York profs on research team granted $2 million to study seniors

graphic showing research terms

A team of researchers from across Canada, including York University Professors Tamara Daly and Pat Armstrong, has received $2 million to study quality of life of seniors living in residential long-term care settings, their caregivers and supporters.

Tamara Daly
Tamara Daly

“Seniors – 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 (including family and friends care), is being conducted in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia, led by Janice Keefe, a professor at Mount Saint Vincent University and director of the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging.

Daly, York U Faculty of Health professor, will co-lead one of the streams with Professor Ivy Bourgeault of University of Ottawa and Katie Aubrecht of Mount Saint Vincent.

“Our goal is to map promising approaches to care relationships in the context of system and organizational level policies that affect everyday care,” said Daly. “We are interested in the relationships between those providing paid and unpaid care and the ways these relationships affect care quality in late life.”

Other study research stream leads include Professor Kelli Stajduhar, University of Victoria; Professor Deanne Taylor and Heather Cook at Interior Health Authority (Kelowna); Professor Carole Estabrooks, University of Alberta; and Leah MacDonald, Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Pat Armstrong
Pat Armstrong

“The focus on late-life care in nursing homes makes this project unique and urgently needed,” said Keefe. “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. Our approach will actively engage the end users of the research, challenge current thinking and practice, and involve robust multi-method health services research.”

The researchers 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.

According to the researchers, the project’s outputs are critically important to support change in how decision makers and practitioners provide care and support in long-term care across the country.

The project is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions and the Alzheimer Society of Canada.