Number of partners
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
President, Innovative Medicines Canada
With a growing population of elderly people in Canada, and continued advances in medical care, the technology and methods of the treatment of the frail elderly and the provision of appropriate end-of-life care is a major issue facing Canada’s health and social care systems. Technologies and treatments have proven extremely beneficial in helping Canadians live longer with chronic disease. Yet there is mounting evidence that their unwanted use at the end of life is associated with worse ratings of quality of life for both patients and families. Many of these technologies and treatments are also expensive. There is a serious and immediate need to improve the care of seriously ill, frail elderly patients through a rigorous evaluation and ethical implementation of health care technologies, and to improve communication and decision-making about the use of these life-sustaining technologies.
The Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) is a national initiative to improve the care of seriously ill, frail older Canadians who have significant life-limiting illness and for whom there is a question of what technology or treatment to apply to improve their survival and quality of life or the quality of their death, including end-of-life care. CFN works to break down health silos by facilitating a collaborative and family-centric approach across disciplines and sectors to identify gaps in care and develop solutions to complex questions – across all settings of care – from acute and critical care to community care. Through research and knowledge sharing, and training the next generation to care for this vulnerable population, CFN aims to have an impact in four areas: improved care of the sick elderly; improved efficiency of the health care system; evidence-informed policy and practice; and reduced moral distress for patients, families, and caregivers.
* (formerly known as Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network)