New dementia research moves Silvera forward

August 30, 2021

Silvera recently partnered with the University of Calgary to uncover emerging promises, practices and tools that could help us improve dementia care at Silvera.

“We are a dementia-friendly organization, so it’s important that we keep current about research innovations in our sector that could help improve both residents’ quality of life and employees’ ability to provide excellent care,” says Barbara Hagen, Senior Manager, Impact and Innovation.

This new research builds on past studies we have completed about dementia, including a literature review on memory care and a report on wayfinding and how to improve social interaction through building design.

PhD student Stephana Cherak from the U of C’s Department of Community Health Sciences looked at more than 60 articles and reports and distilled them into several recommendations. She then held focus groups with residents, families and staff to validate these recommendations in a real-world setting.

Her recommendations included:

Employee education and training

  • Provide a better understanding of the meaning of person-centred care to employees and caregivers (family and friends)
  • Improve information sharing and communication among employees

Physical environment

  • Provide a range of easily moveable seating arrangements
  • Provide seating at appropriate intervals along indoor/outdoor paths
  • Install signs with clear visual and textual information provided at appropriate locations

Silvera is already moving forward to create more person-centred care training for employees, says Lee Tunstall, who is responsible for Research & Program Development at Silvera.

“We have received funding to start developing a Silvera-focused dementia training program that will be developed over the next while. We are also working with our capital development team to ensure they are aware of these best practices when designing and renovating our buildings,” she says.

“This project is a great example of how research can help us to improve how to better interact and work with residents and how we design our buildings,” says Barbara.

Stay tuned to learn more about other research projects that help inform and drive the Silvera Way!