathy Smith

Overview:  Trauma can create strong emotional and physical reactions that negatively affect the person’s health and the ways they respond.  Developing a trauma-informed practice contributes to providing a safe environment for health care.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To be introduced to the concept of trauma-informed care, and why it is important to consider
  • Learn about strategies and resources which can assist in developing a trauma-informed practice
  • Consider ways to champion this type of care in your workplace


#4 – Integrating a Trauma Informed Approach to Care

Facilitated by: Rami Shami, Palliative Care Consultant

Overview:  This session will be beneficial for those who have some basic knowledge and experience with conversations with those who are dying and their families.  The session will focus on responding to questions and initiating difficult conversations with patients/clients and families as they approach end-of-life.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify some of the more difficult situations health care providers face when taking part in therapeutic conversations at end-of-life
  • Discuss strategies, conversation starters and principles for accompanying clients and families at this time
  • Identify resources for ongoing learning in this area, as well as self-reflection questions to consider in determining comfort, growth and learning needs for the participants


#5 – LGBTQ2+ Peoples:  Striving for Cultural Safety/Appropriate Care

Facilitated by: David Wright

Overview:  People who identify as LGBTQ2+ have a greater likelihood, as many other minority groups, of experiencing barriers in accessing care which is culturally safe and appropriate for them.  This session will identify some of the challenges these persons face and some of the strategies providers can consider, especially when caring for those who are aging or dying and their families.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify the components of cultural safety, including cultural humility, sensitivity, awareness and cultural competence and how these affect care
  • Become aware of the particular challenges and experiences of people who identify as LGBTQ2+
  • Identify ways your workplace can address these challenges and provide culturally sensitive care
  • Recognize how personal and societal biases and values influence care and identify mechanisms to address these for yourself and your workplace


#6 – Integrating a Palliative Approach:  Persons with End-Stage Dementia

Facilitated by: Daphna Grossman

Overview:  Persons living with end-stage dementia and related diseases, can pose specific challenges when providing end of life care.  Integrating a palliative approach to care can be helpful in early and late stages of the disease.  This session will discuss the common trajectories and when a palliative approach to care would be most beneficial for the patient and their families.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the common symptoms and trajectories of the various dementia-related diseases
  • Identify some of the clinical tools in use which can help to identify prognosis and care level
  • Learn how to integrate a palliative approach to care throughout the illness, but in particular, at end-stage disease


#7 – Integrating a Palliative Approach:  Persons with End-Stage Kidney or Heart Disease, Diabetes or COPD

Facilitated by: Daphna Grossman

Overview:  People living with end-stage kidney or heart disease, diabetes or COPD, normally have extensive medical needs.  Taking time to understand their needs, wishes and goals of care, can assist greatly in their quality of life as well as length of life in some circumstances. Integrating a palliative approach to care early can make a significant difference to them and to their families.

Learning Outcomes:   

  • Understand the symptoms of end-stage disease of the heart, kidneys or lungs, and those related to end-stage diabetes
  • Identify some of the clinical tools which can assist with illness trajectory and care
  • Learn how and when to integrate a palliative approach to care and the advantages of doing so


#8 – Improving Care at the End-of-Life: Addressing the Need for Culturally Safe-r Care for Indigenous Peoples

Facilitated by: Holly Prince

Overview: Indigenous peoples have long-standing cultural knowledge in caring for community members who are preparing to journey to the spirit world. However, over 150 years of colonization denigrated these practices and imposed Westernized Eurocentric health care systems. The ongoing effects of colonization, oppression and racism persist into the present day and impact the health and access to quality care for Indigenous peoples. This session explores the history and current state of Indigenous-specific racism within healthcare and challenges healthcare providers to examine their own positionality through the lens of cultural safety, cultural humility and trauma-informed care.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discuss structural vulnerability and the social determinants of health
  • Identify how colonization impacts Indigenous people’s health and access to equitable care
  • Examine equity-oriented approaches, including cultural safety, cultural humility and trauma-informed care
  • Discuss reconciliation and allyship as strength-based responses to moving forward together to address these needs


#9 – Workplace Wellness:  Reflecting Back and Looking Forward

Facilitated by: Juliet Irish

Overview:  Workplace wellness may have looked different before and during the pandemic.  This session will examine the challenges apparent before and during the height of the pandemic, and their impact on staff.  We will explore ways to move forward, building in strategies for healthy staff and workplaces on an ongoing basis, taking into consideration the lessons COVID offered us.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Reflect on workplace challenges for wellness before and during the pandemic
  • Explore strategies for personal and professional wellness in light of the pandemic, and moving forward


#10 – Managing Self-Care in a time of COVID

Facilitated by: Juliet Irish & Sarah Fiener

Overview:  Health care providers, especially those on the front-lines, have been impacted deeply by the many stresses of the pandemic.  Identifying signs of stress and burnout, and being convinced of their need to care for themselves in order to stay healthy is extremely important, for their own wellness and their continued ability to provide care to others.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify the many stressors and challenges facing workers, especially during these times
  • Learn about the signs of burnout, compassion fatigue and PTSD and the need to incorporate wellness strategies to avoid these wherever possible
  • Examine the concept of resilience, and the strategies which can support it including self-care, self-compassion, self-reflection, mindfulness and seeking support. Participants will be given the opportunity to assess their current level of attention to self-care and design their own ongoing self-care plan