Post-discharge rehabilitation interventions for older adults with cognitive impairment following a hip fracture

Each year in Canada, many seniors experience a hip fracture complicated by the presence of cognitive impairment (CI) such as delirium or dementia. Following inpatient rehabilitation, the maintenance of functional gains among persons with CI is of utmost importance. Dr. Katherine McGilton and Dr. Paula van Wyk spoke about their search for evidence of effective community, including home-based, rehabilitation interventions for older adults with CI. Evidence of such interventions should indicate maintenance of mobility and the ability to remain living at home post-discharge. A structured rehabilitation plan provided to patients post-discharge that includes effective community- and home-based interventions informed by evidence-based best practice could ensure that this population remains independent in the community and will reduce the burden on both caregivers and the health care system.

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Dr. Katherine McGilton is a Senior Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-UHN, and an Associate Professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. Dr. McGilton’s research focus is in care of persons with cognitive impairment, particularly in identifying interventions and models of care delivery that lead to effective patient outcomes. She also has experience in outcome measure development and has published on various aspects of intervention and outcomes in dementia care, rehabilitation care and long-term care.

Dr. Paula van Wyk is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor, after completing a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. McGilton at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, focused on patient recovery post hip fracture. She obtained her doctorate in the Ergonomics and Aging Laboratory at Western University, following completion of a Master’s degree in Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor, and an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences and the Sociology of Aging.   Dr. van Wyk’s research has primarily focused on safety in health care, specifically looking at the ergonomics of patient lifts and transfers.  She has also been involved with mental health research initiatives in long-term care homes.