Food Guide falls short for those with frailty and chronic illness

Malnutrition is too common in vulnerable populations. We need to remedy this by adapting the new guide

Food Guide falls short for those with frailty and chronic illness“What do you think of the new Canada’s Food Guide?” is a question I’ve been asked a lot since Health Canada launched new guidance on how the nation should eat. I have reservations, particularly when it comes to the diets of those living with frailty and chronic illness. The guide recommends a plant-focused diet but…

Address your fear of dying, express end-of-life care wishes

As physicians, we see death made worse and more painful every day by poor advance care planning

Address your fear of dying, express end-of-life care wishesBy Paul Hébert and George Heckman Canadian Frailty Network Are you or a loved one aging, perhaps with a chronic heart or lung condition that limits daily activities? Do you have an older parent in a nursing home or who needs assistance with daily living activities? If so, read on and make the pledge. As…

Federal funding is ending but frailty still matters

New Frontiers in Research Fund supported valuable, long-term work. The program replacing it leaves huge gaps

Federal funding is ending but frailty still mattersBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere The federal government has announced the end of funding for its Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. This is not good news for Canadians. The program has long been touted as the jewel of the federal government’s sciences research support – and programs around the world have been…

Let’s make Canadian hospitals more senior-friendly

Hospitals need to identify vulnerable patients with complex needs so they can quickly address and minimize complications

Let’s make Canadian hospitals more senior-friendlyBy George Heckman and Paul Hébert EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadians are living longer. Unfortunately, our hospitals aren’t ready for them. Canadians over 65 years old use more than 40 per cent of hospital services, a demand that continues to rise. But as they age, Canadians hope to stay at home as long as possible. If hospitalization is…

More medical tests, treatments not always the best

You can have too much of a good thing when it comes to medicine for older adults

More medical tests, treatments not always the bestPrevailing wisdom states that more is better – and it’s no different when it comes to our expectation of medical treatments. With the help of the Internet, patients and their families have come to expect intensive tests, treatments and therapies at every life stage. But sometimes, too much treatment can do more harm than good.…

Prolonged journeys in space help inform research into frailty

Astronauts and seniors with frailty have much in common and innovative research may help solve problems for both

Prolonged journeys in space help inform research into frailtyFor decades, researchers have studied the effects of reduced physical activity on astronauts during prolonged journeys to space. But what's surprising is one of the uses of that research. It turns out that understanding the effects of space travel on the body may be important to understanding what happens to us on Earth as we…

Facing frailty head-on

A national seniors strategy needs to account for complexity in the aging process, including risk and vulnerability

Facing frailty head-onBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadians 65 years and older now outnumber children 14 years and under, which means our needs as a society are changing. We’re succeeding in shifting the aging curve through preventive interventions and better public health – that’s good news. But the changing demographic is causing strains in our…

Include people living with frailty in health-care decision-making

Older Canadians say their top priorities are better co-ordinated care systems and more community and home-based supports

Include people living with frailty in health-care decision-makingBy Katherine McGilton and John Muscedere EvidenceNetwork.ca More than one million Canadians are medically frail – approximately 25 per cent of those are over age 65 and 50 per cent past age 85. The aging of Canadian society and the growing number of older adults living with frailty poses unprecedented societal and medical challenges that will…