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SENSE: a knowledge translation intervention with families in long-term care

Jennifer Baumbusch1, Alison Phinney 1, Paddy Rodney1, Colin Reid2, Elizabeth Drance1, Cathy Ward-Griffin3, Jo-Ann Tait4, Deborah O'Connor1
1University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada, 3University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, 4Providence Healthcare, Vancouver, BC, Canada

By 2038, families of individuals living in long-term care (LTC) facilities will be contributing over 107 million hours of care. Traditionally, the role of families was largely constructed as ‘visitor’, contributing to their relative’s care by providing socio-emotional supports, being a care manager, or providing hands-on care. In the current context of LTC, this role is evolving and families are in an increasingly ambiguous position. Building on findings from an ongoing critical ethnography, we co-developed a knowledge translation intervention with family members. The Support, Education, Networking & Sustained Engagement (SENSE) Workshop Series was piloted in the Spring of 2017 at a LTC facility in Vancouver, British Columbia. Thirty-eight (46% response rate) pre-surveys, which assessed interest in attending the workshops and current family involvement, were returned. Eleven of these family members committed to participating in the workshops and completed process and summative evaluations involving participant observations, interviews and post-intervention surveys. Emerging findings highlight a high degree of engagement among some family members to take part in an intervention aimed at improving their sense of inclusion in LTC. Further, family members identified practical tools to equip them to effectively advocate for their relative and other residents, as well as enhance their knowledge of advanced dementia in order to make time spent with their relative more meaningful. Given the paucity of intervention research with families in this setting, this study further contributes to understanding this research approach. The findings also have implications for the development of programming to support family inclusion in LTC.