Supporting Family Caregivers of Frail Older Persons Living in Long Term Care

About the Project

Older adults living with frailty residing in 24 hour care facilities have complex health needs. The majority of these adults have dementia. Family caregivers continue to provide care and support for their relatives/friends in care facilities. Unfortunately when their relative is admitted to a care facility, they experience major changes in their lives such as changes in their roles/relationships resulting in poor physical and mental health. They need support. To support family caregivers of persons with dementia in 24 hour care facilities, we developed an online intervention called My Tools 4 Care-In Care.

Using focus groups, we began by asking 9 family caregivers what they needed. We also consulted with an advisory committee and received feedback via surveys from 3 Directors of Covenant Health LTC facilities. Following feedback, My Tools 4 Care – In Care was developed. It is different from other online websites as there are activities for the caregivers to use, such as how to have hope each day, how to talk to staff, and how to deal with feelings of grief. It was then used by 37 family caregivers for two months. They were asked if it is easy to use, if they could use it and if they would use it. As well they were asked how happy they were with it.

Preliminary study findings suggest that My Tools 4 Care – In Care is easy to navigate, convenient to use, feasible, acceptable and participants were very happy with it. As well, the findings suggest that it has the potential to increase hope, and decrease loss and grief in family caregivers. We are now reviewing feedback received from participants and making revisions to improve MT4C-In Care. We are also planning the next steps for its broader use.

Project Team

Principal Investigators:

Wendy Duggleby, PhD, RN, AOCN — University of Alberta


Kevin Brazil — Queen’s University (Belfast)

Dorothy Forbes — University of Alberta

Sunita Ghosh — University of Alberta

Jayna Holroyd-Leduc — University of Calgary

Sharon Kaasalainen — McMaster University

Carrie McAiney — McMaster University

Cheryl Nekolaichuk — Grey Nuns Hospital

Jasneet Parmar — Covenant Health

Shelley Peacock — University of Saskatchewan

Jenny Ploeg — McMaster University