Family experience with courtesy and respect | HQCA Focus

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Long Term Care

Family experience with courtesy and respect

How family members rated how often staff treat their loved one with courtesy and respect, in a 2019 survey. (see data dictionary)

What do you think?

  • What does showing respect mean to you? What does it mean to residents and family members?
  • Why does the respectful and courteous treatment of a resident matter?
  • Are results different for families with loved ones in designated supportive living? If so, why are they different?

Understanding “family experience with courtesy and respect”

In a survey conducted from May to October 2017, the HQCA asked family members of residents living in long term care:

In the last six months, how often did you see the nurses and aides treat your family member with courtesy and respect?

Family members could choose “Never / Sometimes / Usually / Always”

When staff act thoughtfully and show they sincerely understand and value a resident’s unique feelings, wishes, rights, or abilities, this demonstrates courtesy and respect. It is important to family members that their loved ones be cared for with a courteous and respectful attitude and approach.

A family member’s overall rating of care and services is likely better if they feel their loved one is treated with courtesy and respect (National Centre for Biotechnology Information).

Considerations when viewing the results

There are a number of factors providers and leaders can consider to better understand and improve family member experiences with courtesy and respect. Before taking action, consider the following:

  • Family members were asked about how staff interact with their loved one, and in particular how “nurses and aides” treat them. Family members may not be able to clearly differentiate between nurses and aides or other staff at the site, however this question provides information about how family members feel care staff engage with their loved one. Therefore, it is important to consider what it means at your site to be respectful and courteous when caring for or interacting with residents and families? What does that look like? How are staff supported to deliver care and services in a respectful and courteous manner (e.g., training, education, or feedback)?
  • What expectations do family members have regarding the courteous and respectful treatment of their loved one? What might influence their perspective?
  • Cultural differences can sometimes influence expectations and experiences with courtesy and respect. How could cultural competency be strengthened within a site, organization, or across the healthcare system?
  • Which Continuing Care Health Service Standard(s) does this question help inform, if any?
  • Who should be involved in discussions to improve these results? How could residents and/or family members be engaged to develop solutions (e.g., engage the resident and family council)? What other collaboration might be required to make improvements in this area?

For information about the HQCA’s long term care family experience survey, please visit the HQCA website.

Alberta Quality Matrix for Health

The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess long term care’s performance in these dimensions of quality: Acceptability and Appropriateness.