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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 living in residential care settings. Seniors - Adding Life To Years (SALTY) is a project developed by researchers, care providers, care administrators, policy makers and 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 which employs diverse and multiple methods is being conducted in four Canadian provinces - British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia. 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 is recruiting 2 Postdoctoral Fellows.
Click here for details.

SALTY Project Leads:

KeefeScientific Lead
Janice Keefe, PhD

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

EstabrooksScientific Co-Lead
Carole Estabrooks, PhD

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

Cook_no white frameKnowledge User Lead

Heather Cook, BScN, MScN

Senior Leader Residential Care Sector, British Columbia

MacDonaldClinical Lead
Leah MacDonald, PhD  

Medical Director,
Home and Community Care/ End of Life Program
Island Health, British Columbia

FifieldResident and Family Lead
Heather Fifield

Family Caregiver
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

What’s the Latest News

SALTY is recruiting two Postdoctoral Fellows. For details please follow the links below.

1)    SALTY General Project iKT Fellowship: Mount Saint Vincent University
2)    Postdoctoral Fellowship Examining Policy Context (SALTY Stream 4): Location to be determined

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, presented the 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. The poster was also displayed at the Northwood Research Symposium on June 16th in Dartmouth, NS.

Stream 1 Leads Dr. Carole Estabrooks and Dr. Matthias Hoben, and Stream 3 Leads Dr. Kelli Stajduhar, Dr. Denise Cloutier and Dr. Leah MacDonald, and their research teams, have begun data collection

Stream 2 Leads Dr. Tamara Daly, Dr. Ivy Bourgeault and Dr. Katie Aubrecht are finalizing ethics clearances and plan to start key informant interviews over the summer.

Stream 4 Leads Dr. Janice Keefe, Dr. Dee Taylor, Heather Cook and their research team have completed the policy document retrieval and coding. Key Informant interviews are planned to start in the Fall to assess how the documents enable or constrain practices centred on quality of life in long term care.

SALTY will make its international debut when Dr. Dee Taylor, Stream 4 Co-lead, presents the late-breaker  poster "Finding rabbit holes without falling in: Navigating Palliative Care Policy in Canadian Long-term Care" at the 21st IAGG World Congress in San Francisco, July 23rd - 27th, 2017.

SALTY trainee network

The SALTY Training Network, which spans the 4 project streams Continues to meet regularily. SALTY trainees are currently developing a Trainee Network process paper.

The SALTY Advisory Group will meet in July. The KT Advisory Group met in June and will meet again in September.


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.
  • June - In person meeting of Stream 2 to discuss stream activities.
  • June - Stream 4 completed the policy document retrieval and coding.