News Archives 2017

Explaining all there is to know about dementia within the confines of a clinical appointment is a difficult task. That is why Dr. Richard Sztramko and the GERAS Centre have been working with CABHI to create iGeriCare – “an online platform for people who are newly diagnosed with dementia, along with their families, to access relevant information at their own pace.”
iGeriCare allows for a wealth of information on the different stages of dementia, to be accessible all in one place.

October 18, 2017

Health Quality Ontario Launches Hip Fracture Quality Standard

Hip fractures affect 13 000 people per year in Ontario. That’s why Health Quality Ontario, in collaboration with clinical experts, patients, residents, and caregivers, has developed Quality Standards—outlining what quality care looks like. Health Quality Ontario launched a guide for patients, clinicians, quality improvement tools and resources, and performance indicators to help clinicians and organizations track their progress against the standard in an effort to improve the quality of care for patients.

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) releases new Best Practice Guidelines expanded to include all adults >18 at risk for falls. The purpose of this guideline is to outline evidence-based approaches for preventing falls and reducing fall injuries for adults. This guideline includes 18 recommendations – find out here which of these you can incorporate into your practice today.
Learn more about the guidelines at the free webinar presented by the RNAO on November 1 2017 from 12-1pm

July 05, 2017

Lavan Sivarajah Receives CFN 2017 Summer Student Award

GERAS Trainee, Lavan Sivarajah has received a Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) Summer Student Award  for his work titled Nutritional status of frail & pre-frail older adults undergoing hip replacement surgery and its relationship to functional mobility and pain.  Lavan’s project will examine the pre-operative nutritional status of frail/pre-frail older adults undergoing elective total hip replacement. Frail patients, in particular, are at higher risk of malnutrition and could potentially benefit from interventions targeting an improvement in their nutritional status prior to surgery.
Congratulations Lavan!

We would like to extend our congratulations to Patricia Hewston (post-doc) and Ahmed Negm (PhD candidate) for placing in the top 3 in graduate/post-graduate at the Combined City Geriatric Resident Research Day on Wednesday at Elmhurst Inn. Ahmed presented on the FitHips trial and Patricia presented her doctoral work on fear of falling in older adults.
Thanks for representing McMaster and GERAS and doing us proud!

On June 21st GERAS Centre welcomed Pauline Fisher, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Esther Coker, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Rita Valvasori and Thomas Szoke, Registered Dental Hygienists in the James Morreale Dental Clinic at St. Peter’s Hospital and Dr. Laszlo Szoke, Dentist.  This inspiring group presented their project Interprofessional Collaboration Between Dental Hygienists and Nursing Staff to Improve Oral Health Outcomes . .  
Funding from Green Shield Canada has  allowed dental hygienists to spend time at the bedside of inpatients at St. Peter’s where they provide oral care to dependent older adults and support nursing staff, who face many barriers to providing oral care. The presentation described (a) the importance of oral hygiene care, (b) the extent of the problem, (c) challenges/barriers to oral hygiene care, (d) the project, (e) preliminary findings, and (f) future directions. We look forward to hearing more about this collaboration in the future.

On May 17th GERAS Centre welcomed Dr. Justin Lee to speak about his work Contribution of Medications to High Cost Healthcare User Status in Seniors.  
High cost health users (HCUs) are a small group of patients who use a disproportionate amount of healthcare resources. In 2011, 5% of Ontario’s population consumed 65% of provincial health expenditures (amounting to $19.8 billion). Our Local Health Integration Network is home to the largest group of incident senior HCUs in the province, and these patients account for $1 billion annually, and 1 in 4 hospital discharges. What role do medications play?

On June 7th, The DANcing for Cognition & Exercise (DANCE) Study was featured in HHS Share. DANCE researchers are exploring whether participation in regular dance programming can positively impact cognitive functions such as memory, reasoning and learning. 
DANCE, funded by McMaster University’s Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative, is a collaboration between the GERAS Centre, Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University, the YMCA Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, and the Alzheimer’s Society of Hamilton . As co-investigator, Patricia Hewston says, “we all share the same vision of finding effective and enjoyable ways to improve the health of older adults”.

On the heels of the Ministry announcing they would be investing more than $100 million to expand dementia care, GERAS welcomed Pamela Durepos to present “Assessing Palliative Care Content in Dementia Care Guidelines”.
Pamela presented the results of a systematic review of international dementia care guidelines to assess and describe palliative care and end-of-life care content. Analysis of these high-quality guidelines demonstrated significant strengths and limitations. The results will impact researchers, clinicians, and developers of policies and guidelines.

GERAS Scientist, Justin Lee, has been awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Fellowship to support his research program, “Improving Medication PRescribing for Ontario’s Vulnerable Elderly High Cost Healthcare Users (IMPROVE-HCU)”. The national award goes to highly qualified candidates to continue health research in Canada or abroad.
Congratulations Justin!

Dr. Esther Coker has published in Geriatric Nursing and the International Journal of Older People Nursing on the topic of oral hygiene care for older adults in hospital.

On May 9th HHS Share highlighted Artful Moments, a class offered to patients in the Behavioural Health Program at St. Peter’s Hospital (SPH), in partnership with the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH).  
“It gives them a way to converse. Sometimes the pictures spark memories about past experiences…and the discussion helps them think and focus.”
The Artful Moments pilot study conducted by GERAS appears in the Canadian Geriatrics Journal.

The GERAS Centre and Health Tapestry invited collaborators and participants to tea in April, to present the results of the The Targeting, Referring, Intervening to Promote Healthy AGEing (TRIAGE) Study.

Canadian Frailty Network recently received funding from the Government of Canada’sNetworks of Centres of Excellence program for a second five-year term (2017-2022), and is continuing  with the work it began in since its inception in 2012.
Today Canadian Frailty Network is pleased to announce an investment of over $8 million that will significantly boost Canada’s knowledge-base and body of evidence to transform care for older adults living with frailty.  “Great evidence leads to great care.” says Dr. John Muscadere, Scientific Director and CEO, Canadian Frailty Network. “It’s a formula that has been proven on all facets of healthcare around the world. These new CFN-funded projects will do this for frailty in Canada.”

GERAS Geriatrician, Dr. Justine Lee, was awarded the Edmund V. Cowdry award at the Canadian Geriatric Society 2017 ASM for his oral presentation Contribution of Medications to High Cost Healthcare User Status in Seniors.

Each year the Canadian Geriatric  Society (CGS) presents an award at its Annual Meeting to recognize an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the health care of older adults in Canada. The GERAS team is immensely proud that our Executive Director, Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou, has been presented with the Ronald Cape Distinguished Service Award for 2017.

You may have noticed a skating story in the April 4, 2017 edition of HHS Share. Read about how our GERAS team was able to support Leslie get fit and take up skating again through the TAPESTRY-TRIAGE study!  

Loretta Hillier, Project Coordinator for the LIVE study, was interviewed by Senior Care Canada magazine for their March 1, 2017 issue.  GERAS conducted the Long-Term Care Homes’ IntraVenous Therapy Experience (LIVE) study to see if hospital visits could be avoided if some treatments occurred in long-term care homes. “The aim of the study was to target intravenous therapy for antibiotic treatment or hydration that would prevent residents from having to go to hospital.”

We would like to extend our congratulations to Jessica Nicastro for submitting the winning DSECT Logo design.
Jessica’s design incorporated multiple mortars and pestles to represent the different areas of drug research and how DSECT (Drug Safety & Effectiveness Cross-Disciplinary Training) is a collaboration of these areas. A graphic designer took her concept and adapted it to one mortar and pestle but with curves within to showcase the multiple strands of work that DSECT encompasses. 
This is now the official logo for DSECT.

GERAS team members are looking forward to presenting at the 2017 Canadian Geriatrics Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting. The team will be presenting three oral presentations and five poster presentation at the conference.

This is your chance to tell us what your frailty priorities are. Help the Canadian Frailty Priority Setting Partnership determine the top 10 frailty concerns for researchers!

Pamela Durepos, a PhD student in the School of Nursing, is the primary author of a new study, “Assessing palliative care content in dementia care guidelines,” in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

GERAS Graduate student, Pamela Durepos won second place for her poster on: Palliative Care Content in Clinical Practice Guidelines for Dementia at last falls’ International Congress on Palliative Care in Montreal.

GERAS Member, Dr. Richard Sztramko’s iGeriCare project was one of the innovative research projects supported by this year’s Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation Gala. iGeriCare will provide patients diagnosed with dementia, their family, and caregivers access to appropriate information through learning modules “prescribed” by their geriatrician. Thank you to HHSF and all supporters for continuing to support innovative research!

GERAS PhD student, Asm (Sayem) Borhan, has been awarded the CIHR Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-Disciplinary (DSECT) Program trainee award for his work on osteoporosis, drugs and fracture prevention.
Congrats Asm!

Dr. Ahmed Negm is the recipient of the 2017 ESCEO-Eli Lilly Scholarship for his work on frailty and osteoporosis. He will be attending the 2017 WCO-IOF-ESCEO Congress in Florence.
Congratulations Ahmed!

February 16, 2017

GERAS Medical Student wins AGS & GERAS Young Investigator Awards

Thom Ringer, GERAS medical student, has received the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Edward Henderson Student Award for leadership in geriatrics.
Thom has also received the GERAS Young Investigator award for his work on Understanding the Education and Support Needs of Caregivers of Patients Diagnosed with Dementia. 
Congratulations Thom!

February 09, 2017

HHS at Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park

HHS Research was pleased to participate in the Health Research Caucus symposium, “Frailty Among the Aged in Canada” held at Parliament Hill.  Hamilton Health Sciences proudly featured the work of the GERAS Centre and our innovation to aging research. 

Thank you to Claudia Yousif, one of our Research Students, for allowing us to share this video on the difference between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. Claudia made this video to complete an assignment on Demystifying Medicine for one of her courses at McMaster University.
View more Demystifying Medicine videos at on YouTube.

Kenneth Rockwood, Geriatrician, Professor, and Researcher, shares his views on ageism and frailism in Canadian medicine. Our approach to care needs to change to better-serve older adults and those living with frailty.

Listen to GERAS’s Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou and the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford​’s Heather Isnor discuss exercise and depression with AM900 CHML​’s Bill Kelly!