Translating Research in Elder Care

How will we help our seniors when their numbers double?

TREC is revolutionizing how frontline workers care for elderly Canadians in residential facilities.

Project Overview

Your support of Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC) engages staff who care for seniors in residential facilities. They undertake research, solve problems and share best practices, improving care of the frail elderly in Canada. With the projected doubling of the senior population in the next two decades, the time to invest has come. In long-term care facilities, TREC is:

  • Identifying and testing methods to reduce symptoms such as shortness of breath, bed sores, depression and delusions
  • Engaging health-care aides in planning and decision-making to improve care
  • Identifying networks of long-term care centres that can implement innovations, saving money, time and resources
  • Building on a valuable existing database that lets researchers access data to fuel future studies
  • Increasing the number of researchers focused on elder care

Our Turn to Care

It was 2 a.m. in a long-term care home in a small British Columbia town. Gail’s call bell was ringing — a frequent occurrence. The weary worker on duty turned her attention to the bell and hurried down the hall to the elderly woman’s room. As usual, Gail (not her real name) was tired and fretful but otherwise fine, so the care worker soothed her with quiet words.

The situation was exhausting for the staff and Gail. Fortunately, this facility was participating in a research program led by UAlberta called Translating Research in Elder Care. An evidence-based approach to improving care for elderly patients, TREC involves direct-care staff and managers, long-term care leaders and policy decision-makers.

At the B.C. facility, Gail’s care team set out to reduce her bell-ringing. The team observed her, noted when she rang and interviewed her. They found that when the lights went out at night, Gail spent every moment worried that staff would forget her. They created a solution that included scheduled visits to her room of gradually decreasing frequency until she was resting comfortably all night. Gail’s dignity was restored and her sleep improved, and the staff was better able to care for the needs of all the facility’s residents.

Principal investigator and program lead Carole Estabrooks, RN, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation, has been overseeing TREC since 2007. She says TREC acknowledges the difficulties in caring for the frail elderly and gives staff in care facilities tools to measure and improve care and share best practices.

The Impact of Your Donation

By the year 2038, the number of Canadians over 65 will have doubled to 10.4 million, with the fastest-growing group over age 75; more than one million of them will have dementia. You can make a difference for elderly adults in long-term care, influencing positive change among them and ensuring their care givers are engaged and proud of their impact. Your donation will help TREC improve care for vulnerable Canadians.

How to Help

Your donation supports innovative research focused on health outcomes and quality of care for the frail elderly, builds capacity and enhances partnerships between researchers and long-term care and assisted living homes. Your gift supports TREC’s research to find effective ways to reduce pain and depression, improve oral health and provide better support for elders who may have little or no family or social support. 

It’s Your Turn

A donation of any size will help TREC research and disseminate the best ways to safeguard and give comfort to frail elderly Canadians.


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