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​​​​​Kingston, Ontario – May 20, 2015 – The Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN), announced today a partnership with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) to support researchers who will study and develop new resource tools that have the potential to elevate the level of care received by frail elderly Canadians in smaller, more remote communities.

TVN and CPSI have commissioned a one-year research project to develop training curriculum and resource material for volunteer caregivers and home care “provider-navigators” who assist frail older adults. At the end of the pilot, these care providers will have a ready-to-use, flexible resource toolkit that supports care decisions and potentially elevates the level of care received by frail elderly family members and patients.

Funding for this pilot study is being made available under the TVN Catalyst Grant Program, which funds pilot studies and feasibility studies leading to new and meaningful improvements in health care for frail elderly Canadians. Because of the focus on patient safety in home care, CPSI is co-funding this project, and providing patient safety expertise to the researchers.

The research team is being led by principal investigator Dr. Barbara Pesut, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics and Diversity at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Pesut says the research will develop an evidence-informed framework to evaluate the impact of care interventions in rural communities.

“We hope to develop a standardized and adaptable set of competencies for volunteer caregivers and home care provider-navigators who are on the front lines in caring for frail elderly Canadians in smaller communities,” she says. “We anticipate that the competencies, process mapping and toolkits we develop will be transferable to other volunteer caregivers, home care provider-navigators and agencies across Canada.”

Dr. John Muscedere, TVN scientific director, says TVN is proud to support this ground-breaking research on the safety and well-being of frail older adults.

“This research has great potential to elevate our understanding of the dynamics of care as frail elderly patients are supported,” he says. “The results of the pilot will be shared across the TVN care network of decision makers, health professionals and other knowledge users to further advance evidence-informed recommendations for health policy and practice.”

CEO Chris Power says CPSI is pleased to partner with TVN on this important work.

“This innovative project clearly aligns with one of our four strategic areas of focus, that is, home care safety,” she says. “We look forward to hearing more about how volunteer caregivers and home care provider-navigators can improve safety at home for frail older adults.”

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Information and Interview Requests

TVN: Denis Abbott, Manager: Knowledge Mobilization and Communications
Tel: 1-613-549-6666, ext. 6209; denis@tvn-nce.ca

CPSI: Cecilia Bloxom, Director: Strategic Communications
Tel: (780) 700-8642; cbloxom@cpsi-icsp.ca

Backgrounder

The Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN) is Canada’s network for frail elderly care solutions. Funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, TVN partners with health care providers, universities, the private sector and community agencies to support research, study medical technologies, share knowledge and train care professionals to improve frail elderly care practices and outcomes across all settings of care. Recognizing that frail elderly Canadians may be nearing the end of life, TVN is dedicated to their advance care planning and end-of-life care.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) was established in 2003 as an independent not-for-profit corporation, operating collaboratively with health professionals and organizations, regulatory bodies and governments to build and advance a safer healthcare system for Canada. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute would like to acknowledge funding support from Health Canada. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.

Facts

  • More than 1.5 million older Canadians are in frail health: experiencing multiple health problems, social isolation and struggling to manage their care needs. 
  • The number of frail, older Canadians is expected to more than double to close to 3.5 million people within the next 20 years. 
  • Frail elderly Canadians occupy most hospital intensive care and acute care beds, and require long-term, home-based and residential facility care.
  •  Seniors account for 14% of Canada’s population, yet occupy 85% of acute care beds and represent 40% of hospital ICU admissions.
  • Statistics Canada estimates that 30% of Canadians 85 years of age and older are taking at least 5 different prescription medications each year; many meds often simultaneously.