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Dal Health researcher receives funding for developing rehab program for long term care residents with dementia

Posted by Dawn Morrison with files from the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada on September 27, 2021 in News
Dr. Caitlin McArthur received a grant for grant $200,000 over four years..
Dr. Caitlin McArthur received a grant for grant $200,000 over four years..

A research project based in the School of Physiotherapy aims to greatly improve the health and wellbeing of long-term care residents with dementia.

Dr. Caitlin McArthur recently received a New Investigator Operating Grant from the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada entitled “Developing and testing a resident-centred rehabilitation program for long-term care residents with dementia” with project mentors Elaine Moody (Nursing) and Lori Weeks (Nursing). The grant is for $200,000 over four years.

Dr. McArthur says most long-term care residents have dementia and that rehabilitation can help improve their quality of life, but most research has not included residents with dementia. Her research will develop and test a new rehabilitation program for this underserved population, developed in collaboration with the residents, their families and friends, and staff working in long-term care.

“Research needs to include the preferences and wishes of people living with dementia to help design programs that meet their needs,” she says.

She adds COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the challenges in long-term care and the need to include residents in designing programs that work for them and the staff supporting them.

“Having worked as a physiotherapist in long-term care I saw how we were not providing the best rehabilitation care for residents with dementia because we did not have enough evidence to support what we were doing. I hope to be the catalyst for change in rehabilitation for people with dementia in long-term care and provide a platform for their voices to be heard.”