Making SENSE with Families in Long-term Care: A Knowledge-to-Action Study


Over 250,000 Canadians live in long-term care homes. By 2038, families of residents will be giving over 107 million hours of care each year. In general, the role of families and friends in this setting has been unclear. They have been thought of as visitors, mainly providing social and emotional support. Yet our research suggests their role is changing. This is due to growing frailty and medical needs of residents, without an increase in staffing support. Family members and friends are becoming more involved in day-to-day and ‘hands-on’ care for their relative. They also play a larger role in the lives of other residents. Highly involved family members on-site expressed a desire to better understand the needs of all residents, particularly those with dementia.

This pilot study aimed to conduct a knowledge-to-action project by co-creating a workshop series with families that provides education, peer support and networking.

Jennifer Baumbusch, RN, PhD, MSN, BSN is an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia. She received her PhD and BSN, both in Nursing, from the University of British Columbia, as well as her MS in Nursing from the University of Western Ontario. In addition to directing a research program on health care delivery and nursing practice with older adults, Dr. Baumbusch’s research focuses improving the inclusion of families in long-term care homes.