Resident experience with independence

How residents rated whether staff encouraged them to do things they can do themselves. (see data dictionary)

What do you think?

  • Why does it matter if staff encourages a resident to do things themselves?
  • Are there differences between zones? Between providers? Between mainly rural and urban zones or sites? What factors could account for these differences?

Whether you’re a resident, family member, provider, or health system administrator, thinking about why these differences might exist can start or inform conversations and lead to solutions for improved quality of healthcare.

Understanding “resident experiences with independence”

In a survey conducted from May to October 2016, the HQCA asked residents living in designated supportive living:

Do the people who work here encourage you to do the things you are able to do yourself?

Residents could choose “Yes, always / Yes, sometimes / No, hardly ever / No, never”

Remaining independent, or being able to do things themselves, and having choice about their care and services is important to residents.

Staff can play an important role in engaging and empowering residents to do things themselves and maintain their independence. This engagement with staff can also promote relationship-building, as staff get to know a resident’s preferences and abilities.

Considerations when viewing the results:

There are a number of factors providers and leaders can consider to better understand and improve resident experiences with staff encouraging independence. Some questions they could ask before taking action include:

  • Who might the resident be thinking about when asked about “the people who work here”?
  • How might safety and concerns about safety impact the choices residents have? How can appropriate and safe care be balanced with promoting independence and respecting a resident’s wishes?
  • How are staff encouraged to understand resident preferences and their abilities, to identify opportunities to promote independence?
  • How are staff empowered and supported to encourage residents to be as independent as they can be? For example, if a resident choice involves risk and could result in a traumatic event (e.g., choking from eating solid foods), how is the staff supported to take acceptable risk? Do site policies or guidelines reflect the understood supports?
  • Which Supportive Living Accommodation Standard(s) does this question help inform, if any?
  • 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? What other collaboration might be required to make improvements in this area?
  • A site may only be directly accountable for one type of staff. For example, in designated supportive living, case management and sometimes nursing care are delivered by Alberta Health Services, while other services like care aides and housekeeping are managed by a housing provider or site operator. How can providers collaborate to improve this result?

For information about the HQCA’s designated supportive living resident experience survey, please visit the HQCA website.

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 designated supportive living’s performance in these dimensions of quality:
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Dimensions of Quality

  • Acceptability 
  • Accessibility 
  • Appropriateness 
  • Effectiveness 
  • Efficiency 
  • Safety