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