Three world-renowned frailty and aging researchers from Dalhousie University spoke to a crowd of over 400 guests at DMRF's 4th Annual Breakthrough Breakfast. Their presentation focused on how research can impact frailty and promote healthy aging. See their full presentation in the video above!
- Drs. Kenneth Rockwood, Olga Theou and Mary McNally revealed that research in the areas of medicine, geriatrics, oral health and mobility intersect to uncover comprehensive solutions to the complex subject of our rapidly aging population;
- Research shows that by 2036, nearly one quarter of the Canadian population will be over the age of 65;
- Atlantic Canada has the highest proportion of residents over 65, and it is estimated that by 2036, almost one in three Nova Scotians will fall into this age bracket. This has profound implications for population health and health care planning;
Fortunately, Dalhousie University’s Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry and Health are recognized around the world as pioneers in the field of frailty and healthy aging, and are discovering opportunities to improve health as we age.
- DMRF’s Breakthrough Breakfast presentations examined frailty as not just a by-product of aging, but as a standalone health condition that is most common among older adults, but can also affect young people;
- Frailty is often associated with a lower quality of life and higher risk of death, hospitalization and institutionalization;
- Dalhousie researchers, including Drs. Rockwood, Theou and McNally, have spent decades studying the causes of frailty, how it relates to prevalent chronic diseases, what implications it has for clinical care, and what lifestyle changes can be used to prevent it;
- Through these extensive investigations, Dalhousie has developed frailty assessment tools that are used by care providers and researchers around the globe to accurately determine an individual’s level of frailty and how best to treat subsequent conditions that exist under that umbrella;
“The ability of the health-care system to cope with the predictably growing number of frail older people is challenged by having so few people specifically trained in multidimensional assessment and management,” explains Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, Professor, Geriatric Medicine & Neurology, Dalhousie, and the DMRF Kathryn Allen Weldon Professor of Alzheimer Research. “If we can’t at least train more people, the care provided to older adults will suffer. It is vital that frailty is identified, staged, and treated early.”
Learn more about our 2019 Breakthrough Breakfast speakers:
- Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, Kathryn Allen Weldon Professor of Alzheimer Research and Professor of Medicine in Dalhousie's Divisions of Geriatric Medicine and Neurology. A leading authority on frailty with more than 450 peer-reviewed publications and nine books to his credit, he co-developed a frailty index used across the globe to help assess and understand frailty at a variety of levels.
- Dr. Olga Theou, Assistant Professor with Dalhousie's School of Physiotherapy and Division of Geriatric Medicine, and the recently-named Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility and Healthy Aging. Her research focuses on understanding how frailty can be identified and managed in community, clinical and long-term care settings, and whether reducing sedentary behaviours can lead to improved health outcomes in these settings.
- Dr. Mary McNally, Professor with Dalhousie's Faculties of Dentistry (Clinical Sciences) and Medicine (Bioethics), the Assistant Dean of Research with the Faculty of Dentistry, and a Senior Research Scholar with the Healthy Populations Institute. Her research interests include caring for older adults, oral health promotion, and health care ethics focusing on social justice and access to care for vulnerable populations.
Thank you to everyone who attended this very special breakfast. We look forward to seeing you again next year!
Thank you to our generous and community-minded sponsors:
Innovative Medicines Canada
Matthews McDonough Financial Planning Inc.
The Municipal Group of Companies
Northwood Care inc.