Giving voice to frail older Canadians
Frail elderly Canadians are becoming an increasingly large segment of the population. Though they are significant consumers of health care resources, their input is underrepresented in research, the health care system and in setting health care policy. Canada’s health care system has advanced to meet the needs of those with acute and reversible illnesses; however, the system is ill-equipped to meet the specific, and often chronic, needs of frail elderly patients. To ensure that their needs are met as the Canadian health care system evolves, it is important that frail elderly Canadians have a voice in the research conducted to inform their care, the administration of the health care system, the way they interact as consumers of health care, and in the setting of health care policy.
CFN hosts successful first Giving Voice to Frail Elderly Canadians meeting
As part of the CFN annual conference in Toronto on September 27-29, 2015, CFN hosted a world-café style participatory meeting of 60 citizen advocacy representatives, researchers, health care professionals, policy makers and industry partners. Participants explored and voted on a range of topics and strategies for engaging frail elderly Canadians and their family caregivers in research, health care decision making and policy setting. Here is a summary of the day's proceedings and outcomes.
Perspectives on aging and frailty health with Dr. Duncan Sinclair
Meeting participants also viewed a compelling video presented by former Queen's University Dean of Medicine and CFN Board Director, Dr. Duncan Sinclair. In the video, Dr. Sinclair poignantly describes what frail health means to him, and the steps he is taking to delay the onset of frailty and to ensure his end-of-life care decisions are closely followed.
Our citizen engagement efforts are part of a CFN knowledge mobilization (KMb) effort to:
- Articulate and put into practice the role of frail elderly Canadians in research designed to inform their care, both in its conduct and priority setting
- Articulate and implement their involvement in the health care system, including its management and as health care consumers
- Articulate and encourage their involvement in setting policy and direction of the health care system.
In addition to patients themselves, CFN’s KMb efforts are informed by the best evidence from the scientific literature, by ongoing research and by expert opinions from representatives of frail elderly patients, their advocacy groups and patient caregiver groups; as well as from representatives of the health care system including acute care, residential care and home care.
CFN KMb efforts proudly supported by: