|dc.description.abstract||Persons with dementia experience impairments in cognitive, behavioral, and functional ability, often leading to long-term care placement. The Enhancing Care Program was developed by the Alzheimer Society of Canada to assist organizations in improving care for this population. Although this program has been implemented in many facilities, the majority have been located in urban settings and there has been limited formal evaluation. Little is known about dementia care in rural facilities, or about how programs are implemented in rural settings.
The Enhancing Care Program is based on eleven guidelines that outline best practices for caring for individuals with dementia. With the assistance of a facilitator from the Alzheimer Society, a multi-disciplinary team from the facility assesses their current ability to meet each guideline. In subsequent meetings, the team establishes specific, measurable goals to improve care in targeted areas. The two purposes of this study were to conduct a process evaluation of the Enhancing Care Program and to develop theory relating to the implementation of a program in two rural long-term care facilities.
Observations were made over the course of seven months as teams worked through the guidelines and set goals. Focus group interviews consisting of team members took place at the end of the observation period. In addition, individual interviews were conducted with general staff, the facility managers, and the facilitator from the Alzheimer Society. Grounded theory methodology informed the research and analysis process. The theory that emerged, The Process of Building Effective Teams, explains the transition of the participants from collections of individuals to cohesive units that functioned as teams. Five key categories were developed in the theory: trust, respectful and open communication, transformational leadership, creating change collectively, and enhanced team culture. As part of the process evaluation of the Enhancing Care Program, 24 recommendations were made for program improvements.||en_US