by Taryn Patterson
Canadian providers of aging services are taking a page out of the American football playbook by offering direct care workers an opportunity to “huddle” when they need help managing the dementia-related behaviors of residents in long-term care settings.
Recent research published in the Canadian Journal on Aging suggests that these “mental health huddles” can help staff members optimize resident care. Researchers found that huddles give direct care workers a timely way to discuss and generate solutions to mental health-related concerns while also improving staff collaboration, teamwork, support and communication.
The Canadian research is only one of many studies featured in a new Global Ageing Research Clearinghouse. The International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (IAHSA) created the clearinghouse to promote the adoption and testing of different models and interventions in aging services organizations.
The clearinghouse will provide a forum for researchers and providers to share research and exchange feedback. IAHSA is hopeful that it will eventually ensure that future research becomes informed by the needs of the global provider community.
The LeadingAge Center for Applied Research is helping IAHSA continually expand the evidence-based resources available through the clearinghouse.
About the Global Ageing Research Clearinghouse
IAHSA’s Global Ageing Research Clearinghouse serves as a repository of applied research projects from around the world and offers a unique opportunity for both researchers and providers of aging services.
Researchers can use the clearinghouse to disseminate key research findings that could shape practice.
Providers can use the clearinghouse to find new ideas and strategies for addressing common challenges in their organizations.
Each clearinghouse posting provides an abstract of a research project and a link to a more comprehensive summary of that research.
Summaries present research findings in a concise and easy-to-read format and include:
- Insights into the strengths and limitations of the intervention, model or program.
- Lessons learned during implementation.
- The project’s international applicability.
- Factors that providers should consider when applying the research to care settings.
- Contact information for researchers who conducted the study.
- Types of Research in the Clearinghouse
The clearinghouse contains 2 types of resources:
Efficacy and effectiveness studies that show how a device, program, service or intervention is being implemented in aging services settings.
Practice-based research that has produced systematic reviews and guidelines that providers of long-term services and supports can apply to their organizations.
Currently, the clearinghouse presents research in 4 topic areas:
- Housing with Services
New categories–including disaster and emergency preparedness, cultural sensitivity, design, technology, and end-of-life/palliative care–will be added in the near future.
Submitting Research to the Clearinghouse
- The device or intervention has demonstrated efficacy and effectiveness within senior housing or has been tested/developed with a sample of older adults.
- Essential components of the research are clearly defined.
- Opportunities exist to change or adapt the intervention so that it works better in a given setting.
- The intervention pertains to one of the clearinghouse’s topic areas.
- The research could potentially translate cross-culturally and trans-nationally. The success of the concept should not dependent on state or national-level policy, government structure or cultural practices.
- Those submitting a clearinghouse posting are encouraged to include trainer and program manuals, an analysis of costs, and a list of needed resources, if they are available.
IAHSA is currently working to build awareness about the clearinghouse through its global networks and partners. Future plans call for launching an online submission portal for researchers, and developing an Interactive Online Forum to stimulate researcher-provider dialogue.