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Canadian Frailty Network - CFN*

$47.8 million for 2012-23
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Canadian Frailty Network

Headquarters
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario

Scientific Director & CEO
John Muscedere John Muscedere

Board chair
Russell Williams Russell Williams
Senior Vice President, Mission, Diabetes Canada

Improving care for frail elderly Canadians


The opportunity

With a growing population of elderly people in Canada, and continued advances in medical care, the technology and methods for treating frail elderly and providing 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.

How CFN is seizing the opportunity

The Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) is a national initiative to improve care for older Canadians living with frailty, increase frailty recognition and assessment, support research and interventions, and mobilize evidence to transform health and social care for frail older Canadians. 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 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.

Among the results

  • CFN’s network includes nearly 1,000 researchers, 49 university and teaching hospitals, more than 500 HQP, 20 industry and business partners, 20 government agencies, and over 100 community agencies for a network of more than 4,500 individuals dedicated to improving the lives of older Canadians living with frailty and their friend and family caregivers. CFN has become known as a resource for collaborative work both nationally and internationally, as exemplified by its involvement with the International Federation on Ageing’s 15th Global Conference on Ageing.
  • In 2021, with input from individuals across 25 countries, CFN completed its international Frailty Outcomes ConsensUS (FOCUS) initiative which established common data elements and common outcome measures to improve the quality and aggregation of clinical research data in frailty. Results of the FOCUS project were published in BMC Geriatrics in spring of 2022, as an open-access publication.
  • CFN’s AVOID Frailty public health campaign has empowered older Canadians to take control of their health as they age and reduce their risk of frailty. The campaign is the basis of the AVOID Frailty Program that CFN recently launched in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington (KFL&A), a free resource for individuals 60 and older that uses evidence-based interventions to promote healthy aging. The AVOID Frailty Program and learnings from the KFL&A site will inform future Centres for Healthy Aging across Canada.
  • CFN’s free online education module provides all Canadians with increased access to evidence-based information on frailty. It is particularly useful for healthcare providers of older adults, describing what frailty is, how it is assessed, and ways that it can be prevented and mitigated. As of May 2022, it has been accessed more than 1,100 times by individuals from a variety of sectors, both medical and non-medical.
  • CFN’s investment in Dr. Linda Lee and team’s MINT (Multispecialty, Interprofessional, Team-based) Memory Clinics has allowed the proven and innovative approach to dementia care to expand nationally, with over 100 locations across Canada. The approach trains primary care providers and partners with specialists and community services to provide access to high-quality dementia care within a local doctor’s office. This integrated model of care can support 90% of persons living with dementia as well as their families, reducing wait times by nearly 50%. CFN’s investment is important, because recent research shows that frailty is often a predictor of cognitive diseases and can play a key role in dementia symptoms and diagnosis.

Connect with CFN


* (formerly known as Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network)

 

News
April 16, 2021
November 4, 2020
Videos
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Web Based Videoconferencing for Rural Palliative Care Consultation in the Home
April 13, 2017
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Modeling changes in assessments to predict needs and guide care planning in home care
March 1, 2017
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A scoping review of evidence for measuring frailty in hospital settings
February 15, 2017
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Evidence Review: Antidepressants for Frail Older Adults with Depression or Neuropsy
February 1, 2017
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Frailty Assessment of Older Canadians Using Emergency Services with Tablet Technology
January 25, 2017
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Talk to me: Ill patients' views on physician behaviours influencing quality of end-of-life conversations
December 14, 2016
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Volunteer and healthcare provider partnerships to provide navigation for rural elderly
December 7, 2016
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Improve decision making involving frail elderly and caregivers on location of care
November 30, 2016
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E-CYCLE: Clinical trial of in bed cycling in elderly, mechanically ventilated patients
November 16, 2016
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Pilot study of MEdication RAtionalization intervention
October 6, 2016
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Fostering End of Life Conversations, Care and Community Among LGBT Older Canadians
September 7, 2016
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Sex differences in admission to ICU: exploring the role of social support factors
August 31, 2016
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Interventions to prevent and treat frailty in community dwelling older adults
July 21, 2016
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Discharging elders from ED to community: What you need to know
July 6, 2016
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Decision making and communication tools for hospitalized patients
June 15, 2016
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Describing care received by frail elderly patients nearing EOL in Canada
June 1, 2016
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Development and testing of a standardized communication forms
May 25, 2016
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Frailty measure for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities
May 4, 2016
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CFN Webinar: An electronic QOL and practice support system QPSS for older adult care
April 20, 2016
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Engaging Older Adults in Healthcare Research, Planning, and Decision Making
April 19, 2016
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Benchmarking end-of-life care practices for elderly people receiving primary care
April 6, 2016
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ASILA simulation prototype on outcomes of frail seniors
March 23, 2016
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Clinical tools for nutritional pathway involving hospitalized, older adults
February 24, 2016
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Perspectives on aging and frailty with Dr. Duncan Sinclair
October 8, 2015
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TVN – Improving care for the frail elderly
July 4, 2014