Making a meaningful difference in the lives of older adults and their families by bridging research, policies and practice.
How are we making a difference?
- By debunking public misconceptions – “To most people, caregiving means looking after ailing relatives in their final years. But the reality is much different, with the actual workload lasting up to 30 years for some, according to University of Alberta research. The study, the first of its kind to gauge caregiving across a person’s lifetime, debunks the myth that looking after an ailing loved one is a short, one-off experience. ” Get the full story here.
Did you know that nearly half of young caregivers (age 15-19 years) in Canada care for their grandparents? Young caregivers (age 15-19 years) in Canada infographic was released for International Day of the Older Person on October 1, 2019. We appreciate the feedback provided by members of the Young Caregivers Association in creating this infographic that illustrates that people of all ages are caregivers. When asked when they first started to provide care, more than 40% were younger than 15 years old, growing up taking care of grandparents, parents, or friends and neighbours. Stories about young caregivers in Canada whose health, social development, education and job prospects are challenged appeared in several news outlets: CBC news, Folio, Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun, Calgary Sun, and Calgary Herald.
- By recognizing caregivers – Caregivers are important every day, especially during this unprecedented COVID19 pandemic. On National Carers Day, April 7 2020, we wish to say a huge thank you to the nearly 600 caregivers in Canada who participated in our Enhancing Caregiver Well-being survey. Your insights were invaluable. In partnership with AGE-WELL NCE, Huddol, and Teva, we’ve created an infographic that highlights findings from the survey about caregivers’ own goals and their technology use. In short, caregivers’ top three goals are to preserve their physical health, mental and emotional health, and financial well-being. While all most all caregivers used digital technology in their everyday lives, only 2 out of 3 caregivers surveyed were using digital technology to integrate their care responsibilities with the rest of their lives.
- By strengthening the connection between research and teaching – MP for Edmonton Riverbend, Matt Jeneroux, spoke with Human Ecology 300 undergraduate students about the role of research in the policy making process. Mr Jeneroux was previously an Alberta MLA to whom Dr. Janet Fast provided some assistance a few years ago in making a case for his private member’s bill (203) to introduce a Compassionate Care Leave for employees working in provincially regulated industries/occupations. It passed with all party support, a rare thing for a private member’s bill. He has since moved on to federal politics, was first elected as MP (Conservative) in 2015, and currently serves as Shadow Minister of Infrastructure, Communities & Urban Affairs.
- Megan Strickfaden has been selected to be a McCalla Professor for 2020-2022. McCalla Professors are outstanding academic who make significant contributions to the integration of teaching and research, and educational leadership. As a McCalla Professor, Megan will be undertaking a project that integrates research and teaching to advance new knowledge, design practice, and student learning. The project will advance work on a three-part outdoor winter clothing system for seated clients with disabilities. Opportunities to develop a marketing plan, visual identity, and promotional materials will be integrated into HECOL 250 and HECOL 469/569. Congratulations Megan!
- By building capacity among early career scholars around the globe – Norah Keating led the 2019 GSIA Master Class on older workers at the IAGG Asia Oceania Congress in Taipei. Early career scholars were from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Participants learned from senior international scholars how ageing research in general, and their own research in particular, contributes to varying portrayals of older workers.
Research on Aging, Policies, and Practice (RAPP) is committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of older adults and their families by bridging research, policies, and practice. Drawing on Human Ecology Theory, we consider the environments in which people live their lives, including family, work, community, and policy contexts. We focus on:
- care and support of older adults and adults with chronic illness or disAbilities,
- family caregiving across the life course and its cumulative impact on health, wealth and well-being,
- older adults’ contributions to and social inclusion in society, and
- age-friendly environments and creating liveable spaces that enhance older persons’ well-being through design.
Located within the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta, the research centre is led by Dr. Janet Fast and Dr. Norah Keating. Our team collaborates with researchers at other universities and partners with government and community organizations in the conduct of our research, providing an enriching milieu for graduate student education. We are one of a few International Association on Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) Collaborating Centres.