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Dementia

Sun Country Health Region’s Primary Health Care Team in Kipling is partnering with a University of Saskatchewan research group to examine the best approach to providing dementia care in rural areas.

Care for people with dementia and their families is a growing social challenge. In Saskatchewan, there are approximately 18,000 residents living with Alzheimer’s and other related diseases and within a generation there will be 28,099 persons (2.3 per cent of the population) dealing with the disease(s). 

In 2014 in Saskatchewan, there are about 4,124 new cases of a dementia-related disease each year. By the year 2038, that number will almost double to 8,140 new cases each year.

The University of Saskatchewan research group is called Rural Dementia Action Research (RaDAR) http://www.cchsa-ccssma.usask.ca/ruraldementiacare/radar.html . Newsletters are available on that site with information about the project.

With Sun Country Health Region, its five-year project will develop and evaluate models of primary health care for effective and sustainable rural dementia care.

The Kipling Primary Health Care site is the test site in this Region, after which the project will spread to the seven other primary health care sites in Sun Country Health Region.

The Sun Country Health Region committee working with the RaDAR team is made up of Temilade Adediji, Chronic Disease Management Coordinator; Terry Romanow, Regional Director, Mental Health and Addictions; Marnell Cornish, Nurse Manager, Tatagwa View; Trina Hodgson, Alzheimer's Society; Kerri McFadden, First Link Coordinator, Alzheimer's Society; Janice Giroux, Vice President, Community Health; Sheena Grimes, Facilitator, Chronic Disease; Deb Kennett-Russill, Clinical Coordinator, Therapies; Julie Kosteniuk and Dr. Debra Morgan, University of Saskatchewan RaDar; Erica Matthews, Social Worker; Wanda Miller, Regional Director, Primary Health Care.

The Rural Dementia Action Research (RaDAR) Team is an interdisciplinary group of knowledge users and researchers from three Canadian provinces (SK, AB, ON) and the UK, led by Dr. Debra Morgan.

RaDAR is also a part of Team 20 of the Canadian Consortium in Neurodegeneration in Aging. The CCNA is a 5-year initiative (2-14-2019) led by cognitive neurologist Dr. Howard Chertkow of the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital (McGill University).

Launched by the federal government and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in September, 2014, the CCNA addresses the growing prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases affecting cognition such as Alzheimer Disease and other dementias.

The CCNA brings together 340 Canadian researchers and experts organized into the 3 themes of primary prevention (preventing disease development), secondary prevention (delaying clinical manifestations), and quality of life.

The CCNA has received $31.5 million from CIHR and 13 public and private sector partners, plus $24 million from partners in Ontario and Quebec, to carry out the 5-year research program.

As lead of the RaDAR Team, Dr. Debra Morgan co-leads Team 20 with Dr. Kristen Jacklin (Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Laurentian University) and Dr. Carrie Bourassa (First Nations University, SK).

Team 20 focuses on rural and Indigenous issues in dementia care, with the rural focus led by Dr. Morgan and the Indigenous focus co-led by Drs. Jacklin and Bourassa.

The rural and Indigenous research streams are distinct but address three common research areas in the CCNA quality of life theme: community-based primary health care (PHC), appropriate tools, and capacity building.

As part of CCNA Team 20, RaDAR will conduct several inter-related projects over the next five years (2014-2019):

  1. Our core project involves a longitudinal mix-method multiple case study to identify gaps in dementia care pathways, assist primary health care (PHC) teams to adapt PHC dementia care practices to rural settings, and evaluate the adapted interventions and facilitators/barriers of successful adaptation;
  2. A pilot project led by Dr. Julie Kosteniuk involves identifying and and adapting evidence-based clinical support tools to rural PHC settings, and evaluating the efficacy of the adapted tools for improving the quality of care provided to individuals with dementia;
  3. A pilot project led by Dr. Megan O’Connell will develop innovative ways that specialists (from the Rural and Remote Memory Clinic) can support and help build dementia care capacity in rural PHC providers, and provide diagnostic support to PHC providers.

Completed projects

Multi-method Investigation of Dementia and Related Services in Saskatchewan: Final Report and Recommendations
The RaDAR Team and the Health Quality Council partnered to conduct the first-ever provincial evidence-based analysis of gaps between actual and best dementia care practices.

This 3-part study included a best practice review, an analysis of 10 linked administrative health databases to identify the 12-month incidence and prevalence of dementia (by health region, age group, gender, and rural/urban residence), and an environmental scan of health services by health region.

The full report may be downloaded here: http://www.cchsa-ccssma.usask.ca/ruraldementiacare/radar.html