Empowering Ontario’s long-term care residents to shape the place they call home
This project is co-funded with Perley Health as part of the 2022 Springboard Grants Program: Early Career Researcher Competition.
About the Project
Our objective is to empower long-term care (LTC) home residents to shape the place they call home. Our project brings together researchers, knowledge users (including co-investigators at the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC) and LTC residents) and highly qualified personnel in their shared interests in engagement and quality of life in LTC homes. Guided by an integrated approach to research – in which stakeholders are actively involved in all aspects of the study – we will undertake two aims:
- Collect and summarize existing knowledge on approaches to engaging LTC home residents in program and service design, delivery and evaluation. As part of this process, we will involve LTC residents, staff and decision-makers to review the completeness, relevance and applicability of these findings to the current context of LTC homes.
- Share findings as evidence-informed tools/products, using approaches that specifically target LTC residents, staff and decision-maker audiences.
This work is particularly timely in light of new legislative requirements (Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021) that requires LTC licensees to engage residents in quality improvement and operational planning. OARC, a non-profit association funded by the Ministry of LTC, is uniquely positioned to contribute and facilitate knowledge from the perspectives of LTC residents and disseminate findings through their networks of LTC residents, homes and stakeholder organizations. Our findings will be integrated into OARC’s strategic and operational plans, thereby ensuring impact for LTC home policy and practice and, ultimately, improve quality of life and sense of home for LTC residents.
We will publish present our review findings in academic and non-academic venues. The tools/products might include a combination of materials (e.g., toolkit), workshop/webinar, training, media and social media. The tools/products will be developed in consultation input from the study team and stakeholders, including in consideration of adapting the content and delivery of tools/products to different audiences and the current LTC home context (e.g., in-person or virtual delivery).
Jennifer Bethell – University Health Network
Julia Fineczko – University of Toronto
Carrie McAiney – University of Waterloo
Katherine McGilton – University Health Network
Melissa McVie – Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils
Dee Tripp – Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils
Beryl Collingwood – Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils
Jim Gilhuly – Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils
Gale Ramsden – Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils
Keywords: long-term care homes; nursing homes; engagement; review; knowledge translation; knowledge exchange
There are nearly 200,000 Canadians living in over 2,000 long-term care (LTC) homes across the country. LTC residents seek opportunities for meaningful activity, including making contributions to their homes and communities. New legislative requirements for LTC homes in Ontario (Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021), that came into force in April 2022, articulate increased powers and scope of influence for Residents’ Councils, including the requirement for LTC licensees to formalize a process to engage residents in quality improvement and operational planning; LTC homes are seeking support with implementation.
Engaging LTC residents could inform education, policy, service delivery and governance within homes, yet very little is known about approaches to engagement in this setting and population.
Guided by an integrated approach, in which stakeholders are actively involved in study design, conduct and dissemination, our proposed project will undertake two sequential objectives:
- Synthesize existing knowledge on approaches to engaging LTC home residents in program and service design, delivery and evaluation.
- Disseminate findings as evidence-informed tools/products, using approaches that specifically target LTC residents, staff and decision-maker audiences.
Help to transform LTC home culture from institutional to person-centred, where residents are involved in shaping their home and care experience.