Current research projects

Enhancing 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
  • informing the development of Caregivers Alberta’s Work & Care program.

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Understanding Caregivers’ Needs

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

  • deepened our understanding of family care across the life course and the health, social and financial consequences family/friend caregivers experience
  • assessed the potential for Assistive Technologies (AT) to meet family/friend caregivers’ needs and goals
  • understanding the Information and Communication Technology (digital literacy) skills of older workers and family/friend caregivers. 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. 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 other 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 have:

  • conducted a policy scan of carer leave policies in Canada
  • compared carer leave policies across 10 countries and their implications for working carers as part of a forthcoming edited book by Janet Fast, Jason Heyes, Kate Hamblin, and Combining Work and Care that will be published in 2023 by Policy Press
  • created snapshots of carer leaves in Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Slovenia, Sweden, and the UK
  • co-wrote with Arlene Astell (U Toronto) a chapter on Technology and Care in Canada as part of a forthcoming book on Care Technologies for Ageing Societies: An International Comparison, edited by Kate Hamblin and Matthew Lariviere and published in 2023 by the Bristol University Press.
  • built capacity among the next generation of international scholars.