Enhancing Optimal Aging: Working Together with Goldies2Home

shalom_village_2014Funded by Suzanne Labarge’s Optimal Aging Fund, Enhancing optimal aging: An Examination of a Unique Adult Day Service Model for Older Adults, is led by Dr. Vanina Dal Bello Haas, Assistant Dean (Physiotherapy), School of Rehabilitation Science, and Dr. Sharon Kaasalainen, Associate Professor, School of Nursing.

 The Optimal Aging Opportunities Fund is providing the resources for our research team to evaluate an existing rehabilitation program for older adults transitioning from hospital to home. Our research, funded for two years, is comprised of two Phases. Through our mixed-methods research, we hope to demonstrate the benefits of a community-based, slow-stream rehabilitation program in order to provide support for program expansion and increased capacity for older adult services.

Shalom Village’s unique adult day service program, Goldies2Home (G2H), is an ideal place to conduct this research – it is the only such program in Ontario. The partnership between the School of Rehabilitation Science, the School of Nursing, and Shalom Village aligns with all three arms of McMaster’s Forward With Integrity (Research, Teaching and Learning, Community Engagement) by providing opportunities for students, researchers and clinicians, from various health professions, to interact and collaborate on investigating this community-based model of health services for older adults.

In addition to our Principal Investigators and Project Coordinator, Olivia Virag, we have 6 research assistants on the team: McMaster students Matthew Bui, Alyssa Te, Nicole Babin, Gregory Vandenberg, Melody Maximos, and Sirirat Seng-iad will be assisting in Phase 2 of the study which includes data collection and analysis (see Student Work).

Limited health care and system resources, and a focus on moving care to the community have resulted in much shorter hospital stays for older adults and discharge to home prior to full recovery. With the burden of care for older adults moving from hospital to community-based informal (i.e., family/caregiver) and formal care and services, and an increase in the use of post-acute services, unique Adult Day Services (ADS) may become important models of care to help older adults with the transition period from hospital to home. The overall aims of this research are to: (1) better understand of how a unique ADS program, Goldies2Home, as a model of care, targets the needs of older adults; and, (2) examine the short-term and longer-term effects of Goldies2Home, as a model of care, to improve older adults’ function, mobility, resiliency and quality of life.

Progress to Date
Phase 1 - Complete

  • As recommended by the Labarge Fund reviewers, we are examining historical records and data. G2H data of past participants from 2008-2014 has been retrieved and prepared for analysis.
  • Document mapping has been completed, with source documents pertaining specifically to the Goldies2Home program.
  • 13 interviews were completed with direct health care providers and administration (G2H staff at Shalom Village), as well as indirect health care providers and administration (Community Care Access Centre Case managers)
  • 3 interviews and 1 focus group took place with past participants of the Goldies2Home program and their caregivers.

Phase 2- Current Progress

  • We have finalized the list of outcome tests and measures that will be used for data collection. These outcome measures have been approved by G2H staff and have been thoroughly researched for their validity and reliability on older adults.
  • Orientation has taken place with G2H staff at Shalom Village to introduce them to Phase 2 of the project.
  • Research assistants have completed training sessions re: participant recruitment, tests and measures, safety of the health assessments participants will complete, et cetera.
  • First participants begin their assessments mid-November.

Student Engagement
Melody Maximos, a current YR 1 Master’s student in the Rehabilitation Science Program, School of Rehabilitation Science program, McMaster University, is involved in the G2H research study. Melody will be transferring into her PhD studies in the Spring 2016. Melody’s thesis project will be examining the rehabilitation and physical activity exercise program prescription Goldies2Home participants. Her research questions include: what is the intensity of exercise and physical activity prescription in a community-based slow-stream rehabilitation programs? How adequate is the intensity prescription in terms of frequency, intensity, and duration, and matching abilities and goals? Does intensity of exercise and physical activity prescription predict physical function, quality of life and life satisfaction?

Melody has applied for a Master’s TVN Interdisciplinary Fellowship and will informed of the results in December 2015. As part of her Master’s work, Melody will be involved in a scoping review paper.

Continuing work is being completed by PhD Student, Sirirat Seng-iad in the School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University. Sirirat’s thesis topic is the looking at resilience in older adults participating in a unique adult day service program with the overall aim to explore how resilience is relevant to older adults within the context of an adult day, slow-stream rehabilitation program, specifically G2H. Her research questions include: Does resilience change in older adults participating in G2H? What factors predict resilience in older adults participating in G2H? To what extent is resilience associated with changes in physical performance and goal(s) achievement in older adults participating in G2H?

As part of her PhD work, Sirirat will be involved in a scoping review paper, and will take the lead on the analysis of the historical data.

Future Impact

Older adults and policy makers consider the maximization of time “aging in place” in the community, to be of critical important. G2H, a unique ADS, has the potential to provide a key role for mitigating risk and maximizing mobility and resilience in older adults through the provision of primary care services and chronic disease management, while ensuring optimal aging at home.

Unique community-based, slow-stream rehabilitation adult day service programs, such as G2H, have the ability to increase older adults’ levels of physical and psychosocial function and resiliency, quality of life, self-perceived health, and satisfaction with transitional care. In addition, caregivers of participants enrolled in G2H, often older adults themselves, may also experience positive effects as a result of community based, adult day transitional care programs.

For more information…

Please contact the study’s Coordinator, Olivia Virag, at viragoe@mcmaster.ca or by phone: 905-525-9140 x26244 for more information.

General Information

Mailing Address:

School of Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Institute of Applied Health Sciences,
Room 403, 1400 Main St. W. Hamilton, ON L8S 1C7


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