Centre for Research in Aging

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The Donald Berman Geriatric Centre in Montreal, Quebec is one of the few long-term care centres in Canada to have a Centre for Research in on-site.  The Centre’s start-up and day-to-day operational funding is financed solely through Foundation support.

Research is a key part of our strategic plan at Donald Berman Maimonides.  Citing the DBM strategic plan, Foundation president Michael Corber says: “It is the belief of the Donald Berman Maimonides Foundation that research will positively impact the quality of life at the Centre.  As a McGill University affiliate, we know research will have a direct impact on the quality of care while uncovering, promoting and sharing new knowledge.”

Geriatric research is more relevant than ever, given that many more people live longer and they are more likely to be affected by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.  In order to establish and sustain an integrated research centre on-site, the following elements must be in place:

  1. The readiness to make research an integral part of the Centre’s strategic initiatives
  2. A sustainable source of funding
  3. A strong Research Director that is capable of building a research team
  4. A commitment to engage Centre staff

With the Planetree philosophy of patient-centred care well entrenched at Donald Berman Maimonides (we are the first long-term care centre in North America to receive the highest level of Planetree designation), our staff are well engaged and understand the connection between research and better care for our residents.  Our frontline staff members are key collaborators of our research team, and are invited to attend research seminars, which are held  quarterly at the Centre.  The collaborative research results are often presented in this public forum, fostering the role of frontline staff as essential stakeholders of and contributors to development of evidence-based care practice.

The Centre’s research is highly relevant to everyday practices in a long-term care setting.  Topics included assessing appropriate medication use among long-term care patients with advanced dementia as well as the issue of UTI management within our centre.  The latter study resulted in the development of “The Donald Berman Maimonides UTI Symptom Abstraction Tool” that is currently undergoing copyright protection.  Another study will focus on evaluating factors that contribute to the choice of interventions used by front line staff when dealing with residents with dementia who present with delusions and aggressive behaviours.

Productivity at the CRA remains high, and in 2014, our researchers presented at notable conferences to disseminate findings at the local, national and international level.  In addition, academic papers are submitted to high-impact journals for publication to further our position as a leader in geriatric long-term care research.

The high productivity of research would not be possible without the Foundation’s long-term commitment.  Researchers also apply for outside grant funding for their many projects.  The research team includes a Research Director (Dr. Machelle Wilchesky), a Senior Researcher, a full-time Research Assistant, a full-time Research Coordinator, a Research Fellow, and a part-time statistical analyst.

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