DATE AND TIME: Thursday, May 28, 2020, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST

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Approximately 600,000 Canadians currently have a dementia diagnosis and that number is expected to double in the next 15 years. Cognitive deficits and balance and gait disorders are inevitable and progressive in dementia. Importantly, people with dementia have an annual fall risk of 60-80%, twice that of the cognitively healthy, and have a higher risk of major fall-related injuries, such as hip fractures.

Fall prevention is important to improve quality of life and maintain independent mobility. Provision of a mobility aid is a treatment option to compensate for balance and gait problems that also facilitates independent mobility. Yet, paradoxically mobility aid use is associated with a third fold increased odds of falling and the increased risk is multifactorial. Issues related to safe use of the equipment is one possible explanation for the increased falls risk.

This will be the second of three presentations on addressing background knowledge, research and practice implications underpinning assessment and intervention to reduce falls in people living with dementia using mobility aids. This webinar will address the quantitative and standardized evaluation of safe use of a 4-wheeled walker using a new tool, the Safe Use of Mobility Aid Checklist (SUMAC).

In this second presentation, the topics to be covered will be:
• development, reliability and validity of the Safe Use of Mobility Aid Checklist (SUMAC) for 4-wheeled walker use in people in dementia
• the application of the SUMAC to case scenarios

1. Understand and describe the development, reliability and validity of the SUMAC
2. To be able to apply the assessment scale to the evaluation of mobility aid use in people with dementia 

Dr. Susan Hunter is an Associate Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at the University of Western Ontario. She practiced clinically as a Physical Therapist in the areas of orthopaedics and geriatrics for 19 years and then completed her PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Western Ontario evaluating balance assessment to identify fall risk in community-dwelling older adults. She completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine on cognition, dementia and falls and has been fully involved in research since 2010. Dr. Hunter’s research interests are the rehabilitation of geriatric patients, particularly the cognitively-impaired older adult, and their experience of falls, frailty and mobility decline. She is the Chair of the Seniors’ Health Division for the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and Vice-President of the Older Adult practice group for the World Confederation of Physical Therapists. Her research has been supported by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, Alzheimer Association (USA), CIHR Institute of Aging, Alzheimer Society of Canada and Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada.