The Canadian Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI) awarded funding to 31 projects through their Spark program, three of which are led by RIA researchers. The projects all reflect out-of-the-box thinking and offer solutions for improving health care for older adults. Each will receive up to $50,000 in funding to scale up their ideas into proof-of-concept or prototypes. In total, CC-ABHI will invest more than $1.4 million in new innovations through this round of funding.
The successful recipients were announced earlier this month by the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health for the Government of Canada, at Baycrest Health Sciences. She was joined by the Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation & Science for the Government of Ontario as well as other government officials.
Please see below for highlights of the 3 funded projects involving RIA:
GeriMedRisk, a Scalable Geriatric Pharmacology Consultation Service to Prevent Adverse Drug Events among Seniors: A Pilot Study
Dr. Joanne Ho, Schlegel Clinical Research Scientist, McMaster University
GeriMedRisk® is a novel interdisciplinary, telemedicine-based geriatric pharmacology consultation and knowledge translation service which seeks to prevent and assist with the management of poisonings among Ontario seniors. Referring clinicians will be able to easily access GeriMedRisk®’s team of nurses, pharmacists, and physicians specializing in geriatric medicine, clinical pharmacology, and geriatric psychiatry by telephone or through telemedicine. By supporting clinicians as they optimize their complex older patients’ medications, GeriMedRisk® has the potential to decrease drug-related cognitive impairment, falls, and hospital visits among seniors from all clinical settings.
Positive risk management: A person-centered tool to assess and manage risk in older adults living with dementia
Dr. Linda Lee, Schlegel Chair in Primary Care for Elders, Centre for Family Medicine
The Centre for Family Medicine (CFFM) Primary Care Collaborative Memory Clinic (PCCMC) has developed and piloted a person-centered “risk enablement” framework based on available research evidence and best practices. This PCCMC Person-Centered Risk Assessment tool is a pro-active approach that allows older adults living with dementia to retain as much control over their lives as possible, identifying risky situations and developing systems to manage risk. This project will evaluate and refine this tool, with the aim that this tool may help other primary care settings to better assess and manage risky situations affecting persons living with dementia and allow these persons and their care partners to live in the community with best quality of life for as long as possible.
Toronto HEARS (Hearing Equality through Accessible Research and Solutions): Community-based hearing program for at-risk seniors
Dr. Kate Dupuis, Schlegel Innovation Leader in Arts & Aging, Sheridan College
The Toronto HEARS (Hearing Equality through Accessible Research and Solutions) initiative is based on a program developed at Johns Hopkins University in the United States. This program was designed to address the concern of untreated hearing loss among older adults. Community-based participants of Toronto HEARS will be provided with easier access to affordable hearing care in their community, without the need for transportation to multiple clinic appointments. Along with assistive listening technology, Toronto HEARS participants will be provided with education and counseling around coping with hearing loss, and will be trained on effective communication techniques. Addressing the problem of access to hearing health care can lead to improved hearing and communication which in turn has downstream benefits for social interaction and participation, performing everyday activities, and aging safely in one’s own home.