Projects


As a solution accelerator, the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) currently has over 140 projects in our innovation pipeline that have been launched and approved. Below is a list of our current projects.

Recipients of the Spark Program
Recipients of the Industry Innovation Partnership Program
Recipients of the Researcher Clinician Partnership Program
Recipients of the Knowledge Mobilization Partnership Program
Recipients of the Seniors’ Care Strategic Innovation Fund
Recipients of the Strategic Opportunity Fund
Recipients of the Canada-Israel Collaboration Program

Spark logo
Recipients of the Spark Program

 

Dementia Talk App
Project Lead: Einat Danieli
Host Institution: Sinai Health System, Toronto, ON
With Canada’s aging population and increasing number of dementia cases, caregivers are in need of practical and effective solutions to guide them in managing care. Many caregivers encounter difficulties with respect to tracking and communicating the challenges they face to care providers and/or their family doctor, contributing further to the sense of loneliness that is often associated with caregiving. Dementia Talk App is an award-winning smartphone application designed to empower dementia caregivers in tracking and managing challenging behaviours and in enhancing their communication with other care providers in the circle of care. Funded in part by a grant from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s Community Investment Program, this project will further develop the application through the addition of a new suite of features and format compatibilities. Furthermore, the project will also involve beta testing of the application in a clinical setting.

Virtual Calm: Using VR Videos to Reduce Dementia Distress
Project Lead: Sandra McKay
Host Institution: VHA Home HealthCare, Toronto, ON
Evidence suggests that persons with dementia can benefit from watching 3D videos of serene environments. Specifically, this has been demonstrated to be a potentially effective non-pharmacological tool that could be made available to manage the neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia. The goal of this project is to better understand the potential of 3D virtual reality scenarios as a tool to manage neuropsychiatric symptoms such as aggression, agitation, and apathy.

Preventing Emergency Department Visits by Identifying People with Unrecognized Dementia
Project Lead: Dr. Jacques Lee
Host Institution: Sunnybrook Research/Academic Institute, Toronto, ON
Patients with dementia are frequently discharged from the ER without diagnosing the fact that they have an underlying cognitive impairment. This greatly increases the chance of a return visit. Ideally, all older adults visiting the ER for dementia would be screened. However, due to time and resource constraints, this is not feasible. Dr. Lee and his team have developed a prototype application that employs “serious gaming” techniques on a tablet computer that allows patients to perform a self-assessment that accurately indicates a dementia diagnosis to clinicians. This Spark project will focus on refining and expanding the functionality of the application, as well as test its effectiveness to reduce crowding in ERs through the avoidance of unnecessary repeat visits from patients with dementia.

GeriMedRisk, a Scalable Geriatric Pharmacology Consultation Service to Prevent Adverse Drug Events Among Seniors: A Pilot Study
Project Lead: Dr. Joanne Ho
Host Institution: Schlegel Villages, Waterloo, ON
GeriMedRisk is an interdisciplinary, technology-based geriatric pharmacology consultation service. To be specific, clinicians across the Waterloo-Wellington region will have access to nurses, pharmacists, physicians specializing in geriatric medicine, clinical pharmacology and geriatric psychiatry by telephone or Ontario Telemedicine Network e-consult during business hours. This is an important service because it helps to optimize the patient’s medications, cognition, mobility, function and mental health. These benefits lead to other positive impacts, such as decreasing drug-related cognitive impairment, falls and hospital visits among seniors in all clinical settings. In the project’s inaugural 12 months, the feasibility and efficacy of GeriMedRisk will be evaluated in various clinical settings, including long-term care, primary care and mental health in Waterloo-Wellington region. Specifically, the Spark program will fund GeriMedRisk’s randomized feasibility trial in the long-term-care setting.

Optimizing Health Outcomes for Older Adults at Risk of Dementia
Project Lead: Dr. Kelly Murphy
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
One in ten Canadian seniors experience an identifiable cognitive decline, labelled Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which can be representative of future dementia risk. Pharmacological intervention for MCI has not been shown to be effective. However, behavioural interventions focusing on cognitive strategies and lifestyles have shown promise. For example, Dr. Murphy’s team has developed an intervention program called “Learning the Ropes for Living with MCI” that has demonstrated clinical efficacy. This project will aim to increase the scalability and adoption of the program by making it available online, delivering “Train the Trainer” workshops, establishing a business plan, and publishing program materials.

Positive Risk Management
Project Lead: Dr. Linda Lee
Host Institution: Centre for Family Medicine, South-Kitchener, ON
The disease process in dementia affects behaviour, mood, physical and social functioning, often resulting in significant impairments in the ability to perform at work, maintain social relationships, and complete daily activities of living. To meet the urgent need for a feasible, effective tool that guides the assessment and management of risks associated with living with dementia, the CFFM Primary Care Collaborative Memory Clinic (PCCMC) have developed and piloted a person-centered “risk enablement” framework based on 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 by identifying risky situations and developing systems to manage risk. This project aims to evaluate and refine this Person-Centered Risk Assessment tool. Once refined, this tool can help other primary care settings with better assessment and management of high-risk situations associated with older adults living dementia, with the aim of avoiding crises pro-actively and allowing these persons and their care partners to live in the community with the best quality of life for as long as possible.

Toronto Hears

Toronto Hears

Toronto HEARS: Community-Based Hearing Program for At-Risk Seniors
Project Lead: Marilyn Reed
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Hearing loss, prevalent among older adults, is associated with a decline in cognitive, physical and mental health. Despite this, the hearing loss goes largely untreated due to the stigma and challenges associated with accessing current models of hearing health care. In this way, new approaches are needed to overcome these barriers and address this major public health concern. The primary objective of this project is to deliver and test the feasibility of a tailored education and counselling program, combined with an accessible and affordable hearing device. This project, based on Access HEARS and developed by a team of ENTs and audiologists at Johns Hopkins University, addresses the concern of untreated hearing loss among older adults. The program will be delivered to approximately 100 clients who reside in community centres in low-income areas in Toronto. It is expected that this program will result in improved communication, social engagement and health-related quality of life for those participating in the project.

Comprehensive Geriatric Management of LTC Residents w/ BPSD
Project Lead: Sheelagh Willett
Host Institution: William Osler Health System, East Brampton, ON
The senior population in the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is expected to increase by 64 percent by the year 2021. Furthermore, 62 percent of residents in long-term care suffer from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia (Ontario Long Term Care Association, 2016). This project, hosted by William Olser Health System, seeks to improve the delivery of high-quality health care for seniors who exhibit behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia in long-term care (LTC). Specifically, the project will create a structured approach to managing a variety of intertwined stakeholders, as well as assist with process management to create a care delivery process that involves comprehensive geriatric assessment and management. This project addresses the unmet needs of optimal behavioural management of LTC residents in the Central West LHIN with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Cover and Comfort Wrap
Project Lead: Sandra Hardern
Host Institution: Providence Health Care, Vancouver, BC
The Cover and Comfort Wrap (CCW) is a real-world solution, developed by direct health care providers. It is an opportunity to create a new approach to care that improves the quality of life for people experiencing the behavioral and psychological symptoms related to dementia, as well as their families and care providers. During a bath or shower, the CCW is worn and positioned on the body for secure coverage, preserving the person’s privacy and facilitating the care provider’s health and safety. This Spark project will involve refining the design of the existing proof-of-principle prototype to develop a working prototype of the CCW. Once the working prototype is developed, staff will be trained in the use of the CCW, and it will be tested in a pilot research study in a tertiary mental health setting.

illuminAID: Lighting for Fall Prevention
Project Lead: Sandra Hardern
Host Institution: Providence Health Care, Vancouver, BC
The increased likelihood of falling in individuals with dementia can partially be attributed to challenges related to sensory input and interpretation of the environment. For example, older adults can take longer to adapt to sudden changes in light and often have an increased sensitivity to glare, causing illusions and misperceptions. Building off of a proof-of-concept study, the goal of this project is to design a working prototype of a lighting system for residential care homes that considers the experience of an individual with dementia. Testing of the prototype will take place in a care home, leading to further refinement of the prototype, with increased autonomy of the user as the main objective.

Leveraging Bed/Chair Alarm Removal for Falls Prevention
Project Lead: Mary McDougall
Host Institution: Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
In 2013, Hebrew Senior Life (HSL) became the leading long-term care facility in Massachusetts to eliminate alarms. While 30 to 40 percent of patients had bed alarms, chair alarms, or both, few patients had alarms (as requested by their families) at present. Instead, HSL focuses falls prevention efforts on purposeful rounding, using the framework of the “4 Ps”, which include pain, position, personal care, and possessions. Preliminary implementation of this project at HSL has resulted in a significant decline in patient falls and injury rates from falls. This Spark Project replicates HSL’s model of removing alarms in different contexts and settings, and implementing purposeful rounding as the primary fall prevention effort, in order to reduce falls and improve outcomes for the seniors, particularly those with dementia.

Laser Walk

Laser Walk

The LASER WALK to Improve Mobility and Prevents Falls Using Visual Cueing
Project Lead: Karen Hall
Host Institution: Assistive Technology Clinic, Toronto, ON
The ability to walk is negatively impacted in many older adults with Parkinson’s disease, cognitive impairment, and other neurological conditions. This can manifest into symptoms such as shuffling, unstable gait, and freezing of gait (FOG), which can compromise balance and lead to falls and injury. With the goal of facilitating safe and independent mobility, The Laser Walk is a laser module mounted to a senior’s existing mobility aid that projects a line in the user’s path. This Spark project will focus on refining and testing an existing laser unit prototype that can be mounted on a wide variety of assistive devices, easily seen in a variety of environments, and easy-to-use, durable, and energy efficient.

Play Intervention for Dementia (PID): A Caregiver’s Resource
Project Lead: William Leung
Host Institution: Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, Scarborough, ON
With a growing population of senior citizens and a remaining desire for care to continue in the home setting, equipping caregivers with resources is empowering and essential. Play Intervention for Dementia (PID) is an intervention tool that has demonstrated positive engagement, synchronization, and stimulation from seniors who have participated through the program offering at Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. This project aims to increase the accessibility and functionality of PID by running training sessions for caregivers, developing and distributing promotional content, and developing an educational video component.

A Mobile Application for Direct Behavioural Observation in Dementia
Project Lead: Dr. Andrea Iaboni
Host Institution: Toronto Rehab Institute, Toronto, ON
People with dementia often exhibit responsive behaviours, such as agitation, wandering, and aggression, that can be difficult to manage. These behaviours can increase the cost of care, as well as negatively impact an individual’s independence, quality of life, and safety. In order for clinicians to identify and develop effective strategies for managing responsive behaviours there is a need for clear and accurate information, specifically regarding patterns and context. However, there are challenges associated with obtaining clear and accurate information. For example, most reports of responsive behaviours are made post-incident, relying on memory or second-hand information, which can decrease the accuracy of the information and lead to inappropriate treatment. To address this challenge, Dr. Iaboni’s team has developed a prototype mobile application that allows caregivers to record details of client behaviour in real-time, using a proven framework for directly observing and analyzing responsive behaviours. The application summarizes data in an easy-to-read report. In this Spark Project, Dr. Iaboni is focused on enhancing the usability of the prototype, both in terms of data capture and reporting.

Avoiding Hospitalizations for LTC Residents: the PREVIEW-ED eTool
Project Lead: Catherine Kohm
Host Institution: Fraser Heath Authority, Surrey, BC
Care Aides and Personal Support Workers comprise more than 70 percent of the staffing in long-term care (LTC) homes and are ideally positioned to notice subtle nuances in the health status of a resident. PREVIEW-ED is a tool that helps staff in LTC detect early health decline among residents related to four conditions: pneumonia, urinary tract infections, dehydration and congestive heart failure (CHF). It measures the signs, symptoms, and severity of nine indicators using a simple scale to score each indicator, generating an aggregate score to quantify changes that have occurred. This project will involve the design, development and beta testing of an electronic version of the PREVIEW-ED tool.

Implementation of an Innovative Home-Based Virtual Reality Training Program
Project Lead: Dr. Hillel Finestone
Host Institution: Bruyere Continuing Care, Ottawa, ON
In efforts to improve the experience of aging at home, an innovative home-based virtual reality (VR) exercise program has been developed. VR training uses computer software to track the user’s movements, allowing the user to interact with a game or activity presented on a TV screen. Activities will focus on balance (e.g. sitting, standing, stepping), arm and leg exercises (e.g. arm circles, knee extensions), gentle aerobic conditioning (e.g. marching on the spot), and cognition (e.g. matching, sequencing, attention). For example, many of the physical games have cognitive and perceptual components (e.g. attention, hand-eye coordination, reaction time). VR is an enjoyable and interactive experience; it may encourage individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) to exercise more consistently and at a higher intensity. This project will test the feasibility of the VR program and assess its potential for maintaining and improving the physical and cognitive function of users. To be specific, after 6 weeks of home-based VR, participants and their study partners will be interviewed for their opinions on the program. Participants’ use of the VR system and any adverse events will be tracked, and physical and cognitive testing will be performed.

Development of Process for Polypharmacy Management and Reduction
Project Lead: Jennifer Donovan
Host Institution: York Care Centre, Fredericton, NB
With the growing prevalence of polypharmacy (patients taking 5+ medications) in long-term care, there is an increasing need for the optimization of medication assessment and review. Using York Care Centre for analysis, this project will seek to identify appropriate criteria for medication management and reduction, with the ultimate goal of developing a mobile application to be used by clinicians and caregivers.

Prescribing VR (Virtual Reality)
Project Lead: Dr. Lora Appel
Host Institution: OpenLab, UHN, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, ON
This project team is using VR technology to expose people with dementia to simulated natural environments. They are evaluating the effectiveness of this exposure to decrease depression, anxiety, and stress, symptoms which in turn drive people’s desire to wander. This project is a collaboration between UHN’s OpenLab and Kensington Health’s Long Term Care facility, Kensington Gardens.

Using Home Visits by Community Paramedics to Reduce Ambulance & ER Use by Older Adults with Dementia
Project Lead: Neil McDonald
Host Institution: Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, Winnipeg, MB
Overcrowding in emergency departments (EDs) is a recognized problem across Canada. An important subset of ED visitors arrive by ambulance, leading to additional delays for paramedics who must remain with patients until space is available in the hospital. To investigate this problem, the Emergency Paramedics In the Community (EPIC) program identifies patients at risk of harm or frequent Emergency Medical Services (EMS) use based on a range of factors such as living conditions, lack of social supports, and cognitive impairments (among others). EPIC medics maintain contact with patients in the program and their circle of care, providing medical care in their home to identify unmet needs that would otherwise trigger calls to 911. This project will improve on the current model of care delivery by refining medics’ ability to independently identify patients with dementia and refer them to the appropriate resources. The goal is to improve identification of older adults with dementia and collaborate more effectively with other allied agencies to meet the unique needs of each patient in a timely manner.

Rural Support for Care Partners for People with Dementia
Project Lead: Paul Yost
Host Institution: Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex, London, ON
Caregivers living in rural settings often have difficulty accessing support services. Moreover, when these services are available, caregivers find it difficult to attend because they are unable to arrange care for their partner with dementia. These caregivers are at high risk for illness, isolation, and burnout. The Alzheimer Society of London and Middlesex (ASLM) would like to address this problem by partnering with rural community agencies to provide a support group for caregivers, while also offering a concurrent social recreation program for the person with dementia. ASLM will work with each agency to plan the concurrent sessions, and train volunteers to deliver programming for persons with dementia.

SOS! App

SOS! App

SOS! A Gamified App
Project Lead: Raquel Meyer
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Acute changes in condition in the frail elderly are clinically important deviations which, without timely intervention, may lead to significant deterioration or death. Nearly 33 percent of frail elderly admitted to hospital from long-term care are admitted unnecessarily (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2014). In long-term care, 62 percent of residents experience dementia (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2015) and are increasingly unable to communicate their symptoms or changes in health status. This requires healthcare providers to be skilled in observing and responding to the early, subtle, and atypical signs and symptoms of acute deterioration in the frail elderly. The purpose of the SOS Gamified App is to increase accessibility, retention, and application of geriatric specialty knowledge for healthcare providers caring for the frail elderly at risk of acute deterioration, in order to prevent unnecessary hospital emergency room visits for this vulnerable population. The application entails a continuing learning product that provides instant feedback to the user that is highly accessible and available 24/7 online. The application enables staff managers and student educators to monitor learning outcomes and to tailor future learning to address identified performance gaps. This project aims to transition a previously developed and tested beta version of a product into a commercially available product.

Making Therapeutic Recreation Available to Seniors through a Multi-Media Interactive Model
Project Lead: Lacey Sheng
Host Institution: The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, Ottawa, ON
The benefit of recreational therapy is widely recognized and used under multiple health conditions. However, the lack of access in the community remains a challenge for seniors, particularly seniors living in their homes. This team intends to build a self-sustained online resource hub and platform for recreation in the community. The users of this platform will benefit from multiple resources that are produced by the state-of-the-art recreation and creative arts service at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre. This project intends to build, market, and launch an online resource hub with original content and measure its impact in the community.

Stronger at Home
Project Lead: Abby Malott
Host Institution: Stonebridge Community Services, Tillsonburg, ON
Regular physical activity targeted towards balance, mobility and strength training has been shown to significantly reduce falls. In addition, research indicates that regular exercise improves brain health and cognitive functioning. Stronger at Home, a volunteer-based in-home exercise program, aims to reduce the number of falls, as well as emergency room visits by targeting isolated individuals who are at risk for, or who are living with, dementia. This project will develop and implement a virtual exercise program that is user-friendly and accessible for isolated and vulnerable seniors living in Tillsonburg.

Mindfulness Interventions for Caregivers of Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease
Project Lead: Deana Huntsbargar
Host Institution: Kawartha Regional Memory Clinic, Peterborough, ON
Caregivers for persons with dementia can face several challenges. Unfortunately, there can be limited resources available to help caregivers cope with these challenges. Ms. Huntsbargar’s team has been studying mindfulness-based strategies designed specifically for caregivers of individuals with dementia. This project, involving mindfulness-based strategies, will pilot three 8-week in-clinic sessions of mindfulness training techniques to caregivers of patients at Kawartha Regional Memory Clinic to evaluate the techniques’ impact on stress, anxiety, and burden.

Combined Model of Caregiver Support and Care Recipient Engagement
Project Lead: Renee Climans
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
A support gap has been identified for both care recipients and caregivers. For example, caregivers often experience exhaustion and loneliness and lack opportunity for human connection with trained social work facilitators and other caregivers who are experiencing similar situations. This project weaves together three evidence-based interventions into a combined model that provides an emotionally-focused psychosocial group intervention for spouses (caregivers), as well as a group that incorporates arts-based and cognitive interventions for their partners (care recipients). The ultimate goal of this program is to decrease the burden experienced by family caregivers, increase the quality of life for both the caregiver and care recipient, and decrease premature institutionalization of care recipients. Offering this innovative program will increase knowledge of evidence-based targeted interventions for people with dementia.

12-Weeks Cognitive Fitness Training Curriculum
Project Lead: Todd Tran
Host Institution: Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, ON
Quality of life and functional independence are important factors among the older adult population in retirement. One of the most significant barriers to these factors is the normal age-related decline in cognitive functioning, which the 12-Week Cognitive Fitness Training Curriculum addresses. Hosted by Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, the Curriculum incorporates both mindfulness-based interventions and psycho-educational interventions such as sleep, hygiene, diet, exercise, and relaxation techniques. In terms of targeted segment, the Curriculum targets adults over the age of 65 with mild cognitive impairment, as well as those with regular cognitive function who would like to preserve their memory and prevent the onset of mild cognitive impairments and/or Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. A prototype of the 12-Week Cognitive Fitness Curriculum has been developed by the project team, consisting of six occupational therapists. As a Spark project, the Curriculum will be tested on the patient population at Women’s College Hospital in efforts to evaluate its effectiveness.

The Fountain of Health Initiative Clinical Tools & App Feasibility Study
Project Lead: Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy
Host Institution: Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax, NS
The current medical model focuses on pathology in aging, rather than on health promotion. Furthermore, practitioners who include health promotion lack tools to support a systematic approach. The purpose of The Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging (FoH), one of the first educational initiatives of its kind in the world, is to translate the current science on healthy aging, well-being, and resilience, into practical tools for use by clinicians and the public to improve health outcomes. In this project, paper-based and online FoH Initiative Clinical Tools will be disseminated to at least 50 healthcare providers, who will use the tools with patients to assess the feasibility of FoH in changing clinicians’ practice, patients’ health behaviours, and improving cognitive fitness.

iGeriCare

iGeriCare

iGeriCare: Online Resources on Dementia from your Geriatrician
Project Lead: Dr. Richard Sztramko
Host Institution: St. Peter’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON
A diagnosis of dementia is a stressful experience. Persons newly diagnosed with dementia and their families are provided with an overwhelming amount of information during this period. Providing a platform where these groups can access information at their own pace can reduce stress and increase retention and understanding of key information. iGeriCare aims to, with the input of geriatricians, clinical staff, patients, and families, create an online information platform whereby physicians can “prescribe” modules on relevant topics to patients and their families. Amongst other activities, this project will involve the development of 10 e-learning modules and complimentary materials, a social forum for users, and the implementation of a full-scale pilot test of the technology.

Improving Care for Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia (NPS)
Project Lead: Dr. Sanjeev Kumar
Host Institution: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON
Neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia (NPS) affect up to 80 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). These symptoms include aggression, agitation, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and delusions. Among these symptoms, aggression and agitation are most burdensome for patients, families, caregivers, and the healthcare system. The Geriatric Psychiatry Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has developed and implemented an Integrated Care Pathway (ICP) to evaluate and treat aggression and agitation associated with NPS in AD. Dr. Kumar’s team will adapt and implement the ICP to a community long-term care facility in Toronto in anticipation that this will result in better clinical outcomes, more appropriate use of treatments, better patient experience, and better health economics for patients with NPS of dementia.

Toolkit for Assessing Human Balance and Mobility
Project Lead: Shirley Fenton
Host Institution: Grand River Hospital, Kitchener, ON
Clinically assessing balance is critical to care planning, avoiding injury, and maintaining independence. Currently, the best techniques to measure balance and mobility require significant financial investment, which very few can afford. Therefore, a low-cost, easy-to-use, and accurate point-of-care tool to assess balance is needed, which Dr. McIlroy’s toolkit aims to address. Using a tablet and wearable technologies, the toolkit samples and synchronizes data from multiple (inexpensive) wearable devices and generates a patient assessment, as well as possible actions to improve the health of the patient. The tool is usable by family physicians, physiotherapists or similar healthcare professionals, who provide assessments of balance in rural, urban and remote community healthcare settings. The goal of this project is to test the efficacy of the toolkit in a normal clinical setting: Grand River Hospital’s Freeport Campus in the rehabilitation clinic.

Intelligent Mobile and Web-Based Alerts Application to Help Detect and Prevent Falls in the Long-Term Care Setting
Project Lead: Teresa Lee
Host Institution: Bruyere Continuing Care, Ottawa, ON
Most off-the-shelf fall detection products require seniors to access mechanical devices (buttons) or wear sensors. While these devices alert caregivers to a fall when the resident is capable of activating them, they do not work when the resident is incapacitated. Furthermore, these devices do not provide evidence as to what caused the fall. Therefore, this project will be testing a commercially available solution that utilizes built-in cameras in smartphones and tablets to capture important health data for a caregiver. The application allows caregivers to view video capture of the events leading up to and including the fall itself. This application will be tested in a long-term care (LTC) setting, in efforts to determine its accuracy and potential to inform clinical practice regarding fall reduction and injury prevention in this population.

A video-based reminiscence program to support quality of life in older adults in palliative care and their carers
Project Lead: Rebekah Hackbusch
Host Institution: Bruyere Continuing Care, Ottawa, ON
This project will document the impact of LIFEView, a video-based integrative reminiscence program, with older adults in palliative care at home and in inpatient palliative care. Discussion of past activities, events and experiences will be aided by personalized video and audio memory triggers. The study will evaluate the impact of our individualized, personalized structured program on levels of depression, boredom and self-worth.

Aging Out: Replicating Best Practices in LGBT Aging, Health, and Dementia Care
Project Lead: Sara Paasche-Orlow
Host Institution: Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC) proposes to leverage our expertise in LGBT aging, partnering with Baycrest and other long-term care facilities to improve the culture of care for LGBT seniors. Efforts will include education and training of front-line staff and targeted workshops for key management leaders. Chaplaincy staff and students will learn to address the spiritual care needs of LGBT seniors more appropriately and effectively.

An exercise and socialization-based intervention for couples affected by young-onset dementia (YOD)
Project Lead: Elaine Kohn
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This program will have couples affected by early-onset dementia (YOD) first participate in an instructor-led cycling class together, followed by refreshments and the opportunity to socialize with other couples affected by YOD.

Community ASAP – A localized area alert system for missing individuals with dementia or older adults
Project Lead: Lili Liu
Host Institution: University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
This project aims to implement a software platform that allows first responders (e.g. police, community coordinator) to trigger alerts of missing older vulnerable adults to community volunteers. The app will be tested in three cities.

CONNECT POET APP: Connecting On-Call Physicians with Residents’ Health Care Directives Using Prevention of Error-Based Transfers (PoET) App
Project Lead: Paula Chidwick
Host Institution: William Osler Health System, East Brampton, ON
The CONNECT PoET App is intended to ensure that on-call physicians and other off-site personnel have access to residents’ Individualized Summaries to easily access vital, real-time information about older adults’ health directives. This project will include the beta testing of the app.

Dementia communication workshop for nursing students
Project Lead: Benjamin Hartung
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
To enhance the learning experience and increase nurse turnover in dementia care areas, a workshop will be created to discuss therapeutic lying and dementia care for nursing students and reduce reality shock as they enter the profession.

Dysphagia-Friendly Cooking Series
Project Lead: Maria Piccini
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This project will conduct “dysphagia-friendly cooking classes,” which include education about dysphagia and related nutritional issues, introduce a new international food/liquid texture standardization and share tested and validated recipes that were previously developed by our team at the Food Innovation & Research Studio at George Brown College. Caregivers will experience the modified textures and will learn how to make safe to swallow foods that are appetizing and appealing.

Ease e-Home

Ease e-Home: Plug and Play Technologies Support Carers and Older Adults with Dementia
Project Lead: Marilyn Malone
Host Institution: Island Health, Victoria, BC
This study is designed to develop a customizable and low-cost “smart home” using plug and play technologies for older adults with dementia and their caregivers. It will install Amazon Echo connected to other smart devices that address the needs of the older adult with dementia and their caregiver.

Effect of meditation and hyperbaric oxygen therapy on cognition, healing and overall well-being in elderly patients with chronic wounds
Project Lead: Ray Janisse
Host Institution: Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, ON
The project leads aim to investigate whether the combination of hyberbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and meditation improves the healing of chronic ulcers in diabetic patients with dementia compared to HBOT alone.

Enabling Advance Care Planning in Dementia Care: A Primary Care Approach
Project Lead: Linda Lee
Host Institution: The Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team, Kitchener, ON
In this project, healthcare professionals, persons with dementia and care partners will evaluate this Advance Care Planning (ACP) framework tool in six family practice memory clinics in Ontario. The tool will be refined based on results and shared across Canada to enable front-line healthcare professionals to have timely, effective ACP discussions with persons with dementia and care partners, ensuring healthcare provided is person-centred and aligned with personal goals and preferences until end-of-life.

Geriatric Pharmacology Infographics: Efficient Knowledge Translation of Medication Optimization for Clinicians Caring for Seniors
Project Lead: Joanne Ho
Host Institution: Schlegel Villages/Schlegel Research Institute for Aging, Kitchener, ON
The project leads will be developing infographics to convey prescribing information efficiently and effectively to clinicians. Key features of the infographics include: reasons for use of the drug, dose, interactions, and potential side effects, particularly those affecting memory and falls.

Improving Dementia Caregiver Support
Project Lead: Susan Kennedy
Host Institution: The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, Ottawa, ON
The proposed project seeks to evaluate the impact of two newly updated caregiver support programs at the Dementia Society of Ottawa intended to increase service output and quality.

In-Home Recreation Therapy Project
Project Lead: Jenn Pruder
Host Institution: Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex, London, ON
Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex will conduct a one-year pilot program to provide individualized recreation plans for persons with dementia who are still living in a community setting to evaluate overall improvement in quality of life for the family.

iTAV – It Takes A Village
Project Lead: Chanile Vines
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences
iTAV – It Takes A Village is an app that will allow caregivers to source additional care support, train and manage care.

Lingo: An Augmentative and Alternative (AAC) Communication System Designed to Replace Spoken Communication for Non-Verbal Individuals
Project Lead: Ling Ly Tan
Host Institution: Seneca College
There is a growing need for effective and affordable Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems for non-verbal individuals. Lingo is an AAC mobile application that incorporates machine learning to adapt to the individual by learning their daily needs, preferences and social activities while promoting written communication.

Medication Adherence Products and Strategies: Clinician Tool to Guide Use
Project Lead: Tejal Patel
Host Institution: The Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team, Kitchener, ON
The goal of this project is to develop a validated tool that enables a clinician to assess limitations in medication management capacity among older adults and recommend an appropriate medication adherence product to address these limitations.

More than Motor: The Memory and Language Program for Seniors with Parkinson’s Disease
Project Lead: Tasneem Dharas
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The Assistive Technology Clinic’s memory and language program will integrate memory and language rehabilitation strategies with cognitive training to target cognitive, communicative and even physical goals specific to seniors living with Parkinson’s disease.

MouvMat

MouvMat

MouvMat: An interactive gaming surface designed for older adults
Project Lead: Charlene Chu
Host Institution: AGE-WELL NCE
MouvMat is an interactive digital gaming surface co-created with stakeholders including older adults living in long term care homes. It promotes brain health by providing an immersive, multi-player gaming experience featuring LED backlights and pressure sensors that allow players to physically interact with the game by walking on the mat, tapping the surface with their feet, or using an assistive device.

Multilingual Communication Tool for Point of Care Staff Working with Non-English-Speaking Older Adults Including Dementia Patients
Project Lead: Tanya Klochkov
Host Institution: Apotex JHA, Toronto, ON
This multilingual software tool aims to bridge language and communication barriers between point of care staff and non-English-speaking patients, including older people with dementia. This software application will be used by the formal caregivers providing routine daily tasks for seniors residing in long term care facilities, hospital units and community.

Object Alternation and Delayed Reaction Suite of Cognitive Tests: A Novel Clinical Application for Assessment of Frontotemporal Dementia
Project Lead: Morris Freedman
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a common cause of early onset dementia but also occurs in the elderly. A challenge for diagnosis is that patients tend to perform well on standard cognitive tests because those tests do not measure functions related to the critical brain areas. The objective of this project is to develop an easy-to-administer computerized version of an Object Alternation (OA) test which assists with the diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia.

Remote Self-Reporting of Symptoms by Patients with a Palliative Care Designation (RELIEF)
Project Lead: Martin Chasen
Host Institution: William Osler Health System, Brampton, ON
RELIEF will develop a patient self-reporting mobile application to provide more frequent and temporally integrated e-monitoring of symptoms for palliative care patients. An algorithm will assess the reported data and generate a green, yellow, red, alert system to notify clinicians of changes to their patients’ status.

Repetitive Transcranial Stimulation to Treat Depression and Anxiety in Senior Inpatients
Project Lead: Hubert Kammerer
Host Institution: Alberta Health Services/Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, AB
Trans-cranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) has been proposed as a potential innovative adjunctive treatment modality for seniors with depression. This project aims to determine if using adjunctive TDCS to treat seniors admitted with symptoms of depression and anxiety reduces length of stay in long-term care and improves quality of life.

Reversing dementia in patients with chronic subdural hematomas
Project Lead: Douglas Cook
Host Institution: Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Kingston, ON
Patients with dementia are at higher risk for bleeding in the brain. However, cognitive symptoms that result from dementia may disguise symptoms arising from a hemorrhage and result in lack of treatment. This project will implement a unique imaging solution with the capacity to identify chronic brain bleeds in dementia patients in the community setting.

Senior Helping Seniors – the Montessori Way
Project Lead: James Cohen
Host Institution: Support for Memory Loss Foundation, Toronto, ON
The goal for this project is to pair up well seniors with seniors that have dementia. The well seniors will volunteer by visiting the seniors with dementia on a bi-weekly basis and engaging them in various real-life activities that have been proven to work using a Montessori approach.

The Glendon Repeatable Executive Attention Tests (GREAT)
Project Lead: Kristoffer Romero
Host Institution: York University, Glendon Campus, Toronto, ON
The GREAT is a series of computerized tests that measure different facets of attention (selective, dividing, and switching attention). These tests use cutting‐edge, automatically processed metrics of performance that can detect subtle changes in attentional control. The tests are designed using visual stimuli, removing language as a barrier of use. The project focus is on developing the tests further, validating them, and testing them.

The Glenrose Grocery Game for Geriatric Cognitive Rehabilitation
Project Lead: Quentin Ranson
Host Institution: Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, AB
Occupational therapists (OTs) work with geriatric clients who may have dementia and associated cognitive impairment. This project is the creation and implementation of a “grocery game” which assesses baseline function, tracks progress, as well as provides appropriate stages, from easy to difficult, based on a client’s abilities.

The Second Heart: Active compression for the maintenance of blood pressure and brain blood flow in the elderly
Project Lead: James Milligan
Host Institution: Schlegel Villages/Schlegel Research Institute for Aging, Waterloo, ON
When standing up, gravity pulls blood towards the feet and away from the brain — which in some individuals, particularly the elderly, can result in confusion, dizziness, loss of balance, and falls. The proposed intermittent compression system will help the body combat gravity to bring blood back to the heart and brain to reduce the risk of falls, increase mobility and independence, and promote aging in place while still being comfortable for patients. The project goal is to develop a system for effective, comfortable, individualized compression therapy with simple set-up and an easy-to-put-on technology.

The Sleep Kit

The Sleep Kit

The Sleep Kit: Alternative Sleep Therapies for Those Living with Dementia
Project Lead: Eve Baird
Host Institution: York Care Centre, Fredericton, NB
The Sleep Kit is a small box of alternative therapies based upon the benefits of individualized social interaction and therapeutic recreation. It is a non-pharmacological, person-centred approach, and is designed for use by care partners of individuals living with dementia. Research has shown that one-on-one activities before bed can improve sleep by 30%. This project will deliver sleep kits and evaluate its efficacy.

The Storycare Project:  Enriching healthcare for seniors through the use of storytelling
Project Lead: Melissa Tafler
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The Storycare Project will create and disseminate an e-learning module that offers training in a story-based approach to enriching the quality of the care experience for elders, and the communities of carers around them.

User-centered design and development of a dementia observations (DObs) mobile application
Project Lead: Andrea Iaboni
Host Institution: Toronto Rehab Institute, UHN, Toronto, ON
The project leads have developed a web-application based upon the Dementia Observation System (DOS), a tool used widely as part of the PIECES approach. Using this application, front-line care staff can set up and enter observational data using a mobile device. This project will evaluate the clinical use of this application in long-term care facilities.

Validation of a subjective memory assessment tool (SuMA) to identify older adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease
Project Lead: Linda Mah
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The project leads have developed a subjective memory assessment tool (SuMA), a brief questionnaire consisting of specific memory concerns in everyday life. This project study will validate the SuMA as a screening tool to detect preclinical AD by establishing 1) concurrent validity—the extent to which the SuMA predicts amyloid burden on neuroimaging, the “gold standard” in AD prevention trials; and 2) the extent to which the SuMA predicts current memory and future cognitive decline.

Virtual counselling for dementia family caregivers
Project Lead: Susana Braslavski
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The goal of this pilot project is to develop virtual counselling services for dementia family caregivers living in the community. Partnering with the Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN), this mode of intervention will offer a flexible and secure platform for caregiver support.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality

Virtual reality interventions on negative mood
Project Lead: Sherry Law
Host Institution: York Care Centre, Fredericton, NB
The project goal is to provide a means to improve well-being among long-term care residents by running sessions of virtual reality (VR) exposure to residents. This will help evaluate its effect as a treatment on adverse moods.

Virtual Ward Medicine – Improving Care Transitions on Geriatric Hospital Units
Project Lead: Richard Sztramko
Host Institution: Juravinski Hospital, operated by Hamilton Health Sciences; Hamilton, ON
Virtual Ward is an electronic web-based tool providing a standardized handover process and workflow management functions for medical professionals. The main goal of the Spark project is to establish a successful implementation of the software on the Geriatric Rehabilitation Unit at Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton with the objective of facilitating the provision of streamlined care for elderly individuals.

Words at Your Fingertips: A website for improving word finding in aging
Project Lead: Regina Jokel
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Everyone over the age of 40 experiences so-called tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, which is a frustrating instance of an inability to retrieve a desired word. The main goal is to design and provide free access to a website that offers information, self-assessment, and practical solutions to word-finding problems in healthy older adults.

Your Path to Home – Have you got your Passport App?
Project Lead: Debbie Gravelle
Host Institution: Bruyère Continuing Care, Ottawa, ON
Returning home from a hospital stay in rehabilitation and remembering all the advice and instructions is overwhelming to patients with dementia and their caregivers. This project is developing an app that provides easy-to-use discharge instructions which may be shared with the primary care team.

Advancing Access and Excellence in Care Through the Development of a New Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) App
Project Lead: Andrea Moser
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
With the growing number of individuals impacted by dementia, it is essential that providers have accessible and evidence-based tools to support the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Under the leadership of the Centre for Effective Practice, three discussion guides were developed with a focus on the use of antipsychotics.  These included editions with a focus on primary care, long term care and residents/caregivers. While the paper discussion guides have been disseminated to over 2,400 people and implemented in 41 Ontario LTCHs, there is an opportunity to leverage the paper tool and create a version available by smart devices through a new and innovative app. The proposed solution will enable the co-design, build, pilot and evaluation of a new app to providers in the community and LTCH. Results will contribute to understanding the usability of the app, usage of the app and impact of the app on clinical practice. As well, improvements to app will be implemented with dissemination of a final product to local and distant health care providers through the support of local and provincial partners, associations, academic departments and aligned initiatives.  The overall aim of the app product is to help providers understand, assess and manage individuals with BSPD utilizing accessible best practice evidence. This will result in a more consistent and person-centred approach and ultimately benefit the way care that care is delivered to those individuals impacted by dementia.

Baycrest@Home: Virtual Home Assessment
Project Lead: Margarita Mileykovksy
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
With a growing frail elderly population and limited access to geriatric services, new models of care are needed for maximum resource utilization and for determining cost effectiveness in the delivery of care to this population. This innovative solution will virtualize a number of existing face-to face services while evaluating how effective and scalable they are. This proposed project will virtualize three services; 1) home assessments, 2) medication reconciliation, and 3) family meetings via telemedicine. Telemedicine has had an increasingly important role in providing access to health services. Recent advances in technology allow for reliable and secure teleconferencing using wireless networks. The elimination of travel is expected to increase access to specialized services for older frail adults with complex medical problems, as well as decrease clinician’s time per assessment. Our team strives to optimize a client’s functional abilities not only by modifying internal factors, such as strength and balance, but also external factors, such as living environments. A virtual home assessment examines aspects of the living environment, denotes areas that may potentially create problems or dangers for a client, and distinguishes modifications that make the living environment safer and/or more functional. Moreover, when conducting the virtual home assessment, if needed, other services can be offered virtually by Baycrest, such as medication reconciliation, health teaching with RN, and a virtual consult (family meeting) with an MD/OT/PT. This project will bring about a truly client-centered and holistic approach: optimizing client’s functional abilities by modifying internal and external factors while increasing system capacity.

Bespoke Baycrest: A Customized Education Module for Family Caregivers of People with Dementia
Project Lead: Cindy Grief
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
There is a vast assortment of educational materials for family caregivers of persons with dementia (PwD). However, the type of resources desired may vary widely between different types of family caregivers, depending on diagnosis; for example, Alzheimer’s vs. frontotemporal dementia, or whether a loved one has been recently diagnosed or is in the latter stages of the disease. Caregiver characteristics such as age, gender, cultural background, personal health and relationship to the PwD may further shape educational need. The current “one size fits all approach” has limitations. This project will test a novel approach for delivering educational resources to caregivers. Our goal is to produce a customized or “bespoke” education module that meets the individual learning needs of caregivers. This will be followed by an in-person or virtual (via webinar) meeting with content experts to answer questions arising from the module. Our goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of customizing caregiver education; how one module can be adapted for the needs of many in a cost-effective fashion. Our module will synthesize the most relevant evidence-based resources and with permission, share widely what others have developed, promoting collaboration. The module will be designed using best practices for eLearning and will be engaging using gamification and simulations. The objectives will be to increase knowledge and self-efficacy of caregivers on core topics of dementia care, demonstrate feasibility of customization for caregivers, measure knowledge change and confidence in the ability to provide care. Wide dissemination will allow for sharing of best practices.

Caring for Your Loved One: Virtual Psychoeducational Support Group for Adult Children of People Living with Dementia in the Community
Project Lead: Lisa Benaim
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Baycrest’s Seniors Counselling and Referral (SCR) team has identified virtual support groups as the next area of expansion to address the increasing needs of dementia clients and their families. The goal of this pilot project is to provide a virtual education/support group for adult children of people living with dementia in the community. By partnering with the Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN), this clinical intervention will be offered through a flexible and secure platform. Currently, the Caring For Your Loved One (CFYLO) group is an in-person psychoeducational group for adult children caring for a parent living in the community with dementia. This group has been offered exclusively as a-face-to-face intervention facilitated by social work and occupational therapy. This pilot project’s goal is to provide the same opportunity for education and support virtually to caregivers who are unable to attend group sessions in person. Many adult child caregivers have challenges managing their multiple commitments of work and young families, in addition to their caregiving role. Offering the CFYLO group virtually reduces travel time, increases access to education and support, and allows for more convenient times for caregivers to participate. Offering this group virtually also reduces financial constraints on caregivers by eliminating travel/parking costs. The evaluation of this intervention, which aligns with all four CABHI strategies, will result in a best-practice intervention for dementia caregivers and will be scalable and shareable to other organizations and other older adult populations through the development of a manualized intervention.

Collaborate. Strategize. Simplify. Process to Improve Opioid and Medication Use for Aging Adults
Project Lead: Feng Chang
Host Institution: Huron Community Family Health Team, Huron East, ON
Aging adults frequently receive multiple well-intentioned medical treatments that can affect cognitive health, including opioids, sedatives, antipsychotics, antidepressants, even non-prescription over-the-counter products. Concurrent use of these medications can lead to increased risk of cognitive decline and unintentional errors. This project aims to develop and test a process for clinicians to work together to identify and target high-risk co-prescribed medication combinations in older adults in primary care. Specifically, the process will introduce tools for physicians and pharmacists to work collaboratively to assess older patients who are taking a combination of opioids and other medications that might negatively affect their brain health, and guide them through making meaningful changes. This project has the potential to strengthen support for prescribers in the management of complex patients, and optimize pharmacist role in medication management, while empowering patients and caregivers in making informed decisions regarding their care through education and individualized care planning.

COMPAs: An Innovative App to Support Person-Centered Communication Between Older Adults with Dementia and Their Caregivers
Project Lead: Andrea Harton
Host Institution: Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, Montreal, QC
In long-term care (LTC), communication deficits experienced by persons with dementia (PWD) are at their peak. This leads to increased caregiver burden, negatively affecting the PWD-caregiver relationship. Pervious work by our team members resulted in COMPAs, an evidence-based app designed to trigger meaningful communication between PWD and caregivers. This work showed that COMPAs improves communication between PWD and caregivers, reduces caregiver burden, and increases the sense of self-satisfaction and well-being. However, those studies involved dyads of one PWD and one caregiver and followed strict research protocols, very different from everyday life LTC reality where multiple caregivers with different training experiences gravitate around a large number of residents, presenting a variety of communication deficits. The overall goal of this project is to validate COMPAs in a real-life LTC setting. Specifically, we shall adapt COMPAs to LTC reality, and test its benefits on both PWD and caregivers. We anticipate that COMPAs will improve quality of life (QoL) and communication in PWD and caregivers, reducing burden, and fostering a sense of well-being and satisfaction in caregivers. Main activities of this work include (a) training caregivers on how to use COMPAs, (b) developing a consensus on optimal COMPAs use in LTC, and (c) measuring COMPAs’ impact on communication, burden, and well-being. Moreover, COMPAs’ related resources, including a training module on the best strategies to communicate with PWD in LTC, and a manual for use of COMPAs will also be developed.

Detecting Frailty in Routine Clinical Practice: The Senior-Friendly Fit-Frailty App
Project Lead: Courtney Kennedy
Host Institution: Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON
The Fit-Frailty App is a user-friendly tool for assessing frailty that can be completed by older adults, family caregivers and health care professionals. Early detection of frailty is important because studies have shown that it can be treated successfully, especially with early intervention. Our project aims to enhance the Fit-Frailty App’s ability to improve the detection and management of frailty in routine clinical practice. Using a co-design approach, working with end-users and the MEDIC team, a Digital Health Applied Research Centre at Mohawk College, funding support will enable important improvements to the initial prototype and design interface. A design-based approach will incorporate the needs and preferences of older adults, including individuals with mild cognitive impairment. Funding support will enable usability testing at the Applied Research Centre and allow scalability to multiple devices and an integrated cloud system.

Developing and Piloting a Deprescribing Mobile App
Project Lead: Barbara Farrell
Host Institution: Bruyère Research Institute, Ottawa, ON
Deprescribing is an important innovation that ensures medication efficacy and reduces harms by reducing doses or stopping medications that are no longer needed or may be causing harm. We have published five different deprescribing guidelines (and accompanying algorithms) that can be used by healthcare professionals to help them decide when and how to reduce medications safely and how to monitor their effect. While these guidelines are available online as PDFs to be viewed or printed, this is not always convenient for busy healthcare professionals while they are caring for patients.  We are developing these tools into an interactive smartphone application (app) so they will be easy to use at patients’ bedsides and in pharmacies. The development of four out of five of the guidelines is currently underway, and they will become a “channel” on an existing app for medical guidelines. This project has two goals. First, we will develop the fifth deprescribing guideline into an interactive app format.  Second, we will conduct a pilot test of the Deprescribing Channel to determine the value of the channel to healthcare professionals, including its impact on practice, relevance, use for specific patients, and anticipated benefits. Providing access to deprescribing information in a manner that is efficient, at the point of care and valued by healthcare professionals will ultimately help change the culture and practice of prescribers to more often re-evaluate the need for ongoing medication and to reduce and stop it when appropriate.

Development of an Online Face-to-Face Music Therapy Service Delivery Model for Older Adults Aging at Home and Their Caregivers
Project Lead: Chrissy Pearson
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
It is a healthcare priority for people to age well at home within their communities. However, people aging at home and their caregivers do not always have the resources or opportunities to participate in services that target their challenges, prevent future health issues, and increase their quality of life. For example, people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) cope with declining cognition and memory, mental health issues, and increased social isolation. Caregivers experience stress, burnout, isolation, and mental health challenges. Preventatively, well older adults can engage in interventions that increase their cognitive health and overall wellness. Music therapy, an evidence-based practice provided by certified therapists has been found to have direct positive outcomes with respect to cognitive and emotional health for both older adults and their caregivers. At this time, accessing professional music therapy services requires both finding an organization that offers the service and travelling to that organization. Typically, services are provided in group formats, which do not meet the needs of all; and, if offered, one-to-one sessions are often associated with long waitlists. How can we meet the needs of those who fall into this gap? We propose to develop an online face-to-face model of music therapy for people aging at home and their caregivers.

Facilitating Personhood for Dementia Residents in Long Term Care
Project Lead: Shelley Shillington
Host Institution: Loch Lomond Villa, Saint John, NB
Personhood is an ideology that challenges stigma associated with illness, and asks us to have awareness in how we interact with others. Personhood is important in care as people with dementia may experience a decline in their cognition and may be reliant on healthcare staff to meet these needs. This project will implement 25 unique personhood kits for the dementia residents of Loch Lomond Villa, to enhance personhood in the home. It will examine the dementia environment using a critical design research lens, to explore how artifacts within a specially designed personhood kit may be used to reimagine personhood. This may unveil hidden values and agendas, and alternate possibilities that have not been examined. The personhood kits developed may contain different artifacts depending on the residents. Examples of potential items include: photographs, sentimental objects (jewelry, mementos, letters, etc), simple activities to enhance staff and resident relationships, etc. Co-design sessions will be performed with the dementia home staff, administrators, and family members to develop the activities and kit content. The kits will be placed in the home to allow residents to autonomously interact with the kits, and be integrated with staff daily tasks to be completed in the home.

Fall Prevention Program Using the jDome BikeAround for High Risk Residents Living in Long-Term Care
Project Lead: Susan Zorz
Host Institution: The Glebe Centre, Ottawa, ON
We all know the impact a fall has on our healthcare system: hospital stays, long stints with rehabilitation and extensive recovery times. However, the impact on the person who has fallen can be devastating.  Increased worry, loss of independence, depression and even death may all be preventable through participation with an effective falls reduction program. The Glebe Centre is looking to integrate the latest in technology and innovation to our fall reduction programming using the jDome BikeAround by creating a sustainable and accessible model to reduce the number of falls within long-term care settings and allow residents who are at high risk of falling to age in place with dignity. The BikeAround uses Google Street View, a stationary bike and a domed screen as the tool to improve the health and wellness of residents. Residents are seated comfortably in front of the screen, their destination is typed into the computer and when loaded, the image appears on the screen. Using pedals on the bike they can propel themselves down the street, steer and change direction as they wish. Residents are able to visit familiar places anywhere in the world or travel to places they have always wanted to visit. As long as it has been mapped by Google we can take them there. Stationary cycling programs designed to prevent falls in older adults are effective in reducing falls that can cause injury, falls requiring medical care, falls resulting in serious injuries, and falls resulting in broken bones.

Fitlight at Wagman Centre
Project Lead: Colin Blayney
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
FITLIGHT BrainTM is a dynamic, physical device that includes a set of 12 cutting edge, motion activated LED lights that challenge users to move and play in order to interact.

Lumacare’s Sensory Lending Library
Project Lead: Ashley Mansfield
Host Institution: Lumacare, Toronto, ON
Lumacare’s Sensory Lending Library is an innovative solution that will enable older adults and their families to access specialized sensory equipment to support with dementia, mental health, or challenging behaviours. The library will benefit end users by providing access to cognitively stimulating equipment typically only available in institutionalized settings. The library will use Snoezelen® equipment to create multi-sensory environments that help reduce agitation and anxiety while stimulating responses and encouraging communication. The equipment will engage seniors’ five senses (visual, auditory, tactile, proprioception, olfactory) in both program and home environments. Housed in one of Lumacare’s program spaces at 541 Finch Avenue West, specialized Snoezelin® equipment will be purchased to stock the Lending Library, which can then be accessed by program staff and families at no cost. Families and caregivers can leverage the specialized equipment through a library lending model that would otherwise not have been accessible or affordable. The library will support seniors aging independently at home with evidence-based recreation/therapeutic practices. Studies have shown that multisensory stimulation and cognitive stimulation therapy are effective for supporting cognitive health in the aging population. The library will facilitate deeper interaction between seniors and their environment and will support the maintenance of cognitive function and management of responsive behaviours. Lumacare’s Lending Library will help seniors age in place while supporting the maintenance of their cognitive health. Having access to specialized sensory equipment will provide respite and caregiver support while increasing communication, understanding, focus, concentration and seniors’ overall quality of life.

Mind and Body: Cognitive Training to Support Physical Rehabilitation in Aging Canadians
Project Lead: Rachel Devitt
Host Institution: Providence Healthcare, Toronto, ON
Mind and Body explores how cognitive training can support the physical rehabilitation of aging Canadians. The project also explores the role that mobile technologies can play in the delivery of affordable and effective evidence-based treatments in clinical settings.

Music Therapy-Led Approach on Enhancing Sound Environments in Long Term Care
Project Lead: Sarah Condran
Host Institution: Arborstone Enhanced Care – Shannex, Halifax, NS
Noise is often overlooked as a daily source of stress in our lives. In long-term care facilities, many sources of sound are considered regular and in most cases necessary. However, noise and excessive sound have been proven to have adverse effects on our body’s ability to heal itself, relax, and generally be well. For those living with dementia and other cognitive impairments, noise can be especially debilitating to cope with everyday life. Certified Music Therapists (MTA) use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. In this context, the project will take a music therapy-led approach to apply the same understandings of sound and its relationship with health and behavior to guide our interventions to enhance the sound environment in long term care communities. It will build on an initial sound audit pilot project that was conducted throughout 2017 to assess noise levels in our facility, paired with making physical changes to the living spaces and provide additional training to increase awareness of mental health and the impact that environmental stressors can have. Our goal is to validate the need to create policy and standards at the provincial level for long term care homes in Nova Scotia, to regulate excessive noise for the purpose of creating an ideal sound environment for residents living in long term care.

MY PLAN – Integrative Health Coaching for Those Affected by Dementia
Project Lead: Feng Chang
Host Institution: Huron Community Family Health Team, Huron East, ON
Patients living with dementia and loved ones providing care require individually tailored strategies to optimize their capacity for successful self-management. ‘MY PLAN’ aims to increase each person’s ability to improve their well-being and quality of life by empowering people to enhance self-care skills, improve optimism and resilience and achieve short and longer term health and well-being outcomes. A board-certified integrative health coach will facilitate six to eight one-to-one well-being sessions, working with participants to prioritize what matters most, help build competence and confidence in each individual’s ability to manage the impacts of dementia, make changes and achieve their own well-being goals at their own pace. The coach will support and assist participants by offering constructive and empowering feedback on the process of behaviour and lifestyle changes to achieve well-being goals. ‘MY PLAN’ enables older adults with dementia to maximize their independence so they can remain living at home for as long as possible. It supports family caregivers to stay well while working through challenges that often lead to burnout. ‘MY PLAN’ promotes effective system navigation by generating increased awareness of support services available and inspiring those living with dementia to access appropriate resources to positively plan their own individual journey.

Online Medication Management Educational Program for Caregivers of People Living with Dementia
Project Lead: Samantha Yau
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
People with dementia are prescribed a number of medications that may help to control some of the symptoms of the disease, such as memory problems, behavioural symptoms, sleep problems, mood and mental health issues and pain/discomfort.  People with dementia often need help managing their medications and require support from their family caregivers. Medication management is a complex aspect of caregiving for which caregivers require educational support. People with dementia often have trouble remembering to take medications they are prescribed or they may become confused about which medications to take. They are also at increased risk for potentially dangerous side effects from certain medications. Caregivers need access to timely information, enhanced knowledge and skills in the area of dementia, specifically focused on medication concerns to ultimately improve the quality of care of people with dementia, as well as their own quality of life. Lack of proper medication management precipitates early admission to long term care facilities. To address these concerns, we propose a caregiver-focused online educational program that will focus on enhancing family caregivers’ knowledge and skills in medication management for their relatives living with dementia. The program will help caregivers understand what to expect by arming caregivers with a solid understanding of medications, drug interactions, etc. The program will consist of a series of interactive online modules with accompanying resources.

Participatory Art Course for Formal Caregivers and Persons with Dementia
Project Lead: Merav Gilboa
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Dementia involves deficits in memory, language, decision-making, perception and awareness. Visual arts processes provide an alternate mode of expressive communication for persons living with dementia and a bridge for formal caregivers to understand the lived experience of the disease. Formal caregivers are a particularly underserved caregiving group who play a significant role in enabling community dwelling persons with dementia to age in place. This caregiving group faces significant psychological and physical occupational stressors that can impact quality of life and mental health. We propose to develop an education course, handbook and studio kit of formalized dementia accessible participatory arts processes and train formal caregivers to use these processes to build connection and empathy with their clients. Our solution addresses the themes of caregiver support and aging in place with two tandem goals; to impact quality of life and caregiver burden through education, formalized supports and access to materials, and to enhance quality of life of the person living with dementia through participatory arts engagement. Project activities include: (1) develop a Baycrest at Home: Participatory Arts handbook, (2) develop a Baycrest at Home: Participatory Arts Studio Kit, (3) develop and deliver one eight-session pilot education course at Baycrest for formal caregivers; provide a visual arts program for the participants’ clients in an adjacent space during the course, (4) conduct research on the project’s impact on caregiver burden, and (5) present and disseminate research findings. Future goal: commercializing participatory arts course, handbook and studio kit amongst healthcare settings throughout Canada and internationally.

Reconnecting: Technology-Aided Maintenance of Cognitive Function and Social Ties
Project Lead: Kevin Harter
Host Institution: York Care Centre, Fredericton, NB
As people age, their social ties tend to weaken with fewer opportunities to meet with family and friends and enjoy their company. Increasing sense of isolation and deteriorating mood may compound mild cognitive decline that occurs in normal aging, with disease processes (e.g. dementia) further threatening cognition. Caregivers typically cannot provide the continuous support and activation that might significantly slow cognitive decline. Guided by requirements identified by York Care Centre, we will develop a technology that allows families to reconnect with elderly loved ones, building on lessons learned with the ABBY unit for late stage dementia activation (developed by Ambient Activity Technology or AAT, also known as Keebee Play). Family members will be able to upload ongoing content as part of their normal activities and social media interaction. In addition to uploading media content that documents family activities, family members may also send voice and video messages (using asynchronous interactions that are less demanding and easier for family to comply with). The unit will also house games where game performance is a measure of cognitive status. The unit will allow institutional staff and administrators to send media content and messages (e.g. daily and weekly menus and activities, opportunities for excursions, volunteering) to resident users. The unit will be designed with an easy-to-use remote control and interface where the resident could access the functions and also send voice messages to family.

Seniors’ Centre Without Walls – Connecting Isolated Seniors Through Conference Call Technology
Project Lead: Caroline Morin
Host Institution: Timiskaming Home Support, Kirkland Lake, ON
According to Statistics Canada, as many as 1.4 million elderly Canadians report feeling lonely. The ‘loneliness epidemic’ is a major risk to optimal health. Living alone is a risk factor of social isolation. In the district of Timiskaming, 31% of seniors live alone. Research evidence confirms that social connections are a fundamental human need – crucial to both wellbeing and survival. Loneliness and social isolation are linked to depression, cognitive decline, decreased mobility and even early death.  Many people feel lonely and lose social connections as they age. Through the use of conference call technology, Seniors’ Centre Without Walls (SCWW) provides the opportunity for seniors to obtain pertinent health-related information and social connections through direct access and conversations with peers and professionals from their community. This technology will allow for later-life learning opportunities, participation in brain-stimulating activities, and most importantly, to feel part of a community and opportunity to create new and meaningful friendships. Many seniors are homebound and are not able to attend the educational and social programs offered in the community. Connecting with this technology will not only decrease their social isolation, but will increase their cognitive health and their ability to age in their own home. The pilot project will include the hiring of a program coordinator who will plan a series of information sessions with input from community partners, promote the program and reach out to seniors in need, facilitate the program through conference call technology and evaluate the success of this Northeastern Ontario pilot project.

SpxTrm AI: Empowering Caregiver Abilities By Employing Computer Vision in Long Term Care
Project Lead: Navjot Virk
Host Institution: The Brenda Strafford Foundation, Calgary, AB
Spxtrm Health Inc. applies computer vision and deep learning to video monitoring systems in long-term care facilities to prevent and monitor adverse events like falls. This software empowers caregivers to identify and intervene in real time when loved ones are in distress or at risk of harm.

Support Group for Geriatric New Graduate Nurses
Project Lead: Benjamin Hartung
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
New graduate nurses have reported experiencing stress during their transition from student to nurse. Additionally, new graduate nurses report caring for older adults to be challenging, especially older adults with cognitive impairments. Support of new graduate nurses during their transition is required to reduce new graduate nurse turnover rates, and to ensure that one of our most vulnerable patient populations are cared for. Nursing transition theorist Alfa Meleis (2010) identified that the development of feelings of connectedness is paramount for a successful transition. New graduate nurses need to feel connected to their colleagues, their profession, and their organization. Nurse that do not develop feelings of connectedness have difficulty fulfilling the requirements of their new role: care for older adults. An Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)-led support group for nurses is an innovative solution to support geriatric new graduate nurses during this transition.

Supporting Patients, Care Partners and Physicians in Care Coordination and Navigation
Project Lead: Lori Watts
Host Institution: Red Deer Primary Care Network, Red Deer, AB
The Red Deer Primary Care Network developed an Elder Care Assessment Clinic, which opened in June 2017. The project is part of a larger initiative involving five Central Zone Primary Care Networks, two Strategic Clinical Networks, Alberta Health Services, patients and families, and community stakeholders. Outcomes include a coordinated approach to service provision and support, increased knowledge and capacity with the health and social teams, and increasing the role and clinician satisfaction regarding serving the senior population. The ECAC is staffed by family physicians and other health care professionals, including registered nurses, a nurse practitioner, pharmacists and psychologists and social workers. This multidisciplinary team received advanced training in order to provide assessment of cognitive health for patients with uncomplicated dementia and other geriatric syndromes, and make recommendations to patients, caregivers, and referring physicians for ongoing care. Follow-up support is a vital piece of the care to overcome barriers that patients, care partners and physicians may experience in carrying out the recommendations. This part time staff position, Elder Care Case Coordinator, supports caregivers and physicians on care coordination and navigation, and works to find collective solutions so patients are able to age in place. The staff member will join with other system partners, and the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories, to work collectively to improve care coordination.

Toward a “Clinic-in-a-Box”: An Inexpensive Integrated Toolkit for Assessing Balance, Mobility and Cognition in the Frail and Elderly
Project Lead: Shirley Fenton
Host Institution: University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
This toolkit, consisting of three accelerometers, a tablet computer and our app, forms the basis for a “clinic-in-a-box” for measuring balance, mobility and cognition in the frail and elderly. This platform, which builds on previous work funded by CABHI’s Spark program, is an extension of a toolkit already developed and thoroughly tested to measure balance and mobility. The future we see is that this system could even be taken to the client’s residence by a physiotherapist where the tests can be administered. Thus, the client does not have to leave their familiar surroundings such as a retirement home or long-term care facility. Based on earlier testing, we plan to: (1) add two additional tests related to balance and mobility to the toolkit, (2) relate the readings obtained from all the tests to a diagnosis and eventual treatment, (3) determine if we can reduce the toolkit cost substantially by incorporating and testing less expensive accelerometers, and (4) extend the toolkit to assess cognitive capabilities using dual tasking.

Virtual Baycrest Learning Academy
Project Lead: Aviva Altschuler
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
There are many positive health outcomes associated with lifelong learning. In fact, keeping your mind active can contribute towards combating age-related changes to cognitive status and functioning, building resiliency towards staving off effects of early dementia. Knowing this, in partnership with Ryerson University’s 50+ Program, we are hoping to scale the Baycrest Learning Academy (BLA) by utilising existing telehealth and tele-education services to increase access to the program. In doing so, we are looking to assess the feasibility, efficacy, and impact of providing the BLA virtually and in person to older adults at risk of dementia as well as with mild cognitive impairment living at Baycrest and in our community, aging in place. There will be two phases to our proposed project – the first phase will be conducted in long term care and involves two groups of participants watching in person and virtual lectures projected in real time, and the second phase will be administered in an independent living complex where two groups will watch virtual lectures in a group format as well as from their own individual apartments. Throughout our process, we will be developing a series of guidelines and materials to help older adults connect to an online platform with the aid of a companion or volunteer, as well as reference materials for accessing the program on their own.

Virtual Psychotherapeutic Group for Caregivers of Persons with Dementia Attending an Adult Day Program
Project Lead: Donna Margles
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Baycrest Adult Day Program and the Koschitzky Centre For Innovations in Family Caregiving have identified virtual support groups as the next area of expansion to address the growing needs of caregiver stress for dementia clients and their families. The goal of this pilot project is to provide virtual support groups for the spouses and adult children as presently they are unable to attend face-to-face groups due to either work or caregiving responsibilities. Through partnering with the Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN), this mode of intervention will offer a flexible and secure platform. The groups will be social worker-led 10-week sessions with the option to continue as a self-help group after the 10-week intervention is completed. The groups will focus on self-reflection and understanding the impact of the caregiver’s emotions on cognition and behavior. The group offers its members an opportunity to feel understood and connected to others dealing with similar issues. This group model has the unique ability to transform their connections from a clinically based encounter to real friendships that become invaluable supports as cares continue in their journey. The main objective of this project includes evaluating the efficacy of this virtual intervention on caregivers. Finally, this project will result in a best-practice intervention modality for dementia caregivers and will be scaled to other organizations and other older adult populations through the development of a manualized intervention.

Virtual Wound Care for Clients Living in Residential Care
Project Lead: Michelle Merkel
Host Institution: Fraser Health, BC
Clients in residential care who experience mobility issues along with their existing health issues are at risk for developing pressure injuries. If not managed in a timely way, pressure injuries can be a serious and very painful condition that could lead to hospitalization and in some cases even death. In addition, pressure injuries almost always negatively affect quality of life. By treating and managing pressure injury in a timely manner the condition can be reversed and pain can be eliminated. This innovative solution allows for the transfer of images and information on a simple smart phone device using technology that preserves the safety of the information. It connects care givers with highly skilled wound care clinicians who can then make an appropriate assessment in real time without any need to make an appointment or travel to the site, which otherwise would take several days to organize and schedule. Caregivers can then immediately implement the treatment plan advised by the wound care clinician reducing the risk of infection or having the wound worsen any further.

VR2 – Applying Virtual Reality Therapy in Long Term Care for Residents with Dementia to Reduce Responsive Behaviours and Caregiver Burnout
Project Lead: Lacey Sheng
Host Institution: The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, Ottawa, ON
With a growing aging population, older adults are living longer, with many fortunate to remain in the setting of their choice until much later in life. As a result, when people do require long term care (LTC), many are arriving with multiple co-morbidities, higher levels of frailty, and advanced dementia. Responsive behaviours are often exhibited by people with dementia and can include physical (striking out, biting, grabbing, etc.) and/or verbal (cursing, screaming, etc.) responsiveness. These behaviours can show patterns such as sundowning, and be triggered by particular care or treatment activities such as dressing changes (e.g. wound care), or personal care (e.g. bathing). Responsive behaviours are related to staff burnout levels, which contribute to high absenteeism, turnover, low engagement, and higher risk of abuse or neglect. Reducing resident responsive behaviours and maintaining a healthy workforce has become a priority for The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre (Perley Rideau) as well as the province of Ontario. Virtual Reality (VR) has shown great potential for the dementia population, and for decreasing pain in burn patients during dressing changes. Previous Spark project “Prescribing VR” found that VR therapy is a viable solution for residents with dementia and provides benefits such as relaxation.  The project will involve administering VR therapy to residents with responsive behaviours both regularly and targeting episodes of care/treatment. We will explore the impact of VR on responsive behaviours and its contributing factors such as pain, as well as the impact on caregivers including injuries, burnout level, absenteeism and turnover rate.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Residential Care? A How-to Video Series for the Public
Project Lead: Nick Petropolis
Host Institution: Fraser Health, BC
We recognize it can be a confusing and stressful process for people considering a transition into care homes. Our solution will help educate the public about how to navigate this transition through a video series that demystifies the process. In this video series, patients and families will learn about: the overall process of entering care homes, including the principle of “the right care, at the right time, in the right place”; how patients consider which care homes best meet their unique needs; what to expect during the moving-in period, the positive home-like environment of care homes, the care philosophy of the people working in care homes, how the trajectory of chronic diseases impacts patients in care homes; and what kinds of care can be provided within a care home. This innovative solution will increase the public’s understanding of care homes and the care that is provided through a series of short videos, a communication format more suited to an increasingly technology-based society than the paper handbook status quo.

YouQuest Pilot: A Wellness Community for Young Onset (Under 65) Dementia
Project Lead: Beverly Hillman
Host Institution: YouQuest – Young Onset Dementia Association, Calgary, AB
YouQuest is Calgary’s first wellness community created to improve quality of life for active people living with young onset dementia. A non-profit service provider, YouQuest offers participants and their families an inviting place to belong and engage within the community. Launching at SAIT Recreation, YouQuest provides tailored support and gives younger people with dementia the best opportunity to age in place. Whether learning a new sport, planning a neighbourhood adventure or socializing with peers, days are filled with relevant and appealing leisure opportunities. A recreation therapist provides adaptive, functional support based on an individualized plan to match each participant’s strengths. Care partners and family members are welcome to join in the activities or take full-day respite. This proactive, goal-oriented, therapeutic daytime service provides specific value for younger families living with dementia. Younger care partners cannot shoulder the support demands alone. They need to manage family life, preserve their health, and for many, maintain employment. Children need life to be normal; growing up is hard enough. YouQuest offers care partners peace of mind that their family member is meaningfully engaged in a safe and supportive daytime community. People living with young onset dementia do not want to fall into the health system prematurely. Health providers can offer this accessible daytime resource to preserve independence and optimize health. In doing so, YouQuest simultaneously creates health system capacity by leaving space for seniors who require formalized care in adult day support programs or long-term care facilities.

Zeitgeist: Utilizing Intergenerational Co-Design & Storytelling as a New Model for Therapeutic Recreation in Long Term Care Facilities
Project Lead: Donna Levi
Host Institution: UBC Hospital, Vancouver, BC
Social isolation, loneliness and cognitive decline are major concerns for seniors living in long term care facilities. To address these challenges and provide opportunities for intergenerational social exchange and storytelling, we conceptualized Zeitgeist Vancouver, a storytelling project which brings together residents living in long-term care and design students to co-write and co-design publications which highlight residents’ stories. Through a unique collaboration between Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr University (ECU), the goal of this project is to develop a new therapeutic recreation (TR) model for engaging residents in meaningful activities to address loneliness and cognitive decline. Through a social innovation approach, this project gives voice to residents, providing opportunities for creative and emotional expression, stimulation of positive memories and the engagement of residents in a unique and meaningful activity. Simultaneously, this project offers design students learning opportunities in communication and participatory design, creating a mutually beneficial intergenerational platform which combines and leverages local assets to enhance existing TR services. Adapted from a project within a care home system in Switzerland, led by designer Carolyn Kerchof, we piloted Zeitgeist Vancouver at Purdy Pavilion (a VCH long-term care facility) in Spring of 2018 with 12 residents and 18 students from ECU. Through further testing and validation of the Zeitgeist Vancouver project, we intend to develop an innovative TR model which leverages community assets to enhance the cognitive health and well-being of residents within long term care facilities in Vancouver.

Industry Innovation Partnership Program logo
Recipients of the Industry Innovation Partnership Program

 

 

Ably BedAbly Medical AS
Hosts: Hamilton Health Sciences ; West Park Health Centre; Southlake Regional Health Sciences
The Ably Bed uses state-of-the-art technology and machine learning to create the hospital bed that knows, learns, mobilizes and collaborates with patients in risk of falls and pressure ulcers and their medical professionals.

Advancing Recreation and Cognitive Engagement through TechnologyLinked Senior
Host: Responsive Health Management Inc.
The Linked Senior technology enables the customer to better meet the needs of the older adult by matching their interest areas and cognitive abilities with activities that align with their unique history and preferences so that the resident is more engaged for a longer period of time.

Evaluation of the Circura + Rosie Medication Management and Reminder Device to Enhance Independent Medication Compliance in the Home SettingLifeAssist Technologies Inc. Hosts: Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre (CCAC); Baycrest Health Sciences (Reuben Cipin)
LifeAssist’s care-collaboration SaaS application (Circura) and our smart in-home, senior-friendly device (Rosie) provide the connectivity between smart homes, smart hospitals and smart long-term care facilities. Our secure platform connects the people, data, and devices required to coordinate care tasks, medication adherence, calendars and the sharing of care information.

Motiview

Motiview

Motivational Exercise & Cognitive TrainingMotitech AS
Hosts: Bruyère Research Institute/Bruyère Continuing Care; Baycrest Health Sciences (Reuben Cipin); West Park Health Centre
Motiview motivates elderly people and people with dementia to increase their physical activity and cognitive training. By using videos, music, and sound, the user can take a virtual bicycle trip through familiar surroundings and memories.

Marketplace to Access Trusted Care at Home (MATCH) – uCarenet Technologies Inc.
Hosts: William Osler Health System; Baycrest Health Sciences; Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre
The Marketplace to Access Trusted Care at Home (MATCH) allows seniors and their family members to connect with professional caregivers to hire direct home care services. The platform helps seniors find care that meets their personal needs and preferences in an accessible, affordable manner.

Next-Generation Medication Dispenser to Improve Care at Home for Community-Dwelling ElderlyAceAge Inc.
Hosts: West Park Healthcare Centre; Capital Care Group Inc.
Karie is an automated medication delivery device for home and community care. Karie delivers medication with the right dose at the right time, monitors adherence, and sends reminder alarms and timely reports.

Boosting Cognitive Reserve through Adult Second Language Acquisition with DuolingoDuolingo
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences
Duolingo is a software platform for teaching languages to adults outside of a classroom or immersion setting. This project will use Duolingo software to teach a new language to older adults over three months and evaluate the impact on executive function and attention, as well as evaluate the user-satisfaction with the app as a life-enhancing tool for seniors.

SWORD Phoenix – The Standard of care for the next 50 years of the rehabilitation industry – SWORD Health
Host: CBI Health Group
SWORD Phoenix is an integrated software to optimize at-home rehabilitation.  With SWORD Phoenix, patients perform their therapy at home, maximizing engagement and clinical outcomes while ensuring full data accountability. SWORD Phoenix uses artificial intelligence and motion tracking to understand the performance of each patient, providing real-time feedback during treatment under remote guidance from clinical teams. This project will aim to validate the usability and shape the product-market fit, clinically validate the solution, and evaluate the market and commercial viability for further market scale-up.

Telemedicine as a supporting technology to outpatient care – RightHealth
Hosts: Baycrest Health Sciences; Southlake Regional Health Centre
Akira MD is a service for patients and clinicians to help manage their health information and engage in secure text and video with primary care and health professionals. This project will seek to enable virtual care to homebound geriatric patients, build capacity to disseminate best practices for a virtual care environment, and evaluate patient and provider adoption and experience with the solution.

Tess – A Digital Health Companion for Older Adults – X2AI Inc
Host: Saint Elizabeth Healthcare, AARP
The Tess artificial intelligence chatbot will deliver on-demand coaching to relieve social isolation and loneliness in older adults with dementia.  This project will seek to obtain evidence of efficacy at reducing isolation and loneliness in older adults with dementia, evaluate efficacy of delivering the Tess coaching service, and evaluate the right price point for direct consumer to access the Tess service.

Using Gait Robotics to Improve Mood and Cognition in Seniors with Parkinson’s Disease – B-Temia
Host: Assistive Technology Clinic
B-Temia has developed a robotic dermoskeleton used for gait training of patients with Parkinson’s disease.  This project plan will measure the safety and usability of the Keeogo Rehab for use as a mobility aid and therapeutic tool in clients with Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD); develop and evaluate specific protocols for exoskeleton rehabilitation practice; develop recommendations and guidelines on the use of this technology for general rehabilitation practice; and prepare for future studies on the use of Keeogo Rehab in non-clinical environments.

Muse meditation headband

Muse meditation headband

Connected meditation assistance tools for brain health and quality of life in high-risk older adults and caregivers – InteraXon
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences
InteraXon’s Muse is a consumer EEG technology, designed for use in acquiring the skills and realizing the brain health benefits associated with meditation practice. The Muse headband connects to a smartphone and engages users in an immersive audio brain-feedback experience to develop a healthy habit of mindfulness.  This projects will test utility of Muse as an intervention in older adult patients and caregivers; and help to develop better brain health markers for use with Muse.

Deployment and Pilot of a Video-based Safety System for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias – SafelyYou
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences
SafelyYou deploys wall-mounted cameras enabled with artificial intelligence to evaluate falls in long-term care homes. This project will seek to improve system metrics, such as detection accuracy and false detection rate; measure the number of falls, ER admissions, caregiver and family engagement; and measure patient satisfaction with the product.

The Albert Project – Improving Lives: A study on the impact of virtual reality cognitive therapy on long-term care residents with moderate to severe dementia – Crosswater Digital Media
Host: Primacare Living Solutions
Crosswater has developed a virtual reality cognitive therapy to enhance the quality of life of long-term care residents. Project objectives for participation in this round of I2P2 include: evaluating the viability of the solution as an alternative therapy; developing the most effective positive outcome scenarios; evaluating the most effective immersion time; and evaluating the economic benefit and stress effects on the system and caregivers.

Pressure injury management system for individuals living with dementia in LTC and acute care institutions – Curiato Inc.
Hosts: Toronto Grace Health Centre, Schlegel Villages
The Ceylon smart system is a smart biological sensor math and remote web interface portal placed on the surface of existing mattresses to help evaluate pressure injury forms. This project plan includes the development of a prototype, determining the economic viability of the solution, and an effort to improve the technical data evidence by successfully integrating with EHR software.

Careteam

Careteam

Empowering Modern Healthcare Teams – Careteam Technologies
Hosts: Mackenzie Health, Champlain Dementia Network
Careteam is a care coordination and navigation platform designed to bring together the multidisciplinary modern team for patients with complex care needs. Project objectives include the evaluation of client satisfaction, determining patient outcomes, and evaluating the use of system resources.

A Pilot Clinical Trial of an Interactive Digital Technology in Treatment of Disruptive Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in a Care Home SettingMindfulGarden
Host: Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre
MindfulGarden is a digital therapeutic device designed to de-escalate disruptive Behavioural and Psychological Systems of Dementia (BPSD). This randomized control pilot project comprising two sub-studies will determine feasibility and efficacy trends of applying MindfulGarden during routine care events well-documented for being challenging for residents and caregivers in long term care settings: morning care, bedtime care, and bathing.

Assessment of a Novel MRI Image Analysis Software Platform for Detecting Alzheimer’s DiseaseDarmiyan
Hosts: Baycrest Health Sciences, Hamilton Health Sciences, University Health Network
Darmiyan is partnering with Baycrest, Hamilton Health Sciences, and the University Health Network to test their new MRI-based solution, which predicts whether pre-symptomatic and symptomatic individuals with cognitive impairment will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Darmiyan’s MRI-based predictions will be compared against gold-standard clinical assessments using retrospective and/or prospective study approaches.

Connected Healthcare for Seniors Living at Home with Chronic DiseaseCatalyst Healthcare
Host: Pack4U
Catalyst Healthcare proposes a multi-disciplinary approach of care team members including pharmacists, caregivers and the spencer medication adherence platform to provide healthcare in the homes of the high-risk, chronically-ill population. The intent of the project is to increase medication adherence and improve healthcare outcomes as well as collect informative data.

Promoting Cognitive Health for Seniors within Larger Healthcare Systems: Value of BrainFx AssessmentsBrainFx
Host: Atrium Health, West Park
BrainFx assessments are focused on promoting cognitive health by measuring changes in cognitive performance interactively to assess more complex skills in a real-world, applicable context. This project will be used to demonstrate the value of BrainFx assessments with seniors, as well as to gather technical evidence, clinical feedback and economic benefits.

Intuition Robotics - ElliQ

Intuition Robotics – ElliQ

Effect of a Proactive Social Robot for Older Adults in Reducing Loneliness and Social IsolationIntuition Robotics
Hosts: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto; and Jewish Senior Living Group, San Francisco
ElliQ is a social robot that aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst older adults by providing companionship, enrichment and support. This mixed-method longitudinal study will be conducted to test the extent to which the product will decrease the feeling of loneliness and isolation in seniors. The efficacy of ElliQ will be determined via academic surveys and qualitative interviews with participants subsequent to a 2-month living period with the ElliQ robot.

Investigation of the Added Value of RetiSpec for Early Detection of Subtle Symptoms and Early Pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease – RetiSpec
Host: Toronto Memory Program
RetiSpec is developing a non-invasive, non-radioactive eye scanner to detect the presence of advanced dementia (AD) biomarkers in the retina. There will be two main goals for this project: first, to determine the safety and effectiveness for the early diagnosis and monitoring of AD by the RetiSpec device through human clinical testing. Second, to accelerate the Canadian commercialization process of a non-invasive, retinal scanner for the early detection of AD pathology years before clinical symptoms occur.

Ring of Support Multimodal Digital Engagement ProgramMEMOTEXT
Host: St. Elizabeth Healthcare
MEMOTEXT will run an adaptive and personalized multimedia engagement system that aims to support both caregivers and seniors with early stage/mild dementia outside of the clinical setting. The main goal of the project is to validate that MEMOTEXT allows seniors to remain independent whilst living at home, as well as reduce the overall cost of long term healthcare interventions.

Simplifying Medication Management for Complex Patients: Discharge to HomePharmacy Access Solutions Inc and Health QR
Host: Health PEI – Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Pharmacy Access Solutions has developed a mobile platform to aid patients in prescription management in conjunction with their community pharmacists. The primary aim of this project is to determine the feasibility of electronically providing patient discharge reports directly to community pharmacy for the purposes of medication reconciliation. The secondary aim is to conduct a preliminary analysis to assess the impact of the improved communication process in emergency department visits and readmission rates in high-risk populations.

Using Intuitive eLearning to Provide Personalized Training to Informal Caregivers of Patients with Dementia During the Discharge ProcessTrualta
Hosts: University of Florida, West Park
Trualta’s tech-enabled program provides skills-based training via an interactive online e-learning environment to family members caring for their aging loved ones during the transition from hospital to home. The project consists of two phases: an initial needs assessment to ensure seamless product innovation and a subsequent randomized control trial with caregivers to generate clinical evidence.

 

RCP2 Logo Large
Recipients of the Researcher-Clinician Partnership Program

 

ArtOnTheBrain

ArtOnTheBrain

ArtontheBrain: An Inclusive Evidence-Based Cognitive Health App for Older Adults to Promote Aging at Home
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kelly Murphy
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
ArtontheBrain uses visual art presented in an interactive online environment to stimulate cognition and encourage social connections amongst users through a series of enjoyable learning and gaming activities.

Be EPIC: Person-Centered Communication with Home Care Clients with Dementia
Principal Investigator: Dr. Marie Savundranayagam
Host: Western University, London, ON
Be EPIC is a first-of-its kind training program that trains PSWs to use person-centred communication (PCC) to address the unmet needs of persons with dementia.

Clinical Validation of the Cogniciti Brain Health Assessment for Identifying Older Adults at Risk of Dementia
Principal Investigator: Dr. Angela Troyer
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Cogniciti’s online brain health assessment can help adults over the age of 40 determine whether the symptoms of memory loss that they may be experiencing are normal for their age, or that they should be examined further by their doctor. Cogniciti thereby enables individuals to potentially benefit from early assessment and identification of a problem, leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Cognitive Impairment: Technology to Monitor Night-Time Wandering Amongst Persons with Dementia
Principal Investigator: Dr. Frank Knoefel
Host: Bruyère Research Institute, Ottawa, ON
The Wander Detection and Diversion (WDD) System integrates multiple low-cost sensors to seamlessly guide patients with dementia to their usual night-time destination safely by activating soft home lighting and pre-recorded verbal cues using caregiver and/or familiar voices. An alarm sounds if they try to leave the home during the night.

DATADAY: Daily Support for People with Dementia
Principal Investigator: Dr. Arlene Astell
Host: Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Whitby, ON
DataDay is a user-friendly application that provides daily support, reminders and monitoring to individuals with dementia to enable them to see how they are doing. Through the clinician portal, their clinical team will have access to previously unavailable data that can enable them to identify problems emerging and avert potential crises including avoidable hospital admissions.

Establishing Concurrent and Predictive Validity of a Novel Emotional Memory Screening Test to Detect Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease
Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda Mah
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The Emotional Verbal Learning Test (EVeLT) is a 5-minute paper-and-pencil test that was developed to assess emotional memory, a form of memory that is affected in older adults who are at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Predicting Emergency Department Delirium with an Interactive Customizable Tablet to Prevent Repeat Visits App
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jacques Lee
Host: Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON
Patients play a ‘serious game’ that assesses risk of delirium based on their performance.

Reducing ED Visits in Patients with Dementia after Hospital Discharge by Providing Patient and Family-Oriented Discharge Instructions Generated by an Electronic System
Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Reid
Host: Trillium Health Partners, ON
Care Connector aims to reduce unnecessary ED visits and hospital re-admissions by better supporting dementia patients with their transition from hospital back to the community. The software supports inter-professional communication, generating and sharing patient-oriented discharge summaries (PODS), which provides patients and their circle of care with an easy-to-understand, patient-friendly discharge summary.

Hippocamera

Hippocamera

The Hippocamera: A Situationally Aware Memory Prosthetic
Principal Investigator: Dr. Morgan Barense
Host: University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
This project will develop a novel memory prosthetic that reorganizes and replays movies of an individual’s life to stabilize memories and reduce MCI-related decline.

Multimedia e-Learning to Improve Quality of Life for Family Caregivers of People with Dementia: the iGeriCare Initiative
Lead Clinician: Richard Sztramko
Co-Investigator: Anthony J. Levinson
Host Organization: McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
The iGeriCare platform is a website with multimedia lessons and resources to help educate informal family caregivers of people with dementia. iGeriCare is a technology-enhanced educational prescription to help with patient and family-centred care. This project seeks to enhance the solution by testing it with live expert sessions; promote it to both caregivers and healthcare teams for further sector adoption; conduct detailed interviews and evaluation with key stakeholders; and perform an economic analysis to help explore business models for ongoing funding and commercialization.

Enhancing and Standardizing Care for Agitation and Aggression in Alzheimer’s Disease
Lead Clinician: Sanjeev Kumar
Co-Investigator: Tarek Rajji
Host Organization: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), ON
This project team has developed and implemented an integrated care pathway (ICP) to treat agitation and aggression in dementia at CAMH and a partner long-term care facility. The ICP resulted in better outcomes and lowered medication use. In this study, the team will standardize and evaluate the behavioural intervention aspect of the ICP to further decrease medication use and study predictors of response to behavioural interventions and medications. This group will enrol 220 participants across 7 sites (4 academic hospitals and 3 long term care homes across Canada). Data will be collected on clinical parameters such as agitation, falls, medication use, caregiver burden as well as about economic impact of care before and after the structured behavioural interventions. If successful, this project will minimize medication use and improve the quality of life for patients with dementia and their caregivers.

Oasis Senior Supportive Living: A Model for Active Aging-in-Place
Lead Clinician: Catherine Donnelly
Co-Investigator: Vincent DePaul
Host Organization: Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
Oasis is an innovative, seniors-driven aging-in-place model that provides a supportive living environment within an existing naturally occurring retirement community. Oasis is an exemplar of a seniors-led collaboration among public, not-for-profit, charitable and private-sector organizations and is run by a volunteer board of directors who are directed by, and responsive to, the senior tenant-members it serves. This model enables active-aging through provision of group exercise, recreation, communal meals, resource navigation, social engagement and community partnerships. It brings together preexisting community, social and health services, and volunteers, to deliver practical support (e.g. meals, resource navigation) and social network building. The aim of this project is to develop and evaluate a process to guide scale-up of the Oasis model to other naturally occurring retirement communities.

GERAS Dancing For Cognition and Exercise (DANCE): A Mind-Body Health Platform for Frail Seniors
Lead Clinician: Alexandra Papaioannou
Co-Investigator: Courtney Kennedy
Host Organization: Hamilton Health Sciences – St. Peter’s, GERAS Centre for Aging Research, Hamilton, ON
GERAS DANCE (Dancing for Cognition and Exercise) is an evidence-based program for older adults with cognitive and physical impairments. The program was developed by geriatricians, rehabilitation therapists, psychologists, and dance professionals and combines the latest evidence for mild cognitive impairment, with a safe, progressive approach that incorporates music and social interaction. This social enterprise will provide an accessible, standardized program that is effective, safe and can be delivered in a variety of settings. The team’s vision is to create a sustainable platform of products and services that can be implemented across Canada and globally. This includes in-person and on-line training, high-quality manuals, comprehensive support and establishing a community of practice. The project will engage 600 older adults across 12 YMCAs located across the Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford, and Niagara regions.

Risk Evaluation for Support: Predictions for Elder-life in the Community Tool Dementia (RESPECT: Dementia)
Lead Researcher: Doug Manuel
Co-Investigator: Peter Tanuseputro
Host Organization: The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON
‘RESPECT: Dementia’ is a tool that provides personalized, precision risk estimates and reliably identifies future health and health care needs. It estimates when people will reach end-of-life and other health outcomes such as ER visits, hospitalization, long-term care, etc. This RCP2 project will implement and evaluate a web-based platform that enables informal caregivers of people with dementia to identify risk for cognitive or health decline that leads to institutionalization. Through focus groups, surveys, user analytics, and evaluation of health care services and outcomes, this project aims to determine if the tools are accurate, if it can improve decision-making around care, identify unintended adverse effects, and whether it can reduce hospitalization, ER visits, and increase a person’s time living at home.

Brain stress test for assessing cerebrovascular reactivity in the aging brain
Lead Researcher: David Mikulis
Co-Investigator: Lakshmikumar Venkat Raghavan
Host Organization: Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI), Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON
The brain stress test is comparable to the cardiac stress test. It examines abnormalities in brain blood vessel function thought to be a major contributor to cognitive decline and vascular dementia. Physicians currently rely on vascular risk factors, including diabetes, smoking etc., to assess an individual’s risk of future brain injury. This project aims to improve on this indirect assessment by providing direct measures of blood vessel performance using the brain stress test.  The solution objective is to provide physicians with a tool that can provide a better estimate of a decline in brain function. If successful, this innovation will significantly improve how physicians are able to manage aging patients who are at greater risk of developing cognitive decline and dementia.

VRx: Design & Evaluate Virtual Reality based therapy for people living with dementia & mild cognitive impairment
Lead Researcher: Lora Appel
Co-Investigator: Christopher Smith
Host Organization: OpenLab, University Health Network, Toronto, ON
Virtual Reality (VR) presents a unique opportunity to transport people to a world outside of their confined spaces, into calming and/or stimulating settings (green forest, peaceful beach, cheerful playground). This project team has created a library of VR “experiences” as a prototype for introducing immersive VR-therapy, with the goals of stimulating psychological/cognitive health and engagement; decreasing depression and anxiety; reducing the need for neuroleptic drugs; and increasing feelings of independence, personhood, and happiness. Informed by a CABHI-funded pilot study via the Spark Program, the project team improved the VR-therapy and plan to conduct a large randomized controlled trial (RCT) including measuring physiological (e.g. heart and respiration rates) and clinical outcomes (e.g. wandering incidents).

Computerized Assessment for Post-Operative Cognitive Decline (POCD) in Elderly Surgical Populations – a Multi-Centre Study
Lead Researcher: Dr. Michael Schmidt
Co-Investigators: Prof. Gail Eskes, Dr. Thomas Schricker
Host: Dalhousie University
Additional funding from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF)
The DalCAB is a web-based tool designed to assess fundamental aspects of cognition that could bridge the gap in the lack of consistent method or tool to identify elderly patients at risk of developing POCD from the use of general anesthesia. The goal of this project is to develop a data set of pre- and post-operative cognition measured by the DalCAB, in view of various intra-operative measurements and treatments.

Development of a Novel Physician Quality Scoring Tool for the Post-Acute and Long-Term Care of Persons with Neurocognitive Disorders
Lead Researcher: Dr. Andrea Moser
Co-Investigator: Dr. Andrew Costa
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences
This project will develop a novel measure of physician performance in the care of persons with dementia in the nursing home referred to as the Physician Quality Score (PQS). The PQS will be derived from a core set of innovative, process-based, discipline-specific nursing home quality measures.

MedSafer e-Care: an Automated Deprescribing Solution for Community-Dwelling Older Adults Living with Polypharmacy
Lead Researcher: Emily McDonald
Co-Investigators: Dr. Todd Lee, Shawn Riel
Host: McGill University Health Centre- Research Institute
MedSafer is an electronic tool that automates deprescribing and generates individualized, prioritized deprescribing opportunities for older adults based on existing evidence from existing evidence-based algorithms. Primary objective of the project is to link MedSafer with the large multi-national electronic medical record MED e-Care, through an existing application programming interface (API) that provides clinicians with electronic patient-specific deprescribing reports.

Scalable Training and Web-Based Application Package for Offsetting Hippocampal Neurodegeneration using Google Streetview
Lead Researcher: Dr. Asaf Gilboa
Co-Investigators: Robin Green, Deborah Pal, Will Panenka
Host: Rotman Research Institute – Baycrest Health Sciences
This project aims to employ the widely available Google Streetview as a platform for delivering a specialized self-administrable virtual-navigation training that leads to hippocampal stimulation and activation. Testing aims to demonstrate that the platform is feasible, sustainable, and assists in memory improvement and reduced hippocampal losses.

Transforming Healthcare for Dementia Prevention: Health Behaviour Change as First Line Medicine
Lead Researcher: Dr. Kiran Rabheru
Co-Investigator: Prof. Keri-Leigh Cassidy
Host: Canadian Academy for Geriatric Psychiatry – Canadian Coalition of Seniors’ Mental Health
Additional funding from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF)
The Fountain of Health (FoH) initiative is a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)-based wellness tool that act as first line medicine to prevent illness and promote health, to prevent dementia and disrupt the “disease model” of healthcare. FoH’s unique approach to dementia prevention employs well-established modifiable promoters of brain health/resilience—physical activity, social connection, brain challenge, improving outlook and mental health—utilizing effective goal-setting and behaviour change techniques.

Knowledge Mobilization Partnership Program logo
Recipients of the Knowledge Mobilization Partnership Program

 

Building Capacity for Deprescribing Guideline Development, Implementation and Evaluation
Principal Investigator: Dr. Barbara Farrell
Host: Bruyère Research Institute, Ottawa, ON
The goals of this project are to create and disseminate deprescribing guideline products (e.g. videos, apps) to help health care providers (HCP) use the guidelines and facilitate patient-HCP deprescribing conversations, to aid the development of new deprescribing guidelines, and to further guideline implementation and evaluation activities.

Building Capacity for Integrating Dance in Long-Term Care
Principal Investigator: Melissa Tafler
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Introducing dance to long-term care settings offers an adoptable practice to positively impact cognitive and physical health, self-expression, social cohesion, and deepen creative engagement for individuals with dementia and their caregivers.

Comprehensive Dementia Assessment and Support for Dementia Patients in NPLCs
Principal Investigator: Theresa Agnew
Host: Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario
Think Research will implement a comprehensive dementia assessment tool to disseminate provincial quality standards pertaining to the management of patients with dementia.

Dementia-Inclusive Retirement Communities
Principal Investigator: JoAnn Prior
Host: Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA)
To provide truly supportive environments that allow seniors to age in place, and in the setting of their choice, retirement community operators must facilitate a dementia-inclusive culture in all aspects of their operations. In an effort to guide the sector towards becoming dementia-inclusive, ORCA has begun creating a toolkit of measurement tools and best practices, as well as education and training to reduce stigma levels and change the culture around dementia care in retirement communities.

Individualized Medications Management in Ontario Long Term Care
Principal Investigator: Candace Chartier
Host: Ontario Long-Term Care Association
The OLTCA is partnering with Think Research and GeneYouIn to drive best practices in personalized medication management to high-needs, polymed, long-term care home residents. For over 55 years, the Ontario Long-Term Care Association (OLTCA) has been committed to advancing the quality of long-term care services in Ontario. With advocacy and leadership as a key focus, the Association has been able to influence legislative, policy and regulatory change, support sector expansion and redevelopment, and provide educational opportunities to ensure the increasing needs of residents are being met with safe, high-quality care.

Minds in Motion: Nurturing the Well-Being of Canadians with Dementia through Fitness and Social Activity
Principal Investigator: Mary Schulz
Host: Alzheimer Society of Canada
Minds in Motion offers a community-based program that encourages exercise and mental activity among people with dementia to help improve cognition, physical function and well-being.

Real-World Solutions for Improving Cognitive Fitness: Using the Internet to Translate and Scale Scientifically Validated Programs for Older Adults
Principal Investigator: Dr. Brian Levine
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Goal management training (GMT) targets decline in executive functions such as planning, problem-solving, and multi-tasking. GMT trains individuals to periodically stop ongoing behaviour to interrupt automatic processing, apply mindfulness skills, bring their overarching goal to mind, and monitor performance. The Memory and Aging Program (MAP) targets normal memory decline; participants learn a toolkit of proven strategies to maximize day-to-day memory function and make lifestyle changes to optimize brain health.

Supportive Oral Health for Seniors
Principal Investigator: Nelly Villacorta-Siegal
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Personal support workers (PSWs) will be trained to look for dental concerns using a modified Oral Health Assessment Tool (OHAT) . The project nurse and hygienist will implement an online learning module to show how to properly utilize the assessment tool form and when to refer to a hygienist. The module will include tips on effective tooth brushing and mouth care.

The North-South Brain Health Educational Course Initiative
Principal Investigator: Dr. Guy Proulx
Host: York University, Toronto, ON
The project goal is to increase the level of knowledge of professionals specializing in neurological conditions and geriatrics in areas such as cognitive health and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Power of Peer Support: Reducing Social Isolation in Residential Care Settings
Principal Investigator: Zsofia Orosz
Host: Bruyère Continuing Care, Ottawa, ON
Java Music and Java Memory Care are standardized peer-support group programs that can be implemented across the full spectrum of care. The Java Programs aim to reduce the stigma associated with support groups by reflecting a warm social setting, incorporating coffee and music.

Recipients of the Senior’s Care Strategic Innovation Fund (SCSIF)

Validation and Scaling of the Mobile eChart Healthcare Software Platform for Long-Term Care Facilities
Project Leads: Dr. Erik Scheme and Dr. Emily Read
Host Institution: University of New Brunswick, Moncton, NB
The purpose of this research is to validate the eCharts digital health platform and examine its impact on key work and health outcomes of formal caregivers for older adults living in special care homes (long-term care) in Atlantic Canada.

Connecting Family Caregivers of Seniors with Information and Resources to Support their Daily Caregiving Tasks and Responsibilities – ServUs Inc.
Project Leads: Dr. Dhirendra Shukla and Vikram Aditya Devaguptapu
Host Institution: University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB
The ServUs app lists senior-friendly services in the New Brunswick community, and provides a chat application which will improve care coordination between senior or family caregiver with care professionals. The measurable objective of this project is to develop a completed mobile app with a secure online communication chat tool feature.

The Development and Validation of the NFI Prototype Application for Early Detection of Dementia in the Elderly
Project Lead: Dr. Sarah Pakzad
Host Institution: University of Moncton, Moncton, NB
The project aims to develop norms and to test the feasibility of using the Neurocognitive Frailty Index (NFI) in the identification and assessment of adults at risk of dementia with cardiac problems, diabetes type 2 and hypertension. This project will contribute to accurate diagnosis and improved care in at risk groups.

Polypharmacy App to Improve Health Outcomes in Older Adults
Project Lead: Dr. Carole Goodine and Collaborators (McGibbon, McIver, Jarrett, McDonald, Donovan, UNB, NBCC, HHN, MUHC, YCC)
Host Institution: York Care Centre, Fredericton, NB
Our polypharmacy system will enable the use of MedSafer on mobile devices. Our goal is to automate data entry (medication lists and medical conditions) to identify de-prescribing opportunities for 5 categories of medications.

Recipients of the Strategic Opportunity Fund

ArtontheBrain
Project Lead: Aviva Altschuler
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
ArtontheBrain (AoTB) is a web-based mobile health intervention that uses visual art as a vehicle for engagement, mental stimulation, and socialization. AoTB focuses on promoting brain health and well-being for seniors with complex care needs aging in their homes. This project focuses on developing a beta prototype mobile health application that physicians and clinicians can safely prescribe to their patients in order to build leisure capacity, stay connected, keep cognitively engaged, and age with dignity.

SOS Checklist App
Project Lead: Dr. Raquel Meyer
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The SOS Checklist digitizes the Sensory Observation System to allow care providers gain meaningful insight into a frail elderly client’s health status to assist in preventing and managing acute deterioration associated with unnecessary hospital emergency transfers. It is intended to support caregivers at the bedside to advocate for health status changes occurring in their elderly clients. This app provides a complete and precise checklist of systems related to body functions and the environment to support healthcare workers in assessing and intervening in a timely way when working with the frail elderly.

TELUS User Needs Assessment
Project Lead: Suzanne Rochford
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This project seeks to better understand the needs of the elderly who are living independently with one or more chronic diseases, and the circle of care who assists them in maintaining an independent lifestyle. The identified needs will inform the business roadmap of TELUS Health by leveraging Baycrest’s deep expertise in this patient population.

Virtual Reality (VR) Dementia Simulation
Project Lead: Lisa Sokoloff
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
By improving caregiver empathy and understanding through virtual reality, we can improve healthcare provider and layperson care provision for people with dementia. For this VR proof of concept, the project team is focusing on developing 360-degree videos to trial with formal and informal caregivers. The goal is to determine if the use of VR simulation will increase caregiver awareness, understanding and empathy levels by entering the life of someone with dementia.

AM-PAC
Project Lead: Dr. Gary Naglie
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This project will involve the administration of the paper version or the Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) version of the Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care (AM-PAC) questionnaire to all English-speaking clients in the high and low tolerance rehabilitation units at Baycrest upon new admission, at discharge, and at 30 days post-discharge (using a validated telephone version of the AM-PAC).

Caregiver support group Road to Connection

Caregiver support group Road to Connection

Caregiver Support
Project Lead: Renee Climans
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The purpose of the project is to determine the effectiveness of the caregiver support program in improving caregiver well-being. The evaluation of the caregiver support program at Baycrest will include 4 participant cohorts: (1) the in-person caregiver support group; (2) the in-person caregiver support group and their partners with cognitive impairment who will attend concurrent arts-based experiences while their caregivers attend the support group; (3) an online caregiver support group; (4) a group of caregivers who will receive in-person caregiver support while family members are attending an adult day program.

Cogniciti (I) Online Brain Health Assessment
Project Lead: Michael Meagher
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This project encompasses three streams of activity aimed at enhancing the Cogniciti Cognitive Assessment platform: Stream 1 – Completing clinical validation studies; Stream 2 – Developing and clinically validating an HTML5 version of the Cogniciti interface; Stream 3 – Developing an administrative interface for accessing and querying volunteer data.

Cogniciti (II) Accelerated Research/Academic Recruitment Trial
Project Lead: Michael Meagher
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The overall purpose of the project is to conduct a pilot test of accelerated participant recruitment for pharmaceutical clinical trials in dementia using the Cogniciti Research Registry.

e-Learning Repository
Project Lead: Faith Boutcher
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The purpose of this project is to develop, implement, sustain the systems and HR supports necessary to enable e-Learning.

Integrated Care Community Team
Project Lead: Jagger Smith
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Baycrest, together with the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre (TC CCAC) and North York General Hospital (NYGH), aims to evaluate the Integrated Primary Care Team (ICCT) for the BRIDGES initiative. The ICCT model connects frail, older adults to a dedicated, inter-professional team consisting of primary care practitioners, community services, and specialty care resources.

Online Goal Management Training
Project Lead: Dr. Brian Levine
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Goal management training (GMT) is an effective intervention for executive functioning deficits due to a variety of clinical conditions affecting integrated brain functioning. This project focuses on translating GMT to an online format to increase its accessibility, and to run a randomized controlled trial to establish the efficacy of the new delivery medium and feasibility in using this approach in older adults and patients with cognitive deficits.

Online Memory and Aging Program (MAP)
Project Lead: Dr. Angela Troyer
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The Memory and Aging Program is an evidence-based face-to-face education and intervention program for older adults experiencing normal age-related memory changes. Through interactive lectures, discussion and practical exercises, participants learn about memory changes that occur with age and what can be done to improve memory. This initiative will create an online version of the program.

PLEASE volunteer Sabrina Teles interacts with a resident.

PLEASE – Program for Leisure Engagement for Active and Spontaneous Experiences
Project Lead: Karen Hirschfeld
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This mixed-methods observational project aims to evaluate the impact of the PLEASE program on the activity engagement and quality of life of long-term care residents at Baycrest. The PLEASE Program involved trained volunteers (under the supervision of Baycrest Therapeutic Recreation) providing opportunities for, and facilitating spontaneous activities with, residents with cognitive impairment in the Apotex twice daily (e.g., storytelling, eating assistance).

Quanta – QOCA Home Solutions Clinical Trial
Project Lead: Quanta Computers
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The goal of the project is to partner with Quanta Computer Inc. to customize, deploy, and evaluate a cloud-based, information technology solution (tablet-based QOCA home hub) to enable new content and services related to social connectedness and health education for seniors in residential and community settings.

RNAO Falls
Project Lead: Deborah Lappen
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The purpose of this project is to facilitate the implementation of client-centred approaches into falls prevention on the low-tolerance, long-duration rehabilitation unit at Baycrest. As part of this new approach, clinical staff will: a) identify clients with cognitive impairment with the highest falls risk in the unit; b) implement staff huddle consultations for the two clients with highest falls risk in order to determine the client care plan; c) facilitate completion of a falls risk self-assessment questionnaire by all clients on the unit.

Virtual Care
Project Lead: Faith Malach
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Virtual Care intends to bring health services to the client, rather than bringing the client to the clinician. The project has five sub-projects aimed at providing the following benefits: behavioural support for patients and caregivers living with dementia during transitions between care settings, sectors, and teams; enhanced access to integrated and specialized care teams for residents of long-term care homes and community-dwelling clients through telemedicine; and reduced incidence of injurious falls and avoidable emergency department transfers for residents and patients with dementia living in long-term care and in-patient rehab units.

Eye Tracker
Project Lead: Dr. Jennifer Ryan
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This project focuses on the development of an eye-tracking assessment tool for early detection of cognitive decline. It involves adapting lab-based eye-tracking tasks of cognition for use with a mobile platform and obtaining eye-tracking data from both healthy adults and those with cognitive decline.

Virtual Rounds
Project Lead: Rotman Research Institute
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This project developed 3 modules to educate clinicians on how to better care for their patients, modules that will eventually populate the e-learning platform. Online modules were designed as part of a blended learning course to train staff on how to work with older adults and seniors. Training for staff was also included to help them understand more about the complex needs of older adults, including normal aging and sensory and cognitive changes that can affect care.

MRI NeuroInformatics
Project Lead: Rotman Research Institute
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The aim of the MRI Neuroinformatics project is to develop standardized architecture to share neuroimaging data, essential health information, and analysis tools nationally. This will create robust, reproducible MRI data processing and analysis pipelines that can be used in partner centres.

Rational Neurorehabilitation
Project Lead: Dr. Jed Meltzer
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This project uses state-of-the art technology including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) to understand disease-related and acute treatment-related changes in brain structure and function in individuals with various brain disorders. The project helps researchers use an approach that involves a comprehensive set of brain-imaging and physical-health assessments to evaluate existing brain interventions and understand why certain interventions work for some patients but not others.

Trigger
Project Lead: Rotman Research Institute
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Trigger is a prosthetic memory application that enables individuals with memory impairment to re-live the past in context, the way memories should be experienced. Using the app, memories can be triggered within context by location, time, and facial recognition on a mobile device. The project focused on the refinement of the mobile application in order to improve the facial recognition aspect of the solution.

Dementia and Transitional Care (Virtual Care)
Project Lead: Jagger Smith
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Through the uses of telemedicine and virtual care, this project seeks to provide safe, accessible and affordable care to dementia populations in the process of transitioning care settings.

Neurovascular Reactivity
Project Lead: Rotman Research Institute
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This project involves developing novel, non-invasive methods using MRI technology to measure vascular function in the brain as the key supporting mechanism for brain activity. The development and refinement of a new cerebrovascular reactivity method for MRI to measure blood flow in the brain and the development of a sequence could result in a significant reduction in scanning times.

Communications Neuroscience
Project Lead: Dr. Claude Alain
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
This project focuses on increasing our understanding of hearing, speech perception, and speech production, so this knowledge can be applied to new and better treatments and improve communication. This project continued the development and testing of a new analysis method that allows for digitization of the head in 3D, which can be used in the context of analyzing neuroimaging data acquired for examining hearing and language problems in seniors.

Personalized Brain Health Promotion
Project Lead: Rotman Research Institute
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The goal of the project is to reduce the likelihood of developing brain disorders such as cognitive impairment, dementia, and late-life depression through non-pharmacological approaches. This knowledge will serve as a basis for developing new interventions that take into account the individual’s psychosocial environment, activities, and other strategies to promote sustained changes in lifestyle behaviours.

Virtual Brain: Muse Interface
Project Lead: Dr. Randy MacIntosh
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
The Virtual Brain (TVB) is the first computerized model to capture the intricate details of the structure and function of the brain under normal circumstances, as a result of trauma or disease, and as it ages. Currently, TVB is used as a research tool to build models that predict the development and progress of disease. With the goal of expanding its clinical use, CABHI is partnering with InteraXon using its MUSE headband as a type of mobile electroencephalogram (EEG) that could enable new clinical uses.

Testing Locally Developed Language Apps to Reduce Caregiver Stress and Promote Aging in Place Related to Dementia in Indigenous Populations
Project Lead: Dr. Carrie Bourassa
Host: University of Saskatchewan
This project will examine the suitability, effectiveness and use of five locally developed language apps in the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (all inclusive: Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota). This project introduces and tests applicability, user-friendliness, and impact to individuals affected by dementia and their caregivers over a 15-month period.

Recipients of the Canada-Israel Collaboration Program

Hip Hope

Hip Hope

Hip-Hope
Project Lead: Dr. Linda Truong
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Hip-Hope is a smart wearable device, designed as a belt, worn around the user’s waist. The belt inflates upon fall detection to protect the wearer’s hips. The current project evaluates the usability of the product with the older adult demographic.

Brainsway
Project Lead: Dr. Linda Mah
Host Institution: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, ON
Brainsway has developed a modification of the transcranial magnetic stimulation technique, known as deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) that enables deep areas of brain tissue to be activated in a non-invasive and safe manner. The goal of the proposed work is to establish the efficacy of dTMS in treating depression in older adults with Alzheimer’s and to identify neural mechanisms that predict response to dTMS and that are altered in response to treatment.

HeartBeat Technologies
Project Lead: Mary Lou Ackerman
Host Institution: St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Toronto, ON
HeartBeat Technologies (HBT) has developed proprietary software that enables physicians to remotely monitor heart related parameters and provide non-invasive care management. This solution provides actionable tools that are reliable and user friendly to help prevent hospitalization and re-admissions by remotely monitoring patients.


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