I am a PhD student in nursing at University of Alberta having had a long career as a nurse in community mental health settings. I have always loved working with people within their communities, supporting people to find creative ways to live their lives despite being affected by health problems.
After many years of working with people and their families navigating the supports provided in the community, I became interested in knowing more about how formal systems of care could better support the everyday lives of the people accessing them. This seemed to be particularly important for people with dementia and their families. Exploring how care in the community is done for people at home with dementia is essential to ensuring system supports that improve the quality of life of both people with dementia and their families. Day programs are known to be a service that offer much support yet remain relatively underexplored in how they work for families and people with dementia. My doctoral research will explore how day programs contribute to care in the community for people with dementia and their families and hopefully will lead to an increased understanding for nurses and policy makers.