Development of an evidence based on-line package to improve staff-family relationships for people with dementia living in residential aged care

Client: Alzheimer's Australia

Centre: ACEBAC

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This project aims to translate the available evidence, into a nationally-applicable 'Staff-family relationships' online resource package and education program to facilitate the implementation of an evidence-based clinical guideline to improve and support collaborative staff-family relationships, and, by extention, improve the wellbeing of family carers of people with dementia living in RACFs. These resources will be available to RACFs around Australia, including in rural and remote areas.

In particular, the evidence the project aims to translate into practice is derived from a systematic review of the literature, which identified a number of key factors known to influence the promotion and maintenance of collaborative staff-family relationships:

- information sharing and the promotion of residents' uniqueness; - clear communication processes, expectations, goals and responsibilities in relation to resident care and decision making; - educational support for staff and families about developing constructive staff-family relationship; - staff working cooperatively and in partnership with families and a reciprocated recognition of roles, that is, shared understandings of each other's roles and contributions to care (Haesler, Bauer & Nay, 2010).