Nurses share latest solutions to help seniors of today (and tomorrow)
RNAO’s 4th annual conference on elder health
TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2005 – While much of today’s discussion about elder care focuses on preparing the health-care system to accommodate baby boomers headed for retirement, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is working to ensure that the current needs of seniors are not lost in the shuffle. Providing today’s seniors with the kind and quality of care that meets their physical, emotional, social and mental health needs at home, in hospital, or in a long-term care centre is one of the goals of the 4th annual international conference on elder care, Older People Deserve the Best: Sustaining a Vision for Elder Health and Elder Care Through Multisectoral and Interdisciplinary Approaches and Inventive Strategies, hosted by the RNAO Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence.
“RNAO is committed to providing nurses with the opportunity to become more expert about elder care, and to making sure seniors aren’t forgotten as the health-care system changes,” says RNAO president Joan Lesmond. “Whether seniors need care at home, in the community or in long-term care centres, it’s important that all RNs are knowledgeable about the latest advances in research and practice that will allow them to provide the best care for their patients.”
More than 60 researchers and nursing experts from across Ontario and around the world will be on hand to share that knowledge at the conference. Keynote speakers include: Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey, a University of Cambridge researcher who will discuss work to reverse the aging process and extend the healthy human lifespan; Nadine Janes, a nursing professor at Ryerson University, who will discuss factors that influence health-care workers’ ability to turn theories on best practices into realities; and RN Arnie Allice, who will discuss why laughter is the best medicine for elder-care providers and their patients. Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman and Jim Bradley, Minister Responsible for Seniors, will also address the delegates.
Over two days, more than 200 delegates from across Canada will learn what their colleagues are doing to improve elder care. For example, they will hear:
- How a local Alzheimer Society, Community Care Access Centre and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie created the Cognitive Assessment and Support Service and “Memory Clinic” to help patients and their caregivers cope with the challenges of memory loss.
- How “Mrytle,” an actor playing a fictional senior, will help caregivers understand the experience of patients in the community with delirium.
- A dramatic presentation that will bring to life the experience of caring for sufferers of dementia.
How tele-homecare services are being tailored to the needs of elderly patients, allowing them to live independently for as long as possible.
- How nurses with the Geriatric Emergency Management (GEM) program at York Central Hospital are assessing patients and co-ordinating hospital and community services for frail elders.
- How Trillium Health Centre improved communication between its emergency room and long-term care facilities, easing the transition between the two areas for patients.
RNAO executive director Doris Grinspun says working with seniors and other health-care providers to improve elder health and elder care will always be a priority for the association. She says that progress is being made, citing the Ontario government’s recent investment in eight RNs who were hired as regional co-ordinators to implement RNAO’s best practice guidelines in long-term care facilities. They will be at the conference to explain their ground-breaking work and its impact on elder care. “This commitment to evidence-based care ensures nurses are using sound research to guide their practice and improve the quality of life for seniors who have so much to offer,” Grinspun says.
More than 60 experts in elder care and aging from across Canada and the United Kingdom, RNs, researchers, advocates, policy makers and politicians, including George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Minister of Seniors’ Issues Jim Bradley. Minister Smitherman will speak at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 29. Minister Bradley will speak at 9:45 a.m. on Sept. 30.
4th annual international conference on elder care, (Older People Deserve the Best: Sustaining a Vision for Elder Health and Elder Care Through Multisectoral and Interdisciplinary Approaches and Inventive Strategies) hosted by the RNAO Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence.
- 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Thursday Sept. 29
- 7:50 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Friday Sept. 30
Hilton Suites Toronto/Markham Conference Centre and Spa 8500 Warden Ave., Markham, Ontario
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.