Co-directed by Dr. Janet Fast and Dr. Norah Keating, RAPP works collaboratively on our research projects with post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, researchers, and policy and practice partners to provide research evidence and advocate for improved social conditions and a more inclusive society for older adults and adults who have disabilities and their family/friend caregivers. RAPP benefits from and recognizes the contributions of all scholars and partners associated with our projects.
RAPP encourages graduate students and junior colleagues to learn about research first hand by providing graduate research assistantships, mentoring, and support. Our alumni are employed in ageing-related policy units, organizations and programs for older adults, and academia.
Dr. Janet Fast holds a PhD in family and consumer economics from Cornell University. Major themes of her research are the economics of aging and the paid and unpaid care work of family members across the life course. Her research addresses family, labour, health and continuing care policy issues and she is often called on to consult with or advise government policymakers and NGOs on policy related to care-giving and workplace supports. In 2013 Dr. Fast was the recipient of the Mirabelli/Glossop Distinguished Contributor Award for her exceptional and sustained contributions to the work of the Vanier Institute of the Family. Dr. Fast is part of the AGE-Well NCE, leading the work package focused on assistive technologies that support family/friend caregivers.
Dr. Norah Keating is a social gerontologist whose professional life has been devoted to enhancing quality of life of older adults. She has an international reputation for her work in families, liveable communities and care. Her recent work includes editorship of special issues on “Families and Aging in Global Context” (Canadian Journal on Aging, 2015); and on “Ageing and Community” (Journal of Community and Social Psychology, 2014). Her work on social isolation includes a book “From exclusion to inclusion in old age: A global challenge” (with Professor T. Scharf, 2012) and articles on loneliness of older Canadians. She was lead author on the first national report on family/friend caregiving, published by Statistics Canada. Recently she has published a systematic review of the economic costs of family/friend care and is conducting research on assistive technologies to support caregivers.
Dr. Keating is Professor of Rural Ageing, Swansea University; Co-Director of Research on Aging, Policies and Practice at the University of Alberta; and Extraordinary Professor, North-West University, South Africa. As part of her international research and capacity building activities, she directs the International Association on Gerontology and Geriatrics’ (IAGG) Global Social Issues on Ageing. She has served as President of the Alberta Association on Gerontology and the Canadian Association on Gerontology; and as Chair of the North American Region, International Association on Gerontology and Geriatrics. She is currently the Director of the Global Social Issues on Ageing, an initiative of the International Association on Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG).
Dr. Keating is often called on by governments and NGOs to provide evidence to inform social and health policy. Recent consultations include a report on intergenerational relationships for the UK government; and technical advising to the World Health Organization on two initiatives: The World Report on Ageing and Health and Community-based Initiatives to Support Older Adults in Low Income Countries. She is working with the Government of Canada on its’ national campaign to reduce loneliness and social exclusion of older adults, recently meeting with the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
Dr. Megan Strickfaden's background includes a PhD in Anthropology & Design Studies from Edinburgh Napier University, Engineering Diploma in Design Research from Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, MDes in Sustainable Design Practice and BA specialization with a double major in Art/Design & Anthropology, both from the University of Alberta. Along with this she has spent more than a decade working as a practicing designer.
One of Dr. Strickfaden’s current research interests are on material culture, design and disability studies, including designing liveable spaces that enhance older adults' well-being, particularly those persons living with dementia. She is the only researcher in the world who has been allowed to research De Hogeweyk (known as the dementia village) in the Netherlands. She is part of collaborative teams that involve researchers from the University of Alberta and international institutions as well as graduate and undergraduate students.
The work of the RAPP program is supported by Jacquie Eales who has been the RAPP Research Manager since 1995. She brings to RAPP a background in speech-language pathology (BSc, MSc) with a special focus on aging and communication disorders. In an aging society, her interests are centred around creating a 'best-fit' between older adults and the social, physical and community environments in which they live, and in the impact of social policies on older adults and their family/friend caregivers. She fosters collaborative relationships among researchers, policy and practice partners and students who work together to meet the objectives of RAPP research projects. She enjoys translating research knowledge to facilitate the uptake by policy, practice, and community partners. She makes a meaningful difference in her community through the Greater Edmonton Foundation (GEF) Seniors Housing Board of Directors and Age-Friendly Edmonton 2.0 Leadership Table.