The Vision for the Future Support of Older Adults
Palliative care is a philosophy and a specialized set of care processes that encompasses the physical, emotional, social, psychological, spiritual and financial needs of residents of long term care facilities and their families. Improving Quality of Life for People Dying in Long Term Care Homes is the Quality Palliative Care in Long Term Care (QTC-LTC) Alliance’s five-year comparative case study research involving four long term care (LTC) homes in Ontario. The homes are:
- Bethammi Nursing Home, Thunder Bay
- Hogarth Riverview Manor, Thunder Bay
- Allandale Village, Milton
- Creek Way Village, Burlington
This community-university research alliance is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. The primary goal of the research is to improve the quality of life of people dying in LTC homes by developing palliative care programs that follows the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association's Square of Care. The methodology is participatory action research (PAR), which has two unique features.
- Participatory means that those people and organizations that will benefit from the research also fully participate in it.
- Action means that the goal of the research is to make social change.
The study will explore the issues that serve as barriers to implementing palliative care in LTC homes, and assist facilities in creating environments and specialized services for their residents. Together, researchers, organizational partners and long term care home staff will assess needs, implement interventions and evaluate the results.
The end result will be an evidence based "toolkit” which can be used by other LTC homes to develop their own palliative care programs. Consequently, there will be a direct benefit to residents, families and LTC homes nationally and internationally. The research will also contribute to existing theory on organizational capacity development in a LTC home.
The principal investigator is Dr. Mary Lou Kelley from Lakehead University. The co-investigators include Dr. Sharon Kaasalainen, Dr. Kevin Brazil and Dr. Carrie McAiney from McMaster University; Dr. Michel Bédard, Pat Sevean, Dr. Jo-Ann Vis, and Dr. Elaine Wiersma from Lakehead University; Dr. Joan Sims Gould from the University of British Columbia; Paulina Chow from St. Joseph's Care Group; and Sheldon Wolfson from Halton Region, Social & Community Service.
Additional funding for knowledge translation was provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.