Dr. Susan Hunter, Associate Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at the University of Western Ontario Co-investigators:
Dr. Jeff Holmes, OT PhD, Associate Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, University of Western Ontario; Angela Murray RN, Director of Care, McCormick Care Group, London, Ontario The prescription of a mobility aid, such as a walker, is a common treatment given to people with balance and walking problems as it provides physical support and confidence to allow greater participation in society. Yet a completely opposite effect to these intended benefits occurs in people with dementia: the use of a mobility aid triples the risk of falling. The research’s aim is to evaluate an assessment tool across a range of healthcare settings and developing clinical practice guidelines for the prescription, training and ongoing evaluation of mobility aid use in people with dementia. The use of mobility aids currently triples the risk of falling in older adults with dementia. We are currently planning a 3-part webinar series to introduce the screening tool and their implementation guidelines. A series of three webinars on Loop is featuring the ongoing work and research of Dr. Hunter. The first webinar took place on February 27, 2020 and covered the epidemiology and risk factors for falls in people with dementia and mobility aids as a falls risk factor in people with dementia. The second webinar took place on May 28, 2020 and covered the development, reliability and validity of the Safe Use of Mobility Aid Checklist (SUMAC) for 4-wheeled walker use in people in dementia and the application of the SUMAC to case scenarios. Both webinars and related materials are available for download on Loop.
The next webinar will take place in Fall 2020.