Improving family–staff relationships in assisted living facilities: the views of family

Authors

  • Michael Bauer,

    1. Michael Bauer Master of Gerontology PhD RN Lecturer and Research Fellow Division of Nursing and Midwifery, Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
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  • Rhonda Nay

    1. Rhonda Nay MLitt PhD RN Director Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
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M. Bauer:
e-mail: m.bauer@latrobe.edu.au

Abstract

bauer m. & nay r. (2011) Improving family–staff relationships in assisted living facilities: the views of family. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(6), 1232–1241.

Abstract

Aims.  This article is a report of a study of the key influences on family–staff collaboration in low level residential aged care (assisted living) facilities in Australia as seen by the family carers of residents.

Background.  Collaboration with the willing family is widely acknowledged to be important in the care of the older person. Previous work in nursing homes has shown that staff-family relationships are often ambiguous. Relatively little is known about the issue of staff-family relationships in assisted living facilities.

Methods.  Using qualitative methodology twelve family carers from five assisted living facilities were interviewed and transcripts analysed thematically. Data were collected in 2006/2007.

Results.  Four factors important to the establishment and maintenance of collaborative staff–family relationships were identified: comfort, communication, consultation and confidence.

Conclusion.  Low level care facilities need to create environments that are conducive to the establishment and maintenance of constructive staff-family relationships. A number of practice considerations for care staff to foster relationship-centred care with the family in these types of facilities are presented.

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