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Friday, August 29, 2014

Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to People with Cognitive and Behavioral Health Conditions

From the AARP Public Policy Institute, Insight on the Issues series, this paper reports on results from a national survey showing that caregivers of family members with challenging behaviors were more likely to perform more than one medical/nursing task, such as managing medications, and often do so with resistance from the person they are trying to help. 

This analysis offers recommendations for assisting family caregivers who play this dual role.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Prevention, Screening, Diagnosis and Support for Persons with Developmental Disabilities who develop Dementia

Adults with developmental disabilities are increasingly presenting themselves at long-term care facilities with concerns related to dementia and growing older.  Prevention, Screening, Diagnosis and Support for Persons with Developmental Disabilities who develop Dementia is a four-part e-learning series launched in the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council website.  The series was developed by the same people who developed the BC BPSD algorithm, and is intended to support health care professionals wanting to know more on the care of persons with developmental disabilities who develop dementia. 
There are four modules in the series:
1.       Promoting brain health: This first module examines the relationship between chronic disease, brain health and dementia risks
2.       Early screening and detection of dementia: The second module identifies the four domains of early cognitive change (thinking, behaviour, function and mood) and provides practical screening tools for front-line providers to enable early detection and referral for diagnosis
3.       The pathway to diagnosis: The third module focuses on understanding the diagnostic pathway and how to best provide support and information for the individual, family and their support network
4.       Addressing dementia related needs: The final module highlights the changing care needs of individuals with developmental disabilities from the earliest stages to late and palliative stages of dementia
Users can move through each module at their own pace, and once it’s completed a certification of completion will be issued. For more information and to access the modules, please visit

Monday, August 25, 2014

Multi-faith Practices: A guide for caregivers

The Multi-faith practices: a guide for caregivers pamphlet is published by the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA).  This user-friendly resource is a practical guide for long-term care staff and provides a brief overview of six major religions: Buddhism; Christianity; Hinduism; Islam; Judaism and Sikhism.  It should also be noted that spiritual practices can be different even within the same religion, and so it is always best to ask residents, family and/or caregivers about their personal preferences.

The guide provides the following information about each religion:

  • A brief description of the religion and its major beliefs
  • Holy Days, holidays, and ritual observances
  • Caring practices during late life or illness
  • Rituals and other practices that are important near the end of life
  • Sacred texts, scriptures, and prayers that may provide comfort at times of distress or when someone is dying.

To access the guide, please visit

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vital Talk

Vital Talk is a non-profit organization, created and managed by physicians with the mission of creating stronger connections between patients and clinicians. The organization specializes in developing and facilitating advanced communication skills that focus on balancing honesty with empathy when discussing serious illness or end of life care.  
The website can be used in two ways. For those in need of a resource quickly, there are ‘quick guides’ comprised of one-page cheat sheets.  These may be useful before a meeting or a family conference.  The ‘quick guide’ topics include: talking about dying; handling conflicts; family conference; responding to emotion and first visits.
The second option, for those who have more time are the ‘Watch, read, reflect’ guides.  These have links to videos, book chapters, articles and pamphlets.  The ‘watch, read, reflect’ topics include: establishing rapport; disclosing serious illness; resetting goals of care; bearing witness to the end.
To access Vital Talk, please visit

Monday, August 18, 2014

FRR: Find Rehab Resources App

The FRR: Find Rehab Resources App developed by a group of librarians at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute is a free resource that quickly links to some of the best available, free, evidence-based resources on the Internet for rehabilitation professionals.  For ease of navigation, the content is categorized into best practice resources, databases, dictionaries, e-books, anatomy and associations.  The list of resources is selective, rather than comprehensive, and the criteria for selection were that each resource was available for free, was accessible on a handheld device, and was from a source believed to be credible and authoritative.

The app is available on iOS, Android and Windows phone devices.
The iOS version can be downloaded for free at here
The Android and Windows phone versions can be downloaded for free at    

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care: based on national principles and norms of practice

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association recently revised the report A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care: based on national principles and norms of practice.  Originally released in 2002, the report was intended to provide an example of hospice care that would ensure that all Canadians have access to consistent, high quality care that can relieve suffering and improve quality of life.  The 2013 version has the same intention, however it has been updated to better reflect current practice and experience.
The report has five sections:
1.       The underlying understanding of health and illness
2.        The definition of hospice palliative care and the values, principles and foundational concepts that drive all aspects of hospice palliative care
3.        A guide to the delivery of person and family-centred hospice palliative care to, including a conceptual framework – the “Square of Care” – which identifies:
·         The issues commonly faced by individuals and families during an illness;
·         The essential steps in the process of providing care;
·         The principles and norms of practice related to each step in the process of providing care
4.        A guide to organizational development and function, including a conceptual framework – the “Square of Organization” – which identifies:
·         The resources required to operate a hospice palliative care organization;
·         The principal functions of an organization;
·         The principles and norms of practice related to each aspect of organizational function
5.       Data Collection and Documentation

Monday, August 11, 2014

RNAO Care Transitions Best Practice

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) has recently released a Care Transitions Best Practice Guide intended to guide interdisciplinary teams deliver the best care while transitioning patients (whether in acute care, long-term care or within the community).  Care transitions are "a set of actions designed to ensure the safe and effective coordination and continuity of care as clients experience a change in health status, care needs, health-care providers or location (within, between or across settings)".

Care transitions should be comprehensive, and should establish the logistical arrangements of moving in addition to the detailed care of the patient.

To read the full BPG and all its recommendations for practice, please visit