Person-centred care for Alberta’s aging population the focus of upcoming PUBlic Professor Series talk

Canada and Alberta’s population is aging. As a result, the number of individuals who are going to require care in residential long-term care homes is only going to increase. How can society ensure that the care provided in these homes is the best it can possibly be?

Dr. Sienna Caspar worked as a recreation therapist in health care for close to 20 years before she decided to go back to school.

Dr. Sienna Caspar, University of Lethbridge associate professor and program coordinator in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Therapeutic Recreation program, has developed strategies that bring person-centred care to the forefront in continuing-care homes. She’ll discuss those strategies, along with the challenges facilities face in implementing change, as part of her upcoming PUBlic Professor Series talk, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, at the Sandman Signature Lodge.

Person-Centred Care from Rhetoric to Reality: exploring the role of knowledge translation and mobilization in health care will delve into the important issue of how to consistently provide person-centred care in a long-term care setting.

The movement away from task-oriented care toward person-centred care (care based on residents’ individualized care needs and preferences) is considered by many to be essential to both the quality of care and quality of life of people residing in long-term, residential care homes, especially of those who have Alzheimer disease or a related dementia.

“In this talk, I will share four key findings from over a decade of research that help us to understand the intervention factors that best support the uptake of practice and culture change initiatives aimed at increasing the provision of person-centred care,” says Caspar. “I’ll conclude this conversation with an exploration of the organizational systems that have supported or hindered my knowledge translation and mobilization efforts in health-care settings.”

Caspar worked as a recreation therapist in health care for close to 20 years before she decided to go back to school because she had a burning question. She wanted to know why person-centred care was so hard to implement. And she knew she needed to learn more about organizational behaviour and organizational change to find answers.

Since completing her PhD, Caspar has focused her research on understanding the challenges of implementing person-centred care and finding ways to make it easier for continuing-care homes to adopt this type of care. While many continuing care homes profess to provide person-centred care, the reality is that many struggle to consistently achieve this laudable goal.

This is the second of the six-part PUBlic Professor Series of talks and the first to represent research work out of the Faculty of Health Sciences. Initiated in 2014, the monthly lecture series is designed to spark thought-provoking discussions and bring a diverse group of experts and researchers from the ULethbridge campus right into the community.

Check out the PUBlic Professor Series web page for the 2023/24 talk schedule, to register for priority seating or join the series mailing list.