Understanding the role of family in the long-term care team: a framework for family involvement in long-term care




Khalif-Robinson, Fadumo

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Long-term care in Canada has evolved through legislative change to allow and encourage both family and resident involvement in care. Care has become more resident-centered. Nonetheless, families often feel that they have little involvement or voice in the care provided to their loved ones. In this paper, I review the literature on the topic of family/staff relationships in the long-term care setting. The focus is on peer-reviewed studies, with both research studies and practice driven articles published in nursing journals considered. The review is limited to the years 2000 to 2012. research studies and practice-driven articles identified on CINAHL, Google Scholar, and Medline. My aim is to identify the main difficulties in the staff-family relationship in long-term care that have been addressed in the research. The literature review is supplemented with reflections grounded in my experience as a nursing administrator in long-term care. I conclude with recommendations for the changes needed to engage families more productively in long-term care by strengthening the staff-family relationship, which can enhance residents’ care and quality of life.



long-term care, continuing care, nursing homes, family/staff relationship