Making “nonessential” family/volunteer caregiving essential in LTC

Robitaille, Annie | $133,556

Ontario University of Ottawa 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

The no visitor policies put in place because of Covid-19 have resulted in substantial negative outcomes for residents, families, caregivers, volunteers, and health care professionals. This project will provide rigorous data to address the following implementation questions: (1) can new procedures to distinguish between family/volunteers/caregivers who are essential partners in care and those who are not be implemented successfully and sustained over time; (2) if family/volunteers/caregivers are not permitted in the home, can alternate initiatives for ensuring virtual contact be successfully implemented and what impact do those have on family, resident and health care professional outcomes. To answer these questions, the research team, in close collaboration with the knowledge users, will (1) gain an understanding of the safety, efficacy, effectiveness, and ethics of the current response to COVID‑19 that pertains to family/volunteer/caregiver presence in the long-term care setting; (2) increase the evidence about the impact of reduced levels of family/volunteer/caregiver presence as a result of COVID‑19 on the emotional and psychosocial well-being of residents, caregivers, and health care professionals, (3) engage stakeholders in generating solutions and recommendations to revisit policies on family/volunteer/caregiver presence to improve the current situation and improve the preparedness for future pandemics and outbreaks, and (4) evaluate the implementation, adoption, effectiveness and sustainability of interventions and policies regarding family/volunteer/caregiver presence; and identify and address barriers and facilitators to the uptake of interventions and policy changes across settings.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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