Working Together to Put LIVING First

A Guidebook to Change the Culture of Aging in Long-Term Care

CC Guidebook Title Page smallThere is growing recognition that deep changes are needed across the continuum of aging services, but more specifically in long-term care, as we progress from institutional, medical models of care to social models of living. This positive revolution is known as the ‘culture change’ movement.

Working Together to Put LIVING First: A Guidebook to Change the Culture of Aging in Long-Term Care shares the story of how one long-term care and retirement living organization (Schlegel Villages) partnered with a research team at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) to embark on a unique culture change journey. As we share our story, we hope that you will find plenty of inspiration, insights and practical strategies that can be tailored to support your organization as you begin (or continue) your unique journey to create a better future within long-term care.

To access the free content of the Guidebook:

The main content of the Guidebook is freely available by downloading it here!

To purchase the full Guidebook (including appendices):

Full printed copies of the Guidebook, including appendices with over 100 pages of additional resources and worksheets, can be purchased and shipped within Canada via

If you would like to purchase Guidebooks for shipment outside of Canada, please contact Kate Ducak (; 519-904-0660 ext. 4107) to arrange shipping and payment.

To access culture change Coaching Services:

Coaching services are available to support your home or organization in beginning or strengthening your culture change journey.

Coaches with direct experience in a successful long-term care culture change initiative are available to provide guidance, training and education suited to your organization’s unique needs and culture. Below are examples of coaching packages that can be customized to your needs.

  • Learning about Culture Change. 1 day with 2 coaches (one from RIA and one from Schlegel Villages) to:
    • work with your leadership team to develop an in-depth understanding of the personal and organizational transformations necessary for impactful culture change in long-term care
    • provide an overview of the 9 steps of a culture change journey
    • facilitate a collaborative discussion to estimate organizational readiness to proceed and identify next steps.
  • Preparing for Your Culture Change Journey (Steps 1 – 2).   3-5 days of coaching time over 3-6 months to:
    • build a foundation for culture change within your organization
    • assess your organization’s current environment
  • Getting started on your journey (Steps 3 – 4).   3-5 days of coaching time over 3- 6 months to:
    • support development of an advisory team
    • support organization-wide engagement and appreciative interviews
  • Holding an Appreciative Inquiry Summit (Steps 5-7).   5-7 days of coaching time over 2-3 months to:
    • plan and co-facilitate an Appreciative Inquiry Summit
    • develop aspiration statements
    • begin the process of creating operational plans for each aspiration
  • Broadening Engagement and Sustaining Momentum (Steps 8 – 9). 3-5 days of coaching time over 12 months to:
    • plan and co-facilitate a “Destiny” retreat
    • facilitate collaborative discussions about activities and events to keep momentum going.

Please contact Josie d’Avernas (; 519-904-0660 ext. 4103) to discuss a support package customized to your needs and to sign up for coaching services.

RIA-CLRI_Logo_ColourThis Guidebook was produced in part with funding from the Government of Ontario.