Current Projects

Current Projects – December 2022

The Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care provides residents, tenants, families, caregivers and staff the opportunity to become involved in a variety of innovative projects and initiatives. This creates opportunities to engage in meaningful social and recreational activities such as learning a new skill, sharing experiences, and providing input on various issues. Participation also helps contribute to knowledge that can help improve care.

All projects follow public health measures related to COVID-19 and the policies set out by Perley Health.

Below is a list of ongoing projects that the Centre of Excellence is involved with, many of which are seeking participants:


1. Making “nonessential” Family Caregiving Essential in Long-Term Care Homes

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care™, Perley Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This study aims to gain a better understanding of the response to COVID-19 that pertains to family caregiver presence in LTC and increase the evidence about the impact of reduced levels of family caregivers on residents and their family caregivers. This project involves in-person or virtual interviews with staff, family/ friend caregivers, formal volunteers, and residents to examine the impact of the restrictions on caregivers and residents. The data gained from this project can help improve the current COVID-19 situation in addition to improving pandemic preparedness for LTC homes during future outbreaks. Recruitment of family/friend caregivers, formal volunteers, and residents is complete. Staff are invited to reach out to the research team if they are interested in participating in a one-time interview lasting up to 30 minutes. Staff will be compensated with a $30 Tim Hortons gift card for their time.


2.Social Inclusion of People Living with Dementia and Their Caregivers (Intergenerational Volunteer Program)

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care™, Perley Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa; Dr. Linda Garcia, Faculty of Health Sciences, LIFE Research Institute, University of Ottawa

Older adults (long-term care residents and tenants) living with dementia can receive friendly one-on-one visits from university student volunteers, providing them with an opportunity to engage in social and recreational activities and meaningful conversations. The caregiver of the person living with dementia will be asked to complete a 20-minute questionnaire on four occasions.


3.Testing Online Meaning-Centered Groups (OMG) in Promoting Psychological Well-Being and Reducing Distress in Ontario Retirement Home Residents

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Marnin Heisel, Psychiatry, Epidemiology & Biostatistics Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute; Danielle Sinden, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care™, Perley Health

Adults over age 60 who live in Ontario and have felt lonely, socially isolated or stressed will participate in an online peer support group that promotes social connection and emotional health and well-being, and explores meaning in life during the pandemic. To determine eligibility, candidates will be interviewed online for 40–75 minutes. Participants will engage in a series of eight weekly discussions of 75–90 each alongside up to 12 of their peers and three group facilitators. Participants will also complete up to four additional interviews of up to two hours each.


4. LTC Social Support and Peer Mentorship Programs

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care, Perley Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

The Java Music Club is a research-based peer support group that involves Perley Health recreation staff, volunteers, residents and tenants, and aims to reduce social isolation. Participants engage in various activities, such as discussing photographs, listening to music and reading articles. The sessions create a safe environment for participants to support one another by sharing stories and experiences. The goal is to inspire residents to derive a sense of purpose and meaning from helping other residents.


5) COVID-19 Immunity Study

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Amy Hsu, Bruyère Research Institute, Perley Health Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed CareTM and Dr. Marc-Andrè Langlois, University of Ottawa

This study examines the prevalence of COVID-19 in LTC homes across Canada, along with the level and duration of protection provided by approved vaccines. Participants include residents, staff, students, volunteers and caregivers in LTC homes across Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. After completing a 15-minute baseline survey online, participants will provide a series of blood samples over the next 12 months. Participants can visit a secure portal to learn about the analysis of their blood samples. In addition, participating LTC homes will be provided with relevant aggregate data, which will improve understanding of the home’s overall levels of immunity and risk.


6) Dexamethasone as a Treatment for Older Adults in LTC with COVID-19

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Amy Hsu, Bruyère Research Institute and Dr. Benoit Robert, Perley Health Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed CareTM

Dexamathasone is a corticosteroid often used to treat COVID-19 patients. This project will use provincial health data to examine the administration and effectiveness of dexamethasone on symptom severity and mortality rates, along with healthcare outcomes (e.g., rates of hospitalization, use of mechanical ventilation) in residents of LTC homes in Ontario.


 7) Program to Accelerate Technologies for Homecare (PATH)

Co-Principal Investigators, Ottawa site: Dr. Jeffrey Jutai, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa; Dr. Jason Millar, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Ottawa

PATH is a multi-partner initiative studying the potential role that home-based technologies can play in the care and well-being of older adults. In the study, groups of older adults receive various devices and technologies (e.g. blood-pressure monitors, pressure-sensitive mats that track sleep patterns, wearable fall-detection devices, etc.) and their experiences are monitored. Researchers will share study data with industry to test, validate and potentially commercialize products.


8) Health Surveillance of Community-Dwelling, Person-with-Dementia and Caregiver Dyads

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care™, Perley Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This project aims to increase understanding of the trajectories of individuals living with dementia and their caregivers (dyads) from diagnosis to the move into LTC. Information will be collected from dyads over extended periods of time and the results used to inform policies, programs and areas of future research in Canada.


9) Supporting Preferences of Older Veterans and Families in Later Life

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care™, Perley Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This project examines the health and well-being of older Veterans and their families both over time and across various settings. The study uses the determinants of health model and implementation science to assess the needs of older Veterans and their families, and to evaluate the implementation, adoption, effectiveness and sustainability of relevant programs and policies. 


 10) Pilot Implementation of the ARMM device in LTC

Principal Investigator: Dr. Mirou Jaana, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa

This project examines the implementation of the ambulation, mobility, retraining and mobility mechanism (ARMM) device at Perley Health and how it impacts the workflow of physiotherapists. The study will explore the early stages of pre-implementation and map the workflow of physiotherapists. Residents and physiotherapists will share their feedback via survey and interview.


11) Evaluation of an Arts Program for Veterans in the Community

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed CareTM, Perley Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This research examines the impacts of an arts program for Veterans living in the community. Tenants of Perley Health’s independent-living apartments who have attended a weekly arts program will be asked to participate in a focus group and to share their views about the program. Facilitators of the arts program will also be asked to share their views, particularly about the program’s strengths and weaknesses. The feedback will inform improvements to the arts program and the development of other programs.


12) Evaluating the impact of the Therapeutic Recreation and Creative Arts Program on older Veterans in LTC

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed CareTM, Perley Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This project explores the impact of the Ozerdinc-Grimes Family Therapeutic Recreation and Creative Arts Program on the health and well-being of Veteran LTC residents of Perley Health. The study involves one-on-one interviews with Veterans who participate in the Program, along with their families and/or caregivers, staff and volunteers.


13) Design and Implementation of a Nurse Mentorship Program in LTC

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed CareTM, Perley Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This study explores the impact that participating in a mentorship program has on nurses recently hired by Perley Health. This study involves interviews with both recently hired nurses (mentees) and experienced nurses (mentors).


14) Paxlovid Case Analysis

Principal Investigator: Dr. Benoît Robert, Chief Medical Officer, Perley Health and Dr. Amy Hsu, Bruyère Research Institute, Perley Health Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed CareTM 

Paxlovid is an antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19. The study compares the effects and health outcomes of LTC residents with COVID-19 treated with Paxlovid to those treated with other antivirals. Mortality and hospitalization rates will be evaluated and the results will be used to inform future research into the treatment of COVID-19 among LTC residents.


15) Knowing the Story of a Residents Life

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care™, Perley Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This study explores the various ways that LTC staff across Canada learn the life stories of residents. Through surveys and one-on-one interviews, staff of LTC homes will be encouraged to share their strategies for getting to know residents and their families.


Contact Information

If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more about a particular project, please contact:

Michaela Adams

Research Associate, Centre of Excellence

Perley Health

1750 Russell Road, Ottawa ON K1G 5Z6

613-526-7170 ext. 2425

madams@perleyhealth.ca