Heather Cooke

With more than 20 years’ experience in the field of dementia care – in a front-line and research capacity – Dr. Heather Cooke seeks to make a difference in the lives of persons with dementia and their caregivers. Much of her research career has been spent exploring ways to improve the physical and organizational dementia care environment, and in turn, the experiences of residents and staff. Her doctoral work illustrated the role supportive co-worker relationships play in helping front-line staff better meet the demands of their work, highlighting that it is not just how many staff are on shift, but also who is on shift that appears essential to staff (and residents’) care experiences.

Cooke’s postdoctoral work builds upon this research, examining the workplace relationships of front-line staff and their experiences of workplace peer incivility and bullying. Her additional research interests include the design of the physical environment for persons with dementia, and personhood and dementia. Working with colleagues in the US, she helped refine the first comprehensive, empirically-sound Canadian instrument available for assessing tenant satisfaction in assisted living. She and colleague Dr. Habib Chaudhury are in the midst of developing an innovative environmental assessment tool to capture the influence of a long-term care home’s physical environment on resident behaviour in real time.

For an up-to-date list of publications by Dr. Cooke, please see ResearchGate.