About the Speaker

Prof. John Hirdes

Prof. John P. Hirdes holds the distinction of University Professor at the School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, and he is a Fellow of the Balsillie School of International Affairs. In addition, he is the Senior Canadian Fellow and a Board Member of interRAI (www.interRAI.org), an international consortium of researchers from over 35 countries. He chairs interRAI’s Network for Mental Health and the interRAI Network of Canada. Prof. Hirdes’ primary areas of interest include assessment, mental health, aging, health services, case mix systems, quality measurement, and quantitative research methods. He has more than 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals and academic book chapters. Prof. Hirdes received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal through the Canadian Home Care Association and the Canadian Association on Gerontology. In addition to his extensive academic publication record, Prof. Hirdes is the author of a children’s book entitled Wilfrid the Vegetarian Crow.


Use of interRAI assessments to identify and respond to mental health needs of older adults across the continuum of care


While aging is associated with many progressive and universal changes in physical health, maintenance of good mental health is achievable over the life course. However, the mental health needs of older adults are often under-recognized and under-treated. interRAI assessment systems are used extensively across Canada in settings that include nursing homes, home care, community support services, inpatient and community mental health, post-acute hospitals, and palliative care settings. This presentation will focus on the use of these assessments to identify and respond to depressive symptoms, anxiety, cognitive and behavioural issues across the continuum of care. In addition, use of these assessments to identify and manage risk of self-harm will also be highlighted.