Esther Coker receives award for dementia research
Mar 10, 2021
Photo Above: Dr. Esther Coker
Dr. Esther Coker, a clinical faculty member of the School of Nursing at McMaster and a member of the GERAS Centre for Aging Research, has received an award from Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation (HHSF) for a research project involving individuals living with dementia.
Esther is also a clinical nurse specialist at Hamilton Health Sciences - St. Peter’s Hospital in Hamilton. The GERAS Centre for Aging Research nominated Dr. Coker for this important research. We know that hospital environments can be confusing and challenging for people living with dementia and this can influence their well-being and the ability to optimize their care. HHSF announced their support for Coker’s project at their virtual fundraising gala on March 7, 2021.
Coker’s research project is designed to help patients living with dementia engage in meaningful activities. “For hospitalized patients living with dementia, loss of meaningful roles and activities can contribute to feelings of frustration and fear. These feelings may be expressed as behaviours such as agitation, repetitive requests or trying to get home. The team at HHS will implement DementiAbility Methods, a program that provides a framework to engage patients in meaningful activities according to their needs, interests, skills and abilities. It will help to promote physical, cognitive and social stimulation. As there is limited research on how best to implement such a program, we will examine a number of factors that contribute to successful implementation and how the program impacts the experience of patients, families, staff and volunteers,” says Coker.