Being a patient in an ICU is frightening, disorienting and calls for courage in facing the unknown. Post-ICU, patients are at risk of developing difficulties thinking clearly, and this can last for up to 8 years after the ICU. By 2026, the number of people over 60 years old needing ICU care will increase by 105%. OT is a health profession that specializes in working with patients who have difficulties thinking, and focuses on partnering with patients and families to help them with activities that are difficult because of accident, illness or other losses. OTs help patients reduce fear and increase a sense of accomplishment, through rehabilitation to maintain and restore function in seriously ill, elderly patients. Few OTs work within an ICU, thus their potential role remains poorly defined. CFN’s June 2015 webinar featured final results from a CFN-funded knowledge synthesis project led by Michelle Kho and Sue Baptiste of McMaster University. Their presentation describes the current OT ICU role, outlines how that role could be enriched, and how best to do that.
CFN believes that caring for the frail elderly is a complex, Canada-wide issue that requires multi-faceted, national strategies and solutions, and our monthly webinars are one way we bring together talented people to focus on this goal.