A new project to implement and scale up the long-term care palliative toolkit during COVID-19 has been taken on by School of Nursing professor Sharon Kaasalainen with new funds from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). 

The project was one of 14 CIHR implementation science teams of researchers across Canada to share an additional investment of $1.8 million announced last week. All of the projects aim to find immediate and long-term solutions to protect vulnerable older adult populations against the COVID-19 virus and ensure safe health care settings. 

At McMaster, Kaasalainen is leading a team to provide a palliative toolkit with resources to address the specific needs of long-term care homes during the pandemic. These will include virtual resources for both residents and their families; online staff education modules about using a palliative approach, as well as information on organization structures and processes to promote a palliative approach to care during and after the pandemic. To start, her team will conduct an assessment in the three provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan which will be followed by implementation and then evaluation of use of the toolkit in the long-term care homes there. 

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