Current Projects:


  • Dementia: Understanding the Journey Course Review (2023-2024)
  • Understanding Quality of Work Life for Staff in Atlantic Canadian Long-term Care Homes
  • Strategic Review of Family/Friend Caregiving in Nova Scotia
  • Summer Program in Aging
  • Long Term Care Support Visitations During COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Seniors-Adding Life To Years (SALTY)
  • Home Care Pathways
  • Long Term Care Staff Quality of Work Life
  • Mental Health Resiliency in Long Term Care

Dementia: Understanding the Journey Course Review (2023-2024)

Pamela Fancey and Kelly O’Neil

Dementia: Understanding the Journey Board

May 2023 – June 2024

This project involves a review and refresh of the 7th edition of the Dementia: Understanding the Journey curriculum, a nine module course for individuals caring for persons living with dementia. Project activities include literature search, collecting and reviewing input from various sources – course participants, facilitators, sector representatives, subject matter experts, making recommendations to the DUTJ Board for revisions and making revisions.

Review literature, implement survey, conduct focus groups and interviews, synthesize input and revise course materials.

No project specific webpage For more information on the course visit

Understanding Quality of Work Life for Staff in Atlantic Canadian Long-term Care Homes

Janice Keefe (Mount Saint Vincent University), Rick Audas (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Carole Estabrooks (University of Alberta), Rose McCloskey (University of New Brunswick), Gail Tomblin Murphy (Nova Scotia Health Authority)

Melissa Andrew (Nova Scotia Health Authority)

Debra Boudreau (Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia Association)

Ramsay Duff (PEI Long-term Care Private Operators Association)

Marilyn Hodgins (University of New Brunswick)

Andrew MacDougall (Health PEI)

Adrian MacKenzie (Nova Scotia Department of Health)

Catherine MacPherson (Shannex)

Caitlin McArthur (Dalhousie University)

Sarah Melanson (Nova Scotia Department of Seniors and Long-term Care)

Kathleen Norman (University of Waterloo)

Peter Norton (University of Calgary)

Judy O’Keefe (NFLD Eastern Health)

Susan Stevens (Nova Scotia Health Authority)

Deena Waddleton (Newfoundland Department of Health and Community Services)

Lori Weeks (Dalhousie University)

Julie Weir (New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes)

Robert Wilson (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Institute of Aging

Partner Funders:

Research Nova Scotia (RNS)


Newfoundland and Labrador Center of Applied Health Research (NLCAHR)


Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA)

April 2023 – March 2027

This project is an Atlantic Canadian research collaboration to build much needed evidence to understand, support and manage the under-researched residential long-term care (LTC) workforce in our region. The purpose of the project is to understand the health and quality of work life of staff, their work environment and their relationships to resident quality of care in Atlantic Canada’s LTC homes. The Atlantic region currently has limited data on the quality of work life for its LTC staff which hinders the ability to understand what can be done to support these staff. Ultimately, this study will enable tangible interventions to improve LTC staff quality of work life, their work environment, and the quality of care for residents.

Organizing/Lead Institution for the project

Contact Person

Strategic Review of Family/Friend Caregiving in Nova Scotia

Janice Keefe and Pamela Fancey

Caregivers Nova Scotia through funding from Nova Scotia Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care

July 2022 – July 2023

This project explores family/friend caregiving experiences and their needs and the enablers and barriers to accessing supports and services in Nova Scotia. Project activities include environmental scan of other jurisdictions’ approach to caregiver supports and a literature search, consultation with caregivers and those who work with them (focus groups, interviews, surveys), and synthesis of key findings about identified needs and supportive practices.

Review existing literature, services, support, programs, and policies for family/friend caregivers within Nova Scotia, across Canada, and other relevant jurisdictions. Conduct focus groups, interviews, and surveys with family/friend caregivers and stakeholders.

Emily Hubley, Project Coordinator or call toll free: 1-877-302-4440

Summer Program in Aging

Janice Keefe (Mount Saint Vincent University), Zachary Zimmer (Mount Saint Vincent University), Lauren Spring (Mount Saint Vincent University), Melissa Andrew (Dalhousie University), Ken Rockwood (Dalhousie University), Annie Robitaille (University of Ottawa), Carole Estabrooks (University of Alberta), Andrew Kingston (Newcastle University of England), Georg Ruppe, Austrian Platform for Interdisciplinary Ageing Issues

Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Aging

June 2023-July 2024

The Summer Program In Aging is the Institute of Aging’s flagship training program. Each year, it provides graduate students and postdoctoral fellows involved in aging research with a program of advanced training that crosses disciplines, sectors, institutions, and geography. The program theme for SPA 2023 which will be held in Nova Scotia is Longer-living older adults: Multidisciplinary approaches to a growing area of research on aging. SPA 2023 will be a 4-day immersive in person event bringing together approximately 40 research trainees and numerous academic mentors to participate in interactive learning sessions.

NSCA is responsible for developing and implementing the program for SPA2023, including working with the academic mentors for program development and onsite implementation of the program. NSCA will secure the venue and be responsible for all onsite logistics.

Long Term Care Support Visitations During COVID-19 Pandemic

Janice Keefe (Mount Saint Vincent University), Stephanie Chamberlain (University of Alberta), Melissa Andrew (Dalhousie University).
Research Team:  Lori Weeks (Dalhousie University), Grace Warner (Dalhousie University), Mary Jean Hande (Mount Saint Vincent University), Tamara Krawchenko (University of Victoria); Knowledge Users: Andrew MacDougall (Health PEI), Kathleen Norman (Shannex)

Canadian Institutes of Health Research for Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement Program

December 2020-October 2021; ongoing through to March 2023

This multi-site implementation science project will examine the barriers and enablers to support visitation programs in long term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Four care homes in Nova Scotia and two care homes in Prince Edward Island aer study sites. Project activities include survey of facility characteristics and review of relevant documents, interviews with care home staff, and family/friends approved as designated caregivers/partners in care. In addition, consultation with three other jurisdictions implementing similar family visitation programs will be undertaken.

Organizing/lead institution for the project.

no project specific webpage

Seniors-Adding Life To Years (SALTY)

Janice Keefe (Mount Saint Vincent University)

Dr. Janice Keefe (MSVU), Scientific Lead; Dr. Carole Estabrooks, Co-Scientific Lead, University of Alberta; Dr. Leah MacDonald, Clinical Lead, Vancouver Island Health Authority; Heather Cook, Office of the Seniors Advocate, BC; Heather Fifield, Lead Patient/Family Representative, Bridgewater.

Investigators, clinicians, knowledge users (in alphabetical order):

Melissa Andrew, Dalhousie University
Hugh Armstrong, Carleton University
Pat Armstrong, York University
Katie Aubrecht, Mount Saint Vincent University
Sandra Bauld, Halifax, NS
Whitney Berta, University of Toronto
Naomi Black, Halifax, NS
Ivy Bourgeault, University of Ottawa
Susan Braedley, Carleton University
Fred Burge, Dalhousie University
Jackie Choiniere, York University
Denise Cloutier University of Victoria
Heather Cook, Office of the Seniors Advocate, BC
Greta Cummings, University of Alberta
Tamara Daly, York University
Carole Estabrooks, Co-Scientific Lead
Heather Fifield, Bridgewater
Elizabeth Findlay, Fraser Health Authority
Faye Forbes, Halifax, NS
Carmen Grabusic, Alberta Health
Andrea Gruneir, University of Alberta
Matthias Hoben, University of Alberta
Jayme Hunter, Fraser Health Authority
Trevor Janz, Interior Health Authority
Vicki Kennedy, Interior Health Authority
Jennifer Kirby, Halifax, NS
Mary Kjorven, Interior Health Authority
Janice Keefe (MSVU), Scientific Lead
Ruby Knowles, Nova Scotia Health and Wellness
Cameron Lynam, Fraser Health Authority
Leah MacDonald, Vancouver Island Health Authority
Jim Mann, Vancouver, NS
Emily Marshall, Dalhousie University
Margaret McGregor, University of British Columbia
Judy Nicol, Interior Health Authority
Kim Norman, Fraser Health Authority
Peter Norton, University of Calgary
Brian Pollard, Ontario Ministry of Health LTC
Jeff Poss, University of Waterloo
Della Roberts, Vancouver Island Health Authority
Rick Sawatzky, Trinity Western University
Corinne Schalm, Alberta Health
James Silvius, Alberta Health Services
Kelli Stajduhar, University of Victoria
Susan Stevens,Nova Scotia Health Authority
Deanne Taylor, Interior Health Authority
Gary Teare, Health Quality Council, SK

Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Alzheimer Society of Canada.

April 2016-March 2021

SALTY is a 4 year project which aims to add quality of life to late life for people living in residential long term care 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 and the study will employ diverse and multiple methods to achieve its objectives. The SALTY team includes established and emerging researchers, decision makers, clinicians, and representatives for staff, volunteers, family, and residents. The study is being conducted in four Canadian provinces – British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia – and its results will have relevance for other jurisdictions.

Organizing/lead institution for the project

How Approaches to Care Shape the Pathways of Older Adult Home Care Clients

Janice Keefe (Mount Saint Vincent University), Susan Stevens (Nova Scotia Health Authority), Michelle Lobchuk (University of Manitoba)

Laura Funk (University of Manitoba), Marilyn Macdonald (Dalhousie University), Martha MacDonald (Saint Mary’s University), Grace Warner (Dalhousie University), Lori Mitchell (Winnipeg Regional Health Authority), Julie Donaldson (Manitoba Caregiver Coalition), Kathryn Graves (Northwoodcare), Vicki Elliott-Lopez (NS Department of Health & Wellness); Project partners and collaborators: Canadian Home Care Association, Caregivers Nova Scotia, Health Canada

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

April 2018-March 2022, extended to March 2024

This multi-site project will generate evidence to understand how approaches to care shape the pathways of older adult home care clients with chronic and long term conditions through the home care system. Project activities to include retrospective analysis of home care client assessment data, interviews with members of care constellations (clients, caregivers, workers, health care practitioners), and review of key policy documents.

Organizing/lead institution for the project

Long Term Care Staff Quality of Work Life

Dr. Janice Keefe

Nova Scotia Health Research Fund

November 2020-March 2023

This project will collect much needed information about the quality of work life of frontline staff in Nova Scotia’s nursing homes. Areas to be examined include: job satisfaction, burnout, work engagement, organizational context, etc. with attention given to the impact of COVID-19 on quality of work life. Established survey tools available from the Translating Research in Elder Care program at the University of Alberta will be used with 8-10 participating care homes in Nova Scotia.

No specific website.

Mental Health Resiliency in Long Term Care

Janice Keefe (Mount Saint Vincent University)

Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia Association through funding from Healthcare Excellence in Canada

August 2021-June 2022; ongoing through to March 2023

Working in collaboration with the Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia Association (lead), this project explores the mental health supports required to address the continual fatigue and mental stress experienced by staff in long term care; develop and implement a sustainable multi-faceted support program that meets the needs of small to large care homes throughout Nova Scotia and determine the best implementation and accessible approach for ongoing mental health supports for the long-term care sector. Project activities include focus groups with sector representatives, scan of mental health supports in other jurisdictions, implementation of 2-3 initiatives in participating care homes and evaluation of initiatives in sample of participating care homes.

Conduct focus groups with sector representatives and scan of other jurisdictions. Develop and implement evaluation plan., Project Coordinator