Presence of Family

Keefe, Janice M | $149,984

Nova Scotia Mount Saint Vincent University 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

The COVID‑19 pandemic has impacted long term care (LTC) facilities across Canada. While restrictive visitation measures were important to limit the spread of the virus, the resulting prolonged separation from family members, had a tremendous impact on the well-being and quality of life of residents. This proposal is to support the implementation and sustainability of public health directives to increase the presence of family (including friends) in LTC facilities through ‘support visitations’ during COVID-19. This work aligns with CFHI’s attention to practices that enhance the presence of family in LTC and the growing body of research that confirms family play a critical role in LTC. Family often assist with feeding, grooming and mobility and the absence of this partner in care during the pandemic resulted in hardship for residents, families and staff. As public health restrictions fluctuate in response to the second wave of the pandemic, it is therefore important to understand the implementation process for support visitations, what factors will support sustainability as the pandemic unfolds, and what the outcomes are of support visitations on residents, family and staff. Our aims are: 1.To explore and identify the contextual attributes of settings where support visitations have been adopted to articulate successful implementation processes. 2.To understand facilitators that support the implementation of support visitations as COVID‑19 remains present in LTC and broader community settings. 3.To understand how family has been engaged/represented in the implementation process. 4.To assess the outcomes and impacts of support visitations on residents, family and staff. 5.To obtain insights into implementation and sustainability factors from other jurisdictions adopting similar support visitations practice.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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