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 long term care settings. Seniors – Adding Life to Years (SALTY) is a four-year research project, developed by researchers, care providers, care administrators, policy makers and older adults and their families from across Canada. The project aims to add quality to late life for people living in long term care and for their caregivers, including family, friends, volunteers and care workers who support their care. SALTY’s research is organized into four interrelated streams: Monitor Care Practice, Map Promising Approaches to Care Relationships, Evaluate Innovative Practice, and Examine Policy Context. The project which employs diverse and multiple methods is being conducted in four Canadian provinces – British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia and 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.

The project is funded through a Late Life Issues grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (FRN145401), in partnership with Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (FRN16738), Research Nova Scotia (formerly Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation) (FRN2016-870) and Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2016 through to 2020.

Check back frequently to see updates on the progress of the project.



What’s the Latest News

“Quality of Life in Long Term Care: What’s policy got to do with it?” a webinar was presented on June 9th of findings from the SALTY Policy Context stream, hosted by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.

SALTY first manuscript, “Team-based integrated knowledge translation for enhancing quality of life in long term care settings: A multi-method, multi-sectoral research design”, was published in April 2020 by the International Journal of Health Policy and Management. This perspective paper describes the SALTY Project’s integrated knowledge translation method of research which engaged the voices of key stakeholders in the research process over the life of the project. To meet some of the stakeholders who have been engaged in the research and learn more about the project watch the SALTY project video released earlier this year.

SALTY team members were busy in the fall presenting project findings at national and international conferences. Results from all four streams of the project: Monitor Care Practice, Map Care Relationships, Evaluate Innovative Practice and Examine Policy Context, were presented at the Biennial Global Aging Conference in Toronto in September. Team members from Evaluating Innovative Practice, who evaluated the implementation of a palliative approach to care in long term care, presented their findings at the Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care conference in Ottawa in October, and, SALTY was very well represented at the Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG2019) conference in October in Moncton. Teams from three streams (Map Care Relationships, Evaluate Innovative Practice and Examine Policy Context), shared results at CAG in several oral and poster sessions. Researchers from the Examining Policy Context team also co-led a facilitated discussion on the rewards and pitfalls of authentic inclusion of stakeholders in the analysis of policies with members of the SALTY Advisory and Knowledge Translation Advisory Groups at CAG.

With spring and fall 2020 conferences being cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, planned conference presentations have been put on hold. Researchers are focusing their attention on completing several manuscripts that will report stream level findings targeted at academic journals.

While the rest of the world adjusts to virtual meetings the SALTY full team of 40+ members had its fourth and last full team videoconference in May. Findings from both the Policy and Care Relationship streams were shared. On June 9th the Policy Context team will present their findings publicly at a Canadian Foundation of Health Improvement (CFHI) hosted webinar. The Mapping Care Relationship team will present their in the fall also at a CFHI hosted webinar. Watch here on our web site and our social media for more information as we finalize webinar plans. Facebook: SALTYltc Twitter: @SALTY_ltc



Study activities
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The Monitoring Care Practice team (stream 1) led by Dr. Carole Estabrooks and Dr. Matthias Hoben at the University of Alberta are coding and analysing data from narratives and summaries collected from residents and family through an action project method. Delphi panels to capture staff perspective and priorities on care indicators are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has received CIHI data and will start quantitative data analysis soon. Several manuscripts are being planned to report the findings from the team’s work.

Mapping Care Relationships team (stream 2) led by Dr. Tamara Daly, Dr. Ivy Bourgeault and Dr. Katie Aubrecht are completing analysis of their ethnographic fieldwork. Findings from their work were presented at the Canadian Association on Gerontology in Moncton last October. The team is current working on manuscripts to report their findings. The team will present findings in a webinar hosted by the Canadian Foundation for Health Improvement (CFHI) in the fall.

Evaluating Innovative Practice (stream 3) led by Dr. Kelli Stajduhar, Dr. Denise Cloutier and Dr. Leah MacDonald evaluated the implementation of a quality improvement project – the integration of a palliative approach to care in long term care in Island Health, BC. They presented results at the Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care and the Canadian Association on Gerontology conferences in September and October and at the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council Quality Forum in February. They are working on several manuscripts to report their findings

Examining Policy Context (stream 4) led by Dr. Janice Keefe, Dr. Dee Taylor and Heather Cook completed policy analysis through the lenses of resident, family, care worker and volunteer across the four project jurisdictions (NS, ON, AB & BC). Preliminary findings have been presented at several national and international conferences. The team hosted a workshop on the rewards and pitfalls of authentic inclusion of stakeholders in the analysis of policies at the Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) conference in October. Key informant interviews are currently on-hold due the COVID-19 pandemic. The team is currently finalizing manuscript to publish results of their work and will present findings in a webinar hosted by the Canadian Foundation of Health Improvement (CFHI) in June.

The SALTY Trainee Network.
 Trainees both present and past are currently developing a podcast “Let’s Talk Care” were long-term care research is discussed from the perspectives of these early emerging scholars. Watch for links to the first episodes here and through SALTY social media platforms soon. To date there have been 23 trainees (postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students) supporting SALTY work across the four themes of the project. Currently there are 7 active trainees working on data analysis, and dissemination and mobilization activities. The project has offered a rich, integrated training environment for emerging scholars to engage in research across disciplines, understand the complexities of long-term care and develop capacity to undertake a partnered and integrated knowledge exchange approach to produce user informed research. Checkout the SALTY Trainee Network featured on CIHR’s Faces of Health Research.

The SALTY Advisory group, has helped shape SALTY research since inception and development of the project. The group, composed of a long-term care resident, persons with dementia, family care givers, volunteer representatives and care aides, has provided feedback and input to SALTY researchers from the perspectives of those who will be most impacted by SALTY findings. The group met regularly with researchers and other team members throughout the project funding period and attended in-person and video conference team meetings. Their active engagement and commitment throughout the project lent a valuable perspective to the design, methodology, and interpretation and dissemination of SALTY findings.

The SALTY KT Advisory Group provided input and advice to researchers regarding knowledge exchange, translation and dissemination activities with the aim to increase the uptake and impact of SALTY outputs. The group, composed of decision makers, clinicians and knowledge users from the long term care sector across project jurisdictions, has met regularly with researchers providing input and feedback on methodology, and interpretation of insights and findings. They were active in the planning and organization of team meetings to maximize knowledge exchange and planning for dissemination and mobilization of project findings and key messages.

Project Milestones

2020

• June – The Canadian Foundation of Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) hosted a webinar of the Examining Policy Context stream 4 findings presented by the stream leads on June 9th. The recorded webinar can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/7I9Pyto7yZk A summary of the webinar is also available.

• May – Full Team videoconference to share stream level findings from Policy Context and Mapping Care Relationships researchers. Scientific Lead Janice Keefe hosted the virtual meeting of 26 SALTY team members including researchers, knowledge users and trainees.

 

• April – SALTY’s 1st manuscript published “Team-based integrated knowledge translation for enhancing quality of life in long term care settings: A multi-method, multi-sectoral research design” in the International Journal of Health Policy and Management.

• February – SALTY Project video released providing overview of the project from Scientific Lead Janice Keefe and other team members including SALTY advisory group members and knowledge users.


2019

  • OctSALTY-Photo_CAG_Strm4_wrkshp_2019-10-25_1016_croppedober – Dr. Dee Taylor, stream 4 Co-Lead Investigator and advisory group members Sandra Bauld, Faye Forbes and Corrine Schalm held a workshop at the Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) 2019 conference titled “The rewards and pitfalls of authentic inclusion of stakeholders in the analysis of nursing home policies”. SALTY Trainee, Emily Hubley, also presented a Stream 4 poster on the role of volunteers in enhancing resident quality of life in long term care.

    • October – Two oral presentations by stream 3 Co-Lead Dr. Denise Cloutier at the Canadian Association of Gerontology 2019 conference. One on the evaluation of a palliative approach to care in long term care, and the other on the challenges of implementing palliative approaches in long term care.

    SALTY-Photo_CAG_Strm2_AubrechtK_1344136_cropped
  • October – Dr. Katie Aubrecht, stream 2 Co-Lead Investigator presented “A room with a view: unpacking decision maker perceptions and assumptions about the meaning of quality long-term care” at the Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) 2019.




  • SALTY-Photo_CHPC_2019-09-21_RolandK_cropped (002)September – Oral presentation on integrating a palliative approach in long-term care homes and poster presentation on the development and integration of a palliative approach to care strategy by Kailyn Roland, stream 3 Research Associate, at the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care conference in Ottawa.



  • SALTY-Photo_OLTCA_2019-09-18_oltca203_HobenM (002)September – Workshop presentation to the Ontario Long Term Care Association: This is Long Term Care 2019 Conference in Toronto by Dr. Janice Keefe & Dr. Mathias Hoben on how SALTY research informs quality of life for older adults living in residential long-term care.




  • JunSALTY presentation at Northwoode – Featured panel presentation at the Northwood Research Symposium on the cross stream emerging evidence to support quality of life in long term careby Janice Keefe and Katie Aubrecht in-person, and Denise Cloutier and Matthias Hoben via video technology.
  • May – Poster presentations at the Canadian Association of Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) conference by: Ivy Bourgeault on criteria for selecting quality long term care homes with promising social approaches, and Dee Taylor on the interaction of resident quality of life with policies that govern staff.

    • May – Oral panel presentations on embodying qualities of everyday SALTY oral presentation Trent Universitylives in long term care by Tamara Daly, Susan Braedley, Katie Aubrecht, Prince Owusu and Vasuki Shanmuganathan at the Trent Aging joint conference of North American and European Networks on Aging
  • DSC_1483May – In-person team meeting – Halifax, NS May 27th – 28th.





  • May – SALTY Trainee workshop – in-person Halifax, NS May 26th.
  • May – Oral presentation at the Qualitatives Conference on insider/outsider dilemmas in late life long term care ethnographic research by Katie Aubrecht.
  • April – BrainXchange webinar hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Canada sharing findings and insights from Monitoring Care Practice (stream 1) and Evaluating Innovative Practice (stream 3).
  • February – full team video conference meeting to share and discuss project stream finding
    videoconference






2018

  • November – oral presentation by Janice Keefe at the Gerontological Society of America scientific meeting on the findings of policy differences between jurisdictions when considering family/fiend caregiver involvement in resident quality of life
  • October – Poster presentation on the innovative method used to integrate key stakeholders in SALTY research on end-of-life in nursing homes using web-based Delphi panels by Matthias Hoben at the Canadian Association on Gerontology Scientific Meeting
    Matthias Hoben

 

  • October – Oral presentation of the findings from the comparison of long-term care policy across project jurisdictions from a resident perspective by Dee Taylor at the Canadian Association on Gerontology Scientific Meeting

 

  • DSC_0646August – SALTY Trainees Prince Owusu and Lily Lu attended the Knowledge Mobilization Master Class at the International Federation on Aging (IFA) conference in Toronto on August 7th.

 

  • June – 2nd full team meeting via video conference, June 18
  • CHASPER conferenceMay – panel presentation by stream leads at Canadian Association of Health Services and Policy Research Conference, Montreal





  • SALTY 5April – meeting of team leads and knowledge user representative from each province to review progress and plan for remainder of project


  • January – In-person meeting of stream 1 to discuss stream activities.
  • January – Stream 2 team training in ethnographic methodology at a pilot site in Ontario.

 

2017

  • SALTY 4November – Dr. Janice Keefe, Dr. Katie Aubrecht, Dr. Matthias Hoben, Dr. Della Roberts and Dr. Dee Taylor hosted a NS provincial sector workshop at Mount Saint Vincent University for key decision makers and stakeholders from the Nova Scotia long term care sector.


  • SALTY 3July – Dr. Dee Taylor presented “Finding rabbit holes without falling in: Navigating palliative care policy in Canadian Long-term Care” poster at the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) 2017 World Congress in San Francisco.June – “Seniors – Adding Life to Years: A Canadian Project Focusing on Late Life Long Term Care” poster displayed at Northwood Research Symposium.June – Stream 4 completed the policy document retrieval and coding.June – In person meeting of Stream 2 to discuss stream activities.May – Dr. Katie Aubrecht presented “Seniors – Adding Life to Years: A Canadian Project Focusing on Late Life Long Term Care” poster at the Canadian Disability Studies Association 2017 conference in Toronto.

    SALTY 2
    • May – Full team meeting via video conference technology, May 9.



2016

  • 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