A Family Staff Partnership to Improve Long-term Care Quality

Virtually all practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and the general public recognize a need to improve the quality of care in nursing homes and other residential long-term care settings. In large part, quality concerns exist because there is an insufficient and inconsistent workforce to care for long-term care residents. Fortunately, there is a likely remedy to worker burden, already in place and waiting to be mobilized: residents’ families. Therefore, the aim of this project is to conduct a six-month randomized clinical trial of a family-staff partnership program in 24 nursing homes and residential care/assisted living facilities to improve long-term care quality. Families (N = 960) are being involved in resident-focused activities and relations between family and staff (544 nursing assistants and personal care aides) are being facilitated. Results have implications for the workforce crisis in long-term care, and can benefit all individuals who live in, work in, and care about those living and working in, nursing homes and residential care/assisted living facilities.

Principal Investigator: Sheryl I. Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Funding Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Total Project Period: 09/15/06 – 06/30/12