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Seniors – Adding Life to Years (SALTY) Project SALTY logo

Everyone wants to live well in their final years but this may be a challenge, particularly for people in nursing home settings. Seniors - Adding Life To Years (SALTY) is a project developed by researchers, care providers, care administrators, policy makers, older adults and their families from across Canada. SALTY is a four-year research project that aims to add quality to late life for people living in nursing homes and for their caregivers, including family, friends, and volunteers who support their care. SALTY’s research is organized into four interrelated streams: Monitor Care Practice, Map Promising Approaches to Care Relationships, Evaluative Innovative Practice, and Examine Policy Context. The study is being conducted in four Canadian provinces - British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia and will employ diverse and multiple methods to achieve its objectives. SALTY results will have relevance for jurisdictions across Canada.

SALTY was developed under the direction of Dr. Janice Keefe at the lead institution, Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia.

Funding was approved and the SALTY project was launched in April 2016. Check back frequently to see updates on the progress of the project.

SALTY Lead Investigators:

KeefeScientific Lead
Janice Keefe, PhD

Director Nova Scotia Centre on Aging
Isabel Jodrey Chair in Gerontology
Mount Saint Vincent,
Department of Family Studies and Gerontology

EstabrooksCo-Scientific Lead
Carole Estabrooks, PhD

Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation
University of Alberta,
Faculty of Nursing

Cook_no white frameLead Knowledge User

Heather Cook, BScN, MScN

Executive Director, Acute Services,
Interior Health Authority

MacDonaldClinical Lead
Leah MacDonald, PhD  

Medical Director,
Home and Community Care/ End of Life Program
Vancouver Island Health Authority

FifieldLead Patient and Family Representative
Heather Fifield

Family Caregiver

What’s the Latest News

SALTY team video conference May 9 2017The SALTY project team held a full team meeting via video conferencing on May 9th, involving almost 50 team members through 11 video sites. The team engaged in discussions and provided updates on the project's progress.

Dr. Katie Aubrecht, Stream 2 Co-lead, to present poster "Seniors-Adding Life to Years: A Canadian Project Focusing on Late Life Long Term Care" at the Canadian Disability Studies Association 2017 conference in Toronto, May 31st - June 2nd, 2017.

Dr. Dee Taylor, Stream 4 Co-lead, to present poster "Searching for rabbit holes without falling in:Navigating Palliative Care Policy in Canadian Long-term Care" at the 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) in San Francisco, July 23rd - 27th, 2017.

Streams are securing necessary ethics clearance from appropriate universities and health authorities.

SALTY trainee network

The SALTY Training Network, which spans the 4 project streams, met in February via video conference technology.

The SALTY Advisory Group met in March. The KT Advisory Group met in February.


The project is funded from April 2016 – March 2020 through a Late Life Issues grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, in partnership with Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation and Alzheimer Society of Canada

Project Milestones


  • April - Project received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.
  • May - 2 project trainees participated in the 2016 CIHR Institute of Aging's Summer Program in Aging in Toronto focused on the theme of "Recognizing Frailty and Improving Care".
  • SALTY teamSeptember - First in-person team meeting – Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 18th – 20th.

  • September - Dr. Janice Keefe and Dr. Matthias Hoben presented a webinar entitled Improving End of Life care in Long term care on September 27, 2016. This was an integrated KTE webinar event by brainXchange in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Canadian Consortium of Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). View the archived webinar here.
  • December - Meeting of Stream 4 Team to discuss policy document selection and analysis approach.
  • January - In-person meeting of Stream 1 Team to discuss data collection and other stream activities.


  • May - Full team meeting via video conference technology, May 9.