Uncovering the impact of volunteer visits on thinking skills

Care Education Research

“What I’ve learned is that each day is a day in itself, one day is different from the other. You can’t expect the residents to remember you from one day from the next but when you see that smile that they somewhat remember you or that they’re happy to see you, it really makes it worth it.”

-Sabrina Teles, volunteer with Baycrest’s PLEASE program (a person-centred care program)

Baycrest scientists and clinicians are teaming up with long-term care homes across Toronto to explore how volunteer visits could help older adults with dementia preserve or improve their thinking abilities. This work could help long-term care homes incorporate a cost-effective program to improve care for residents with dementia and create new roles for volunteers working with older adults.

More than half of long-term care home residents in Ontario have dementia and impairments to residents’ thinking abilities impact their overall health and quality of life. This project received support from The Retired Teachers of Ontario Foundation. Find out more about this work.