Addressing frailty part of the solution for improving healthcare

Canada’s ability to care for more than 1.2 million frail older citizens along with their families, caregivers and care providers received a significant boost with the announcement of $23.9 million in renewal funding for Canadian Frailty Network from the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence program for a second fiveyear term (2017-2022). Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) also announced this funding will be leveraged by $30 million in projected cash and in-kind contributions from 150 partners in the academic, industry, community and government sectors.

CFN is a national initiative to improve the care of older Canadians living with frailty. For its second term, CFN has prioritized standardizing when and how frailty can be identified and measured in various care settings, continuing to increase evidence on frailty to aid decision making, and mobilizing knowledge to transform health and social care to meet the needs of an aging population. “In renewing the Canadian Frailty Network’s funding for another five years, the Government of Canada and the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat have made a powerful statement on the importance of improving care and quality of life for the over one million older Canadians living with frailty,“ said CFN’s Board of Directors Chair Russell Williams.

“This new funding will enable the Canadian Frailty Network to mobilize and grow our community of partners and stakeholders to transform how Canada cares for frail older Canadians, their families and caregivers.”

The grant will be paid over five years, and will allow CFN to continue the work they began with the initial round of funding received in 2012. This has involved supporting 88 research projects at 44 Canadian post-secondary institutions and teaching hospitals, and providing training opportunities to over 550 students, recent graduates and other highly qualified people. The CFN community has grown to over 3,500, including 400 researchers across Canada.

Canada has become a leader in frailty research but, despite this, the Canadian healthcare system has lagged behind other jurisdictions in applying what is known about frailty. “This renewal funding from the NCE will lead to many impacts on our system,” says John Muscedere, CFN Scientific Director and CEO, “which can increase value from healthcare resources by avoiding under use and overuse of care. Informed by evidence, our goal is the right care, delivered in the right setting, as determined by older frail individuals with their families and caregivers.”

“The need for system change is a priority for more than one million frail older Canadians, their families, and for those delivering care. Frailty matters for Canada; the status quo isn’t an option, and together with our partners CFN is making change possible.”

CFN is hosted by Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.