Dr. Janice Keefe to lead national research team

A team of researchers from Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia was recently awarded $2 million for a new study seeking to better understand how to add quality to years in the last phase of life for people in residential long-term care settings and their caregivers, including family, friends and volunteers who support their care (see list of funding agencies below).

Janice KeefeSeniors – Adding Life To Years (SALTY) is a four-year research project that will evaluate promising programs, practices and policies being used in residential long-term care facilities across Canada. The project, involving decision makers, clinicians, care providers and family/friend caregivers, is being conducted in four provinces (BC, AB, ON, NS), under the direction of Dr. Janice Keefe, Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University and Director of the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging (pictured at right). Project partners include: Dr. Carole Estabrooks, University of Alberta; Dr. Tamara Daly, York University; Dr. Ivy Bourgeault, University of Ottawa; Dr. Kelli Stajduhar, University of Victoria; Heather Cook and Dr. Deanne Taylor, Interior Health, and Dr. Leah MacDonald, Vancouver Island Health Authority.

“The focus on late life care in nursing homes makes this project unique and urgently needed. Nursing home care in late life is under researched and undervalued. This project brings together the leading researchers and influencers of change in long term care in Canada,” said Dr. Keefe.

She added, “Our approach will actively engage the end users of the research, challenge current thinking and practice, and involve robust multi-method health services research.

Heather Cook, Knowledge User Lead, added “We will develop innovative strategies to understand and assess impact on quality of care and quality of life, with the aim of spreading effective approaches within and across jurisdictions. The project’s outputs are critically important to support change in how we, as decision makers and practitioners, provide care and support in long term care across Canada.”

SALTY projectAn innovative aspect of this work is the involvement of representatives of those individuals most influenced by the study outcomes. Heather Fifield, Lead Patient/Family Lead commented, “I am pleased to be working with this esteemed group of researchers as they are truly dedicated to ensuring the voices of persons living in care, families, staff and volunteers are prominent throughout the life of the project.”

This project is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

For more information:

Elaine MacFadyen
Communications Coordinator
Nova Scotia Centre on Aging
Mount Saint Vincent University
902-457-6546 (NSCA Office main line)
902-457-6322 (direct)

Gillian Batten
Manager, Communications
Mount Saint Vincent University