AU faculty receives funding for advancing frailty project
Dr. Tammy O’Rourke, an Athabasca University (AU) health researcher is part of a team that will receive $70,000 in funding to help advance seniors’ care
The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and the Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) announced Feb. 19 that the Sage Seniors Association of Edmonton, in collaboration with the Athabasca University DRAGONFLY Project, is one of 17 teams selected across Canada to be in the Advancing Frailty Care in the Community (AFCC) Collaborative.
Tammy O’Rourke, Assistant Professor in the MN: Nurse Practitioner Program with AU’s Faculty of Health Disciplines and Team Lead in the DRAGONFLY Project, revealed that as part of this collaboration, the funding will be used to support the 23-month project.
““The funding will allow us to hire a frailty assessment coordinator for the (Sage Seniors Association) clinic. The money will also be used for two stipends for graduate students who will be involved in primary care and quality assurance. This will teach them how to engage in quality improvement projects.””– Tammy O’Rourke, Assistant Professor in the MN: Nurse Practitioner Program with AU’s Faculty of Health Disciplines and Team Lead in the DRAGONFLY Project
DRAGONFLY: BuilDing Resilience And RespondinG tO SeNior FraiLtY
The goal of this project is to increase knowledge of frailty in primary care, advance and build capacity, and provide the funds to organizations that are interested in frailty care so they can start implementing best practices.
“In primary care we really need to start paying more attention to frailty and responding in a more proactive way. Nurse Practitioners (NP) are well poised to do that,” O’Rourke said.
“Because were not in a fee-for-service model, NPs focus on health promotion and disease prevention. Frailty is a huge contributor to healthcare costs. NPs who are in a salary model have more time and flexibility to spend time with seniors who are frail and need more intensive interventions.”
The project: Sage Seniors Association in Collaboration with Athabasca University
The Sage Seniors Association will use a modified version of the Seniors Community Hub intervention and existing systems in place to address three core elements of practice change: frailty identification, geriatric assessment and tailored intervention. Using a combination of both the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) and Vulnerability/Resiliency assessment, this project will identify opportunities for interventions that will seek to decrease vulnerability and increase resilience. After the tailored intervention(s) are implemented, the primary care providers will reassess the patient’s CFS score at three, six and 12 months.
The project will conclude in October 2021.
Sage Seniors Association has been providing social and clinical services for seniors since 1970. It is a multi-service senior-serving organization that builds
on the strengths and needs of individuals. It was created to increase resilience, reduce vulnerability and inspire seniors to continue to build and enrich our communities. In 2019, Sage provided frontline social and clinical services, senior-driven programming, and community-based outreach to over 12,000 individuals. Many of these seniors are under-resourced and at risk for frailty.
This work was supported by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and The Canadian Frailty Network (CFN). CFHI is a not-for-profit organization funded by Health Canada; the views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of Health Canada. Those preparing and/or contributing to this announcement disclaim all liability or warranty of any kind, whether express or implied.