By 2031, nearly one million Canadians will be living with a major neurocognitive disorder (NCD), which includes Alzheimer’s, Lewy body or vascular diseases. According to the Dementia Alliance International, an organization that exclusively includes people living with a NCD in nearly 50 countries, people living with a NCD want a quality of life for the rest of their life and want to maximize it with the help of their relatives and formal caregivers.
Many of these people are older and will end their life in a long-term care home (LTCH) due to the inevitable and complex deterioration of their health. Their quality of life depends on the quality of care they receive in these settings. However, the best care is difficult to identify, among other things, because these people have difficulty to communicate. These difficulties may manifest themselves in response to an event through various types of responsive behaviours (e.g., vocal, aggressive, or apathetic behaviours). These behaviours (sometimes referred to as behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia [BPSD]) are indicators of the ill-being of these older people and also affect relatives and formal caregivers.
The research program aims to provide rigorous and creative solutions to promote the well-being of these various stakeholders. It will allow developing and implementing innovative individualized interventions to address the urgent clinical need for better care for older people living with a NCD. Since the behaviours of older people are influenced by and have an impact on those around them, research projects target the triad formed of the older person, their family care partners and their formal caregivers.
The research program also focuses on palliative and end-of-life care in long-term care homes, as well as on a subgroup of older people, the ones that live with both a severe mental health problem and a major neurocognitive disorder. Finally, the use of technology and artificial intelligence to support the integration of new practices is also part of this research program.