U of L researcher wins national award for study on empowering long-term care staff

A published study by Dr. Sienna Caspar, a researcher and associate professor in the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Health Sciences, has been selected by Mather Institute as a Bronze Award recipient of the 2021 Innovative Research on Aging Awards.

As an internationally recognized resource for research and information about wellness, aging, and trends in senior living, Mather Institute invited submissions by researchers from universities and organizations around the world for this year’s awards, which cover a variety of categories from Aging in Place to Technological Advancements for Older Adults, and beyond. Caspar was honoured in the Health and Well-Being of Senior Living Residents award category for her 2020 study of the Feasible and Sustainable Culture Change Initiative (FASCCI) model, designed to improve person-centred care by empowering long-term care staff.

“The Innovative Research on Aging Award honours Dr. Caspar for her work in demonstrating the effectiveness of the FASCCI model in continually improving everyday care practices,” said Dr. Cate O’Brien, vice-president and director, Mather Institute. “These awards honour applied research with practical implications for the senior living industry. We hope these award-winning studies will spark ideas in senior living organizations across the country and around the world.”

The study focused on one care home where participating staff members were encouraged to practice making small changes during mealtimes to improve patient care. Findings revealed that use of the FASCCI model led to improved team leadership, communication, and collaborative decision-making.

“I’m very honoured to receive this award from Mather Institute,” says Caspar, who teaches in the U of L’s Therapeutic Recreation program. “The results of the study showed long-term care staff, when given the power to initiate change, led the way to more person-centred care in residential care homes. The model we use can be easily implemented without requiring a lot of extra resources.”

The full report on the Innovative Research on Aging Award recipients, Revealing Research 2021, is available at Mather Institute.