Dr. Albert Banerjee Hopes his Research Improves Working Conditions in Long Term Care Homes

Dr. Albert Banerjee hopes his research can help improve the working conditions in New Brunswick long-term care homes. 


“The conditions of work in long-term care are notoriously bad,” Banerjee explained.  “Workers are rushed. They’re not heard. They’re the ones who know what’s going on with residents. Care workers have valuable knowledge to contribute to the improvement of their work environments. Yet incorporating their perspectives into organizational decision-making within long-term care facilities has been an ongoing challenge.” 

Banerjee is a Health Research Chair in Community Health and Aging at St. Thomas University and teaches in the Gerontology department.


In his study, Banerjee examined an initiative developed by a British Columbia Health Authority that brought workers and management together in weekly and bimonthly facilitated reflection meetings to identify and resolve problems.

The “Partnerships in Person-Centred Care” initiative involves regular reflection meetings with an external facilitator who helps guide the workers to address their issues.

“The first step is having workers sit with the facilitator and just vent – and have their issues out in the open. The facilitator works with them to help put together a set of concerns that could be solved. Then they bring the manager in. They must then integrate the manager and teach the manager to facilitate in a way that maintains a staff-led meeting, which is completely unique.”

The study found that creating a safe space for workers to speak honestly empowered them. They felt heard and treated with respect. In this context, they were willing to surface concerns, failures, and problems for collective deliberation and action.

“In British Columbia, they are basing a model on this initiative and are trying to roll it out provincially. They are trying to institute this in their long-term care homes across the province,” Banerjee said. “This is one really simple and promising practice that can make a huge difference to begin to empower workers and I would be really interested in seeing something like this in the province of New Brunswick.”


The results of the study were published in the Journal of Aging Studies. Read the article HERE.