Northern Home Care Provides Support for Persons with Dementia and their Family Caregivers

Northern Home Care Knowledge to Action Strategies that Support Persons with Dementia and their Family Caregivers



For seniors afflicted with dementia, effective communication can be a challenge. When those with dementia cannot express what they want or need, there is the potential for agitation, frustration, fear and even aggression. This project aims to increase channels of communication between patients and healthcare providers and to improve the quality of care and quality of life for persons with dementia and their family caregivers.


Lead: Dorothy Forbes, University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing in collaboration with researchers and decision-makers from nursing, medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, psychiatry, social work, sociology, education, and the science of knowledge implementation. The team includes eight scientists and 10 knowledge users from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Bournemouth, UK.


Two distinct rural projects in Barrhead and Westlock were launched to facilitate the exchange and implementation of best available dementia care knowledge by home care practitioners, persons with dementia, and caregivers in Alberta Health Services North Zone. The Barrhead project involved development of a standardized dementia education package for families as well as a dementia care toolkit for nurses. The project in Westlock undertook an analysis of the UFirst online modules, developed by the Alzheimer Society of Ontario to train professional care providers in improving interactions with those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.


A directory of resources (Barrhead and Westlock specific) was developed to assist family caregivers of seniors with dementia. The analysis of the Ufirst modules provides evidence to support its use more widely to train professional home care practitioners.