Embracing Cultural Diversity – Leadership Perspectives on Championing Meaningful Engagement for Residents Living with Advanced Dementia

Abstract

Resource constraints and high staff turnover are perceived as substantial barriers to high quality residential aged care. Achieving relationship-focused, person-centered care (PCC) is an ongoing challenge. This paper reports on an international project that explored how residential care leadership understand meaningful engagement for residents with dementia from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. This paper critically appraises the process, and outcomes, of an adapted Delphi method. Participants were the residential care leadership (i.e. staff in supervisory capacity) from four international facilities. Participation in the Delphi process was limited even though surveys were designed to require minimal time for completion. No participants opted for the alternative option of being interviewed. Findings indicate that residential care leadership recognised the importance of meaningful engagement for residents from CALD backgrounds. Limitations of time, resources and policy infrastructure were cited as barriers to achieving PCC. These findings suggest that facility leadership understand the importance of PCC, but identify multiple barriers rather than enablers for delivering PCC. Alternative methods, such as collecting data in interactive sessions allowing real-time discussion should be initiated to more effectively engage residential care leaders for a collaborative approach to explore PCC practices.

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Acknowledgments

This research was funded by the Worldwide Universities Network as a Research Collaboration Award Ref. 4000013259 ‘Global Initiative Promoting Meaningful Engagement of People with Advanced Dementia Ageing in Supported Living Environments’.

The memory of Sonya Brownie (Southern Cross University, Lismore) who was instrumental in conceptualisation of the grant proposal.

Special thanks all participants across sites (staff, residents, volunteers, family members) for their engagement with our research project.

Funding

This study was funded by the Worldwide Universities Network as a Research Collaboration (Award Ref. 4,000,013,259).

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Correspondence to Sanetta Henrietta Johanna du Toit.

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du Toit, S.H.J., Baldassar, L., Raber, C.L. et al. Embracing Cultural Diversity – Leadership Perspectives on Championing Meaningful Engagement for Residents Living with Advanced Dementia. J Cross Cult Gerontol 35, 49–67 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10823-019-09387-3

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Keywords

  • Adapted Delphi technique
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse residents
  • Meaningful engagement
  • Person-centered care
  • Residential aged care