Oral Presentation 4
The CABHI Spark Project: From Innovation to Impact

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
3:30 - 4:45 pm
Queens Quay/ Bay
Many of the best ideas for improving the quality of life and care for older adults are generated by individuals working at the point-of-care who witness the challenges and opportunities that come with aging on a daily basis. In the absence of incentives or a channel to advance these ideas, innovations that could shape the future of how we care for older adults continue to remain just that -- an idea. The CABHI Spark Program, is designed to nurture and develop early-stage, grassroots ideas from point-of-care and service delivery staff by providing up to $50,000 CAD per project to support proof-of-concept testing of ideas. In this session, you will hear from a number of last year’s Spark recipients, many of whom work in long-term care homes. Join us to hear from innovative nurses and PSWs who came up with an idea to solve a problem, and learn more about how they are now taking that idea and turning it into a reality.

Taking the mystery out of falls: A novel way of detecting falls in long-term care

Fifteen percent of Canada’s long-term care (LTC) residents have experienced a fall within the last 30 days. Almost thirty-five per cent of all falls in residential settings result in serious injury due to underlying and/or comorbid conditions. What is more, most falls in LTC are unwitnessed, which makes finding good prevention measures difficult. Current fall detection systems used in LTC settings require the resident to summon assistance after a fall and so they do not help if the resident is unconscious or unable to access the system. At Saint-Louis Residence in Ottawa, we are testing the RemoCare TeleHealth System. This solution utilizes built-in cameras in a smartphone to continuously monitor movements in a room. When a fall is detected care staff receives an alert on a paired phone. This alert contains a short video (45sec-1min) of what happened immediately prior to and after the fall. We are testing the app’s suitability in an LTC setting, to determine whether it can accurately detect falls, whether it can provide a helpful “look back” at the fall, and whether staff can use this information for falls prevention planning.

Speaker: Teresa Lee  

Comprehensive Geriatric Management of Long Term Residents with Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia: A Partnership Approach

Responsive and aggressive behaviors by dementia residents in LTC often results in Emergency Department visits, increased potential for injuries to the resident, or other residents and long-term care staff, decreased quality of life, increased falls, and increased stress for LTC staff and families. William Osler Health System, in partnership with Region of Peel and funded by Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation Spark program, has created and is studying a long-term care Neurobehavioral Program. This evaluative study aims to create a specialized clinical process for optimal management of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia for seniors in long-term care, including: comprehensive geriatric assessments by a Geriatrician and Nurse Practitioner, individualized treatment plans, enhanced capacity building for staff, family support and education, medication reviews, and coordinated interdisciplinary care.

Speakers: Cathy Granger, Sheelagh Willett  

Prescribing Virtual Reality (VRx): Can exposure to simulated natural environments using Virtual Reality (VR) offer an alternative therapy for those living with dementia/ cognitive impairment who are limited from being outside?

Depression and anxiety are common mental health problems in older adults, particularly those with dementia/ cognitive impairment (D/CI). Wandering is frequent among people living with dementia and presents safety risks to patients and challenges to caregivers both at home and within institutions. As the disease progresses, more and more patients become confined indoors and isolated.Furthermore, there is a negative cycle where feelings of isolation and loneliness trigger depression and cognitive decline in older adults, which exacerbates the problems faced by those living with dementia. At the same time, exposure to nature, such as seeing greenery and hearing a babbling brook, has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, aggression, and bio-physiological distress. Likewise, social interaction is consistently identified as key to improving seniors’ quality of life. So while this population may greatly benefit from being in nature or social settings, they are increasingly restricted from experiencing these beneficial contexts and conditions. VR presents a unique opportunity to transport people to a world outside of their confined spaces and into calming settings like a peaceful lake, cozy coffee shop, or cheerful children’s playground. VR head-mounted displays (HMD) are wearable devices that make you feel as though you are truly present in the virtual world, seamlessly replacing the real world around you. As this technology becomes more accessible and affordable, there is a unique opportunity for therapy using VR, which may prove to be a more ethically desirable, less expensive means of relaxing, engaging, and distracting patients, without the negative side effects of current approaches (e.g. sedatives, physical restraining, and tracking devices).

Speaker: Dr. Lora Appel

This session was generously sponsored by: