Older Adults with Dementia and Their Use of Acute Care Services in Alberta

Andrea Gruneir, Josh Hathaway

Andrea Gruneir (gruneir@ualberta.ca)

In recruitment



We are seeking to match data from the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) with the administrative data held by Alberta Health Services (AHS). The overall purpose of this work is to identify a cohort of older adults with dementia and track their health service use pattern over a two-year period in order to characterize major care transitions.

The number of Canadians living with dementia is estimated to reach 1.13 million by 2038. The vast majority will reside in the community and rely on primary care providers, family caregivers, and community-based continuing care programs for their medical care and daily support. As it stands, neither the health nor social care systems are well positioned to meet the needs of this vulnerable and challenging population. This is shown by high rates of acute care use, prolonged hospital stays, and poor transition-related outcomes.

We are working with Alberta Health Services’ Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network (SH SCN) in order to generate the necessary data to support provincial initiatives to improve health services for older adults with dementia.


To produce estimates of acute and long-term care use by older adults with dementia, characterize their journeys across the health system and identify risk factors for key transitions and related outcomes.


This study will match electronic medical records with provincial administrative data to study health service use patterns across Alberta.