Investing in transforming care for older Canadians living with frailty

April 23, 2017

Canadian Frailty Network recently received funding from the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence program for a second five-year term (2017-2022), and is continuing  with the work it began in since its inception in 2012. In its first term, CFN supported 88 research projects at 45 Canadian post-secondary institutions and teaching hospitals, and the CFN community has grown to over 3,500, including 400 researchers across Canada.

Today Canadian Frailty Network is pleased to announce an investment of over $8 million that will significantly boost Canada’s knowledge-base and body of evidence to transform care for older adults living with frailty.  “Great evidence leads to great care.” says Dr. John Muscadere, Scientific Director and CEO, Canadian Frailty Network. “It’s a formula that has been proven on all facets of healthcare around the world. These new CFN-funded projects will do this for frailty in Canada.”
The new CFN funded projects include:
Led by Dr. Paul Stolee, University of Waterloo, a study to develop a new healthcare screening system for older Canadians, which will allow for earlier identification of frailty leading to improved outcomes for patients and a decreased burden on the healthcare system. Also, a new app (My Care Mapp), is being developed that will enable patients and care delivery personnel to monitor and share information on treatment. In addition to Dr. Stolee, researchers from Laval University, University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University and University of Calgary will receive funding.
Led by Dr. John You, McMaster University, five research teams collaborating to develop a new comprehensive suite of advance care planning (ACP) tools tailored to frail older Canadians. This will increase uptake, impact, and access to ACP across primary care, long-term care (LTC), and hospital settings. In addition to Dr. You, investigators from McGill University, Dalhousie University, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, McGill University Health Centre and University of British Columbia will receive funding.
A study trial on the use of probiotics to prevent severe and endotracheal colonization (PROSPECT) let by Dr. Deborah Cook, McMaster University. Frail older adults are often have poor outcomes following intensive care unit admission, and are prone to lung infection, particularly ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), costing the healthcare system approximately $46 million annually and having a detrimental effect on frail older patients.
A means to implement effective system-wide multi-faceted interventions for frail older Canadians called Better Targeting, Better Outcomes For Frail Elderly Patients (BABEL) led by Dr. Paul Hébert, Centre de recherche du Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal and Dr. Allan Garland of the University of Manitoba. This could help to anticipate and then restore or improve previous states of health for elderly persons at risk of decompensation and improve care at end-of-life to ensure that at-risk seniors receive care and support aligned with their values, expectations and wishes.
“Every Canadian will be touched by frailty, whether through their own aging, or a family member/ friend, or as a caregiver,” says Dr. Muscedere. “Frailty matters in Canada. Seniors, 65+ account for nearly $100 billion in healthcare spending annually.  We are very proud to make this investment for Canada to improve the care for more than 1.2 million frail older Canadians.”