Health Canada has renewed support for the next five years for the Clinical Frailty Network, a centre of excellence dedicated to improving care for frail elderly Canadians. A grant of $23,900,000 will provide funds for original research projects across the country.
Dr. Sharon Kaasalainen, Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, is one of the Clinical Frailty Network investigators. Her top three research interests are: pain management and palliative care in long-term care; improving the quality of life for older adults living in long-term care; and advanced practice nursing roles in long-term care.
Kaasalainen is Co- Principal Investigator on a Clinical Frailty Network study, “Improving Advance Care Planning for Frail Elderly Canadians”, funded from June 2017-June 2020 (details below). Advance care planning is a process that supports people nearing the end of their lives in understanding and sharing their values, goals and preferences related to future medical care. A team of 32 clinicians and researchers will focus on increasing uptake, impact and access to advanced care planning for frail elderly Canadians in primary care settings, long-term care homes and hospitals.
"It's really important that people and their family are on the same page when it comes to their wishes and preferences for care at the end of life,” says Kaasalainen. “This project aims to start those conversations earlier for people and their family so that these decisions don't have to happen at the last minute when families are ill-prepared and in crisis mode."
Renewal of the Clinical Frailty Network. June 2017-June 2022. Team Leader: Muscedere J. Funded by Health Canada as a Network of Center of Excellence (NCE), $23,900,000.
Improving Advance Care Planning for Frail Elderly Canadians. Team Leader: You, J. Co-Principal Investigators: Barwich D, Gutman G, Howard M, Jayaraman D, Kaasalainen S, Klein D, Kobewka D, Simon J, Sussman T, Tan A, Urquhart R. Co-investigators: Abelson J, Allatt P, Bernard C, Bourgeois-Guérin, Clark B, Day A, Devries B, Dodek P, Downar J, Durivage P, Fowler R, Gahagan J, Hunter P, Kryworuchko J, McClearly L, Myers J, Nijjar A, Sharma N, Sinuff T, Slaven M, Taneja R, Thompson G, Winhall M. Funded by the Clinical Frailty Network, Transformative Grant Program, $2,676,698.