The Importance of Program Evaluation in the Long-Term Care

Posted on June 13, 2023
By Katelyn Henderson


This resource is also available in French. Click here to access the French version.

Program evaluation is an important part of long-term care due to its critical role in supporting evidence-based approaches to care. Long-term care is a diverse and essential service provided over a sustained period to people of all ages. Whether it's minimal personal support or comprehensive care. Long-term care can be provided in settings, such as nursing homes, residential care facilities, as well as people’s home environments.

What is Program Evaluation

Program evaluation assesses the implementation and effectiveness of services, determining their impact and efficiency. It provides a measure to help stakeholders, clients, and staff judge the quality of care provided. Program evaluation can also be applied to existing programs within long-term care to improve practices and priorities, and impact decision-making about the quality of care provided. Finally, evaluation can help in the implementation of new programs and initiatives in long-term care.

The Need for Program Evaluation in Long-Term Care

According to the Government of Ontario’s Long-Term Care Act (2018), each resident has the right to proper accommodation, nutrition, care, and services consistent with their needs. This indicates the primary reason for conducting program evaluations in the long-term care sector. The needs of clients are always evolving, and their quality of care is required by law to reflect that. Program evaluation captures the evolving needs of clients, shedding light on the quality of care through evidence and participant experiences.

 Areas of Improvement in Long-Term Care

 Program evaluation is one strategy that can help improve the overall client experience, such as collecting feedback from staff and clients on ways to improve discharge planning. However, there are many challenges that can arise during program evaluation. These can include measuring the long-term impact of services, lack of knowledge and experience of the evaluation team, managing evaluation alongside daily responsibilities, resistance from staff and clients, and managing unrealistic expectations when evaluation is externally funded. 

When conducting program evaluation in the long-term care sector, it is important to demystify the evaluation process for both staff and clients to enhance individuals’ experiences not only with evaluation but with quality long-term care services overall.


To summarize, program evaluation plays an important role in long-term care and is essential for maintaining a resident’s overall right to proper assistance and care. While challenges can arise when conducting evaluation, program evaluation is a powerful tool for improving organizational services and operations in the long-term care sector.

Youth, Communities Building Youth Futures, Youth Engagement, CBYF Blog

Katelyn Henderson

By Katelyn Henderson

Katelyn Henderson is a fourth-year Kinesiology student with a minor in Gerontology at Brock University. In Winter 2023, Katelyn was enrolled in a ‘Program Evaluation in Recreation’ course taught by Dr. Corliss Bean. This blog was written as part of her coursework in this class. She has been working in the long-term care sector for almost two years and is currently completing a placement in the Restorative Care department of a nursing home. She will be pursuing a Master of Applied Gerontology at Brock University in the Fall of 2023.

Related Posts

An Impactful Approach from Madagascar

Process and Outcome Evaluation: A Brief Overview

Lessons from Brussels: Exploring Social Initiatives for Youth in Europe