Effectiveness of stroke rehabilitation is important; there are about 62,000 strokes in Canada every year and more than 400,000 people living with long-term disability from stroke. Stroke survivors say that regaining walking ability is a top priority; but, reduced balance often limits community levels of mobility. Today’s stroke rehabilitation treatment decisions are guided by observed limitations to balance and walking, and not by brain measures. Differences in how much balance recovery someone achieves likely stems from the brain’s ability to recover after stroke.
My research focuses on injury prevention and mobility enhancement in older adults. During my PhD, I sought to understand the circumstances of falls and factors associated with risk for injuries. My current postdoc research involves two projects. The first project was supported by MITACS, which aimed to survey existing evidence (through literature synthesis and electronic surveys to recreational therapists) on the effectiveness of recreation therapy programs in enhancing mobility outcomes (e.g., physical activity, performance of daily activities, falls) for residents in long-term care.