Innovation Forum

New Design Guidelines for Long Term Care Homes

Baria Abu Ghoush

Improving long term care homes in Ontario is an important goal, given the critical role these facilities play in caring for seniors and other vulnerable individuals. Nearly half of Ontario’s older LTC homes need significant renovations or to be rebuilt in order to meet current design standards and provide greater comfort and safety. Living with roommates is particularly stressful [for residents with dementia]. Crowded hallways, dining areas, and limited lounge space bring residents too close together, too often. This puts them at a higher risk of agitation, irritation, and aggression towards other residents or staff. Having individual rooms and other home-like amenities can help to create a safe and secure living environment while respecting residents’ privacy and dignity [with] generous lounge and activity areas [that] allow people with dementia the freedom to move around and explore. Baria’s project presents new design guidelines for long term care homes in Ontario, that help solve some of the challenges facing these facilities in Ontario

Collaborating with Immigrant Women to Co-Design a Tool that Encourages Mental Health through Nature Interaction

Luz A. Paczka Giorgi (she/her)

Luz’s project consisted on collaborating with immigrant women in the development of a “tool” that would encourage mental health through nature interaction. This project came together as a response to the increasing number of immigrants that now conform a quarter of Canada’s population (Statistics Canada, 2022), but whose health declines over time after their arrival (Gushulak et al., 2011). Immigrant health has become a crucial public health matter that needs to be addressed. In addition, the high number of stressors that come with the immigrant experience, put the mental health of immigrants at risk. As a subset of the immigrant population, immigrant women experience other stressors that involve employment, family support, and cultural shock regarding gender roles, which put them at even higher risks of developing mental health issues. Therefore, in diverse populations as diverse as Canada’s, health challenges and inequities should be approached through an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens and (re)develop comprehensive, culturally-competent, equitable and accessible health services, systems, products and spaces. Considering the literature discussing the different emotional and physical aspects involved in the immigrant experience, as well as the important role nature exposure and interaction can play in mental and physical health (Lorentzen & Viken, 2020), Luz developed a research project that used a participatory approach to gather key insights, perspectives and contribution from immigrant women as a way to co-design a tool that could support other women in their health-seeking and immgiration process.

Unraveling Design Narratives for Birth Environments

Salam Roman

“Illness for two” – Through The Eyes of Family Caregivers

Mariam Al-Bess

By definition, a family caregiver is a family member who provides unpaid support and care for their family members or friends during their illness. However, there is much more to that. By conducting an Autoethnography, supported by a scoping review and subject matter experts discussions, and using a combination of metaphors and storytelling I want to tell my and other lived experiences stories and perspectives on caregiving.

The purpose of my project is to gain a deeper understanding of the actions, perceptions, emotions, stressors, needs and wants of family caregivers during their journey as caregivers to their loved ones. The study aims to identify gaps, key challenges, opportunities, and explore ideas with experts in the field to inform the design development process of services to support caregivers in their roles. The main goal is to improve family caregivers’ experiences along the different stages of their journey.

No place like home

Helen Bae

No place like home “ Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. – Robert Frost”

The focus of Helen’s final research project is centered around the topic of aging and community in Hamilton. Her study uses design anthropology and visual ethnography to co-create visual materials that represent the housing instability experiences of low-income older adults and their utilization of community support. A co-design workshop approach, along with one-on-one interviews, yielded insights for designing journey maps addressing multifaceted challenges. Art kits were sent to participants’ homes for mapping, sharing narratives, and exchanging insights during the workshop.

As a healthcare communications designer, Helen specializes in utilizing a design anthropology framework that centers on human-centered design to conduct research in the healthcare industry. Her research focuses on gaining insights into the needs and experiences of patients and healthcare providers, which are then applied to design innovative and engaging healthcare communications materials. Additionally, her expertise in visual and digital design allows her to create visually captivating and effective design solutions based on these insights.

Social Prescribing

Yoshi Perera

Social Prescribing is an evidence-based, community-centered, data-driven, and strengths-based tool that can support healthcare providers to prescribe social care to folks living with multiple co-morbidities (Alliance for Healthier Communities, n.d.). Despite its growing popularity, integration in the Canadian healthcare system is superficial at best. Several barriers exist, ranging from micro, mezzo, to large scale macro factors.