Java Circle News
Happy holidays to all of the homes that have been part of our
Power of Peer Support project! 

This past year has been extremely fulfilling and rewarding, and it has been amazing hearing of the various successes happening every day in homes across Ontario thanks to peer support group programs, and your passion.
Would you like to have your home featured in this newsletter? Please submit stories, quotations, photos or videos to Michelle Fleming at .  
Final Project Workshop

On September 11th, team members representing homes facilitating Java peer support programs from across the province gathered for the final project workshop at Bruyère’s Saint-Louis Residence in Ottawa.

We were delighted to have Kristine Theurer, the President and Founder of Java Group Programs join us to lead a workshop entitled The Power of Silence, where strategies to utilize silence therapeutically were practiced and discussed. Renate Ysseldyk, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Carleton University Department of Health Sciences and the team of masters’ research students presented an update on the two research projects that are being conducted as part of this project. 

We facilitated a Learning Circle where recreation professionals talked about the challenges and successes they have had in facilitating peer support groups. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate successes and for folks to learn various strategies from their peers. 

Thank you to everyone who came out and made the event a success! We were particularly happy to have representatives from two of the homes in northern Ontario – Hogarth Riverview Manor and Manitoulin Lodge.
What we Have Achieved Together
Thanks to your enthusiasm and engagement, we have achieved a phenomenal amount through this one-year project. We have trained 80 staff and eight volunteers as Java Music Club facilitators. We delivered seven webinars with 537 live participants who participated from across North America. Our project was featured in four articles and our team presented at six conferences and events, including Therapeutic Recreation Ontario Conference and the International Federation on Ageing’s Global Conference on Ageing. Read the articles and learn more here.
We produced a short documentary about the powerful impacts of peer support group programs in long-term care, entitled Better Together: The Power of Peer Support. We are also pleased to have been able to produce four supplemental videos that showcase the homes individually and highlight various aspects of peer support program elements – these videos can be viewed here

Some homes have used the documentary to help team members from other departments understand what the program is all about; others have shared it with their Family Council, Resident Council, Board of Directors and the senior leadership team. I encourage you to consider ways that you can use it to help others understand the impact of the work that you do every day, and share it widely with your colleagues. 

We are pleased that this documentary was featured this fall in the newsletters of AdvantAge Ontario, Ontario Long-Term Care Association (OLTCA) and Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO).   

We have such in-depth feedback from all of the homes and we appreciate you taking the time to fill out your evaluations. In January we will be sharing an infographic highlighting the overall results from those evaluations. For now, here are a few highlights from the evaluations (please note, quotes are not linked to the individuals photographed):

What the Residents Told us:

What Team Members Told us:
Unique Approaches to Java
Our facilitators have put their own personal touch on their groups depending upon the needs of the residents, the home and the personalities of the folks who facilitate.

Consider trying one of these ideas at your home:
      Community Volunteers facilitating the group
      Reading lyrics aloud rather than singing the songs – discussing the meaning behind the lyrics
      Battery powered candles on tables to create a relaxing ambience
      Serving freshly baked bread as a snack
      Having the Music Therapist play the songs live on guitar
      Groups for specific resident populations: newcomers, men and younger residents (under the age of 65)
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Thank you for sharing this newsletter broadly with residents, families, and colleagues in your home. Please contact us if you would like to receive a printed copy for your bulletin board.
This newsletter is part of the project: The Power of Peer Support: Reducing Social Isolation in Residential Care , a knowledge mobilization partnership initiative between Ontario Centre for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI) at Bruyère, Java Group Programs, Carleton University’s Department of Health Sciences and Bruyère Continuing Care’s Therapeutic Support Services. It is funded by the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), Carleton University and the Government of Ontario through the Ontario CLRI.  
Ontario CLRI | Bruyère | 613-562-6262 | |