2019 National Conference on Frailty

Frailty matters. 1.2 million Canadians 65-plus live with frailty, as do 2.5 million Canadians who are their caregivers and hundreds of thousands more in our healthcare workforce.

CFN is Canada’s only national network dedicated to older Canadians living with frailty and all responsible for their well-being. This conference is a unique opportunity to examine frailty from many aspects/perspectives at a single event.

On September 26th and 27th, 2019 over 300 delegates including practitioners, care providers, scientists, clinicians, policy makers, older adults living with frailty, friend/family caregivers and experts in the field of frailty gathered together to present and discuss the latest knowledge, evidence, approaches and policies that are transforming care and seeding the next generation of innovations. Click here to see the program.

This year’s Conference featured oral presentations from the top innovators selected from the call for proposals. 28 other highly ranked innovations presented their innovations at a Storyboard Forum.

Click here to see the top innovations and innovators.

All Conference delegates were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite innovation presented at the Storyboard Forum. The team from the University of Alberta represented by Dr. Rachel Khadaroo was presented the Conference Choice Storyboard Award for Elder-friendly Approaches to the Surgical Environment (EASE). Click here to see the Storyboard.

L to R: Russell Williams, CFN Board Chair; Rachel Khadaroo; John Muscedere, CFN Scientific Director & CEO

Highlights of the first day included presentations and panel discussions on topics such as: what Canada can learn from Denmark, stemming from the CFN led delegation to Denmark in May 2018; the importance of identifying frailty in older Canadians in order to better inform decision making and open access to the remarkable services available in the country for older adults living with frailty; resources available for older adults who wish to age in place.

View the presentation slides

We were also pleased to feature a session focused on engaging older adults living with frailty and caregivers in research. This panel discussed the barriers and in-roads made to engaging citizens in research.

L to R: Barb MacLean (Caregivers of British Columbia); Sarah Dolsen (RGPO); Kelly Kay (Seniors Care Network); Chelsia Gillis (University of Calgary); Olive Bryanton; Marlyn Gill
L to R: Kelly Kay (Seniors Care Network); Chelsia Gillis (University of Calgary); Olive Bryanton; Marlyn Gill; Joyce Resin (CFN)

The first day also included the launch of CFN’s AVOID Frailty campaign. On hand were Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod to take the audience through a “Body Break” and emphasize the importance of the AVOID acronym; Activity, Vaccinate, Optimize Medications, Interact and Diet and Nutrition.

Canada’s National Ballet School had the delegates up and moving as well as they demonstrated their Sharing Dance Seniors program. The opportunity to move was welcomed by all!

Dr. Kenneth Rockwood began the second day of the National Conference on Frailty and was joined by a group of panelists that discussed the challenges and opportunities for identification of frailty in the home and within various healthcare settings.

Kenneth Rockwood (Dalhousie University)
Kashtin Fitzsimons (Amica Lifestyles)
Joseph Emmanuel Amuah (CIHI)

View the presentations slides

Assessing Frailty Here, There and Everywhere: Defining Frailty in Acute Care: Development of a frailty measure to inform quality of careJoseph Emmanuel Amuah; Emergency Room Evaluation & Recommendations (ER2)– Olivier Beauchet

Delegates were updated on the various initiatives currently underway at CFN including the Frailty Outcomes Consensus (FOCUS) Project, Nutrition and Physical Activity Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Frailty Biomarkers project. Mary Beth MacLean from Veterans Affairs Canada gave the audience an overview of programs for aging Veterans and potential sources for examining and improving care for older Veterans.

View the presentation slides

An interactive and informative session was conducted by James Rea from the Alan Alda Centre for Communicating Science. Delegates were taken through a series of activities designed to enhance their ability to communicate with non-scientists about their work and why it matters.

Three CFN funded Principal Investigators delivered presentations to update attendees on their projects. These projects were funded through the CFN Catalyst 2017 Medication Optimization competition.

Xiaowei Song (Fraser Health Authority)
Colleen Maxwell (University of Waterloo)
Shanna Trenaman (Dalhousie University)

View the Presentation Slides

A Collaborative Intervention for Streamlining Medication Appropriateness and Deprescribing within Integrated Health-Care Teams – Shanna Trenaman, Dalhousie University

Role of Community Pharmacists in Assessing Frailty to Improve Medication Use and Outcomes– Colleen Maxwell, University Waterloo

CFN Trainees


The Conference also offers students and trainees in CFN’s Interdisciplinary Training Program an opportunity to network, gain valuable abstract and poster submission experience, and hear from experts. Each year awards are given out to the top posters in three categories; Summer Student Award (SSA), Interdisciplinary Fellow Program (IFP) and CFN Project HQP. Congratulations to this year’s winners: Alexandra Lewis (SSA),  Alyson Takaoka (IFP)/Pamela Durepos (IFP) who shared the IFP award and Sandra Pong (Project HQP).

L to R: Denise Stockley (CFN Training); Pamela Durepos; Alexandra Lewis; Alyson Takaoka; Sandra Pong; John Musedere (CFN)