Research

RAPP is committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of older adults and their families by bridging research, policies and practice. By applying various research methodologies, we develop relevant and meaningful outcomes through an integrated research process with stakeholders.

We aim to advance our conceptual understanding, generate new knowledge, integrate findings across disciplines, and translate research to policy and practice.

We are a proven leader in research on:

  • care and support of older adults and adults with chronic illness or disAbilities
  • family care across the life course and its social, employment, financial and health consequences towards developing a sustainable care ‘system’
  • social inclusion of older persons
  • age-friendly communities and designed environments that enhance well-being.

Current research projects

Enhancing the employability of older workers and caregivers through technology solutions

With funding from AGE-WELL, Canada’s technology and aging network (2020-2023), we are:

  • deepening our understanding of employment barriers experienced by family caregivers and older workers
  • contributing to the development of MatchWork, a cloud-based platform that empowers employment service agencies helping hard-to-employ people by ensuring it meets the needs of job seekers such as older workers and family caregivers
  • extending MatchWork’s reach beyond Alberta’s borders.

Understanding Caregivers’ Needs

With funding from AGE-WELL, Canada’s technology and aging network (2015-2020), over the past 5 years we have:

  • deepened our understanding of different life course trajectories of family care
  • identified family caregivers’ goals
  • assessed the potential for Assistive Technologies (AT) to meet family/friend caregivers’ needs and goals
  • examined the Information and Communication Technology (digital literacy) skills of older workers and family/friend caregivers. Here’s what we learned about ICT literacy and the role of assistive technology in helping older workers
  • conducted a feasibility study to collect evidence about employers’ and their carer-employees’ experiences with and beliefs about how ATs can help them integrate, manage or balance paid work and care work roles. Here’s what we learned about Connecting Working Caregivers Project Summary
  • contributed to the development of Huddol, the first cross-disease, cross-platform, social health network that aims to help family and friend caregivers connect with each otherĀ and health care professionals.
  • mobilized knowledge by co-creating with older adults several illustrated short films that reflect common problems older persons may experience and designed things as potential solutions.

Sustainable Care: Connecting People and Systems

With funding from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (2018-2021) and in collaboration with the Sustainable Care team led by Professor Sue Yeandle at Sheffield University, we are:

  • conducting a policy scan of carer leave policies in Canada
  • comparing carer leave policies across 11 countries
  • building capacity among the next generation of international scholars