Presented by: Michelle Howard, Kathy Pfaff
One in five Canadians are elderly or live with disabilities and many of these same citizens are also in their last year of life. They often experience systematic and invisible disparities in access to care and exposure to risks and are more likely than other citizens to ‘fall through the cracks’ of care systems, have poorer quality of life, experience social isolation, and depression. Many lack a voice in seeking help and the autonomy with which to direct and achieve what is most important to them. These issues are predictable and preventable.
The ‘Compassionate Communities” model is a population-based theory of practice for palliative care that mobilizes citizens to address these concerns as universal public health issues.
Health TAPESTRY is a program that leverages personal technology and community volunteers to help people illuminate their functional and quality of life issues, identify goals, and create plans that are shared through primary health care services. Originally developed in Hamilton, Ontario, the model is now being employed as a template to expand the Compassionate Communities model in Ontario, and has thus been coined ‘Community TAPESTRY’.
Integrating various research paradigms and methodologies, in tandem with program development can promote the scalability and sustainability of new and existing Community TAPESTRY initiatives. In this presentation, we will describe our emerging research community of practice, and highlight the conceptualization, research and evaluation approaches that are unfolding and being integrated into the Hamilton-Niagara and Windsor-Essex Compassionate Community initiatives.