Caregiving, Sleep and Dementia | Community of Innovation Podcast, Episode 17

Woman sleeping in a bed.

On this episode of CABHI’s Community of Innovation podcast, we talk about sleep and its impact on people living with dementia and their caregivers. Joining us for this in-depth discussion is Dr. Andrew Lim, a sleep neurologist who helps us understand the science behind sleep and how it affects our physical and cognitive health as we age.

We’ll also hear from Dr. Corrine Ong, Associate Professor, Community Services at Ryerson University, about what it’s like caring for someone with dementia and the challenges she encounters maintaining her own sleep routine.

Dr. Adriana Shnall, Director of Programs at Baycrest@Home, joins the discussion to explain the relationship between sleep and the role caregivers play in ensuring older adults age comfortably at home. We round off this episode with an interview with CABHI innovator, Eve Baird. Baird shares how her solution, The Sleep Kit , can help mitigate the sleep challenges caused be cognitive impairments like dementia.

We invite you to listen to this engaging discussion led by our hosts, Dr. Allison Sekuler and Dr. Rosanne Aleong, in partnership with Baycrest@Home.

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Learn more about our guests:

Dr. Andrew Lim

Dr. Andrew Lim is a sleep neurologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and an Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Toronto.  His clinical practice focuses on helping older adults with, or at risk for, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, who have difficulties with sleep and circadian rhythms. His research program focuses on understanding how sleep and circadian rhythm disruption can contribute to and result from neurodegenerative diseases; and how treating sleep problems may both prevent neurodegeneration and improve quality of life in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.  Dr. Lim is co-lead of the sleep research team of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, and principal investigator of the Ontario Sleep Health Study.

Dr. Corinne Ong

Dr. Corinne Ong is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University, and the primary caregiver of her husband, who has frontotemporal dementia. She teaches courses in communicable diseases and environmental health at Ryerson University’s School of Occupational and Public Health, and carries out research on waterborne parasitic diseases. Prior to working at Ryerson, Dr. Ong was based at the provincial public health laboratory at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and held a faculty appointment at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.

Dr. Adriana Shnall

Dr. Adriana Shnall is the Program Director of Baycrest@Home, Clinical Programs.  As part of her portfolio, she also leads the Koschitzky Centre for Innovations in Family Caregiving. Dr. Shnall has 30 years of clinical experience working with older adults and their families, including outpatient community services, long-term care, and inpatient services. She was the recipient of the Baycrest Outstanding Innovations Award. Dr. Shnall has an academic appointment with the Faculty at the rank of Assistant Professor and teaches at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and at the Institute for the Life Course and Aging, University of Toronto. She is also the Chair of the Caregiving Committee for the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) and a member of the Ontario Caregiver Coalition and the Toronto Caregiver Coalition. Dr. Shnall integrates clinical practice, education, and research in the area of family caregiving with an expertise in evidence-based, innovative, family caregiving initiatives.

Eve Baird

Eve Baird (she/her) was born in Scotland and moved to Canada at age 11. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology and is currently completing a Bachelor of Social Work at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Baird’s interests lie in supporting older adults living with dementia. She has five years of experience working and volunteering with older adults, including as an Activity Coordinator at York Care Centre. During her undergraduate degree, Baird began developing The Sleep Kit, an alternative approach to help older adults’ living with dementia enjoy a better night’s sleep. In 2018, recognizing the project’s potential, the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation provided research grants to help test and validate how The Sleep Kit improves sleep quality. Baird recently began a new role as a Community Connector for one of the Healthy Seniors pilot projects – a joint initiative spearheaded by the Government of New Brunswick and the Public Health Agency of Canada – and has since been promoted to Research Coordinator. You can learn more about The Sleep Kit by visiting her website


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