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Past Policy Rounds Past Webinars
Past Policy Rounds
AGE-WELL NCE and the AGE-WELL National Innovation Hub Advancing Policies and Practices in Technology and Aging (APPTA) jointly launched Policy Rounds last fall. Featuring unique 30-minute presentations from researchers and trainees, Policy Rounds share knowledge and discuss the policy implications of the latest research in the AgeTech sector.
2023 Policy Rounds:
Date: May 31, 2023
Speaker: Dr. Milena Head, Professor of Information Systems – DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University; Wayne C. Fox Chair in Business Innovation; Director – McMaster Digital Transformation Research Centre; Academic Director – EMBA Program
Description: As information and communication technologies become increasingly pervasive, those that are left behind in their access and use are highly disadvantaged. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital importance of increasing digital inclusion as migration to digital life has accelerated. Older adults have frequently been identified as a group in our society that is excluded and marginalized with respect to technology. This presentation will discuss the causes and consequences of the digital divide for older adults and explore means to help bridge this divide to ensure all segments of our population are able to benefit from digital inclusion for health and wellbeing. Guidelines for policy makers will be discussed to ensure digital equity and usable technologies for all.
Date: April 26, 2023
Speaker: Mark Evin, Co-Founder and CEO, Jintronix
Description: Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians, with 20-30% seniors experiencing one or more falls each year. There are many causes of falls, but the most significant cause is due to poor strength and balance. Exercise protocols have been shown to reduce falls significantly, but adherence levels remain low, due to the boredom, the discomfort, and the repetitiveness of exercise. In this presentation, we’ll explore how a downloadable interactive program for PC and iPad with enjoyable and responsive adult-friendly video-games, can engage older adults in a long-term habit of evidence-based exercise.
Date: March 28, 2023 at 1:00-1:30 pm ET
Speaker: Gord Turner, Vice President of Sales and Operations for CareLink Advantage and Helpline
Description: Caregiving is hard. And most caregivers have no background or training prior to being thrust into the role. Educating family about their loved ones condition and attending support group talks certainly help… but it does not change the enormity of their task, it also does not prevent caregiver burnout. And when burnout happens their loved one is moved out of the home that they so desperately want to stay in. CareLink Advantage is a practical tool that allows the caregiver to do their job better and more easily. It reduces stress and burnout. It keeps the senior safer… and in their home where they want to be. No one should ever have to go to bed wondering if their loved one is safe… or wandering out lost somewhere… or lying on the floor. With CareLink Advantage no one has to worry! CareLink Advantage is 100% covered in some provinces/care plans.
Date: February 27, 2023 at 2:00 pm ET
Speaker: Vivian Tran, AGE-WELL HQP, Ph.D. Student, Department of Psychology, University of Regina
Description: Although mHealth technologies are widely accessible, there is limited uptake in healthcare settings. Preventable health conditions, such as pain, have long-term implications at the individual, system, and economic levels. The presentation will focus on new mHealth technology, such as the PACSLAC-II app, to assist in the early detection of pain. Key policy recommendations including regulatory frameworks and infrastructure considerations will be discussed.
Date: January 31, 2023 at 1:00pm ET
Speaker: Dr. Sandra Magalhaes, Research Associate, New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training (NB-IRDT), University of New Brunswick
Description: Frailty is a negative outcome associated with aging. For older couples, the presence of frailty in one partner increases the risk of frailty in the other, which has important implications for supporting community-dwelling older couples (CDOC) to reduce negative outcomes associated with frailty. From over 37,000 CDOC we found that in 10% both members were hospitalized; 80% were low/no frailty risk and 2% as high/intermediate risk. Males were, on average, older than females in each frailty category. Due to the high proportion of CDOC with no/low risk, we observed a small but positive association between continuous frailty risk scores. Whereas, for frailty risk categories we found a 23% increased prevalence of high/intermediate frailty when their partner had a high/intermediate frailty. While frailty risk was not prevalent in our large population-based sample, when CDOC are identified as having an intermediate or high risk of frailty, their partners are also more likely to have high or intermediate frailty.
2022 Policy Rounds:
Date: Wednesday, Nov 30th, 2022
Speaker: Dr. Martin Sénéchal, Associate Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick
Description: The Band-Frail program incorporates exercise and education components for older adults living with both frailty and type 2 diabetes. We expect our participants will have improved physical function as well as glycemic (blood sugar) control following the program. In addition, we expect the program to be cost effective and to have a long-term impact on other health outcomes, including duration of hospitalization and number of hospital admissions. Some of the health outcomes our group is interested in including physical function, glycemic control, nutrition and quality of life. Additionally, we are performing a cost-benefit analysis of the program, in order to determine possible long-term cost savings for the province. Finally, we will track participants’ results after 5 years and 10 years, so we can assess the impact of the program on long-term health outcomes.
Date: October 05, 2022 at 12:00 pm ET
Speaker: Dr. Lori Letts, Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Health Sciences and the Assistant Dean of the Occupational Therapy Program
Description: As people age and chronic conditions become more common, rehabilitation strategies can be used to support function and mobility, both to encourage self-management and prevent functional decline. Challenges associated with knowledge translation and health human resources in rehabilitation can create barriers to apply such strategies within existing health service systems. Technological innovations, such as apps, may be considered one strategy to support people to adopt rehabilitation strategies using a population-based approach. This webinar will discuss a project that has evolved from initial app development conceptualized to be applied by rehabilitation professionals in primary care, to a population-based application.
Date: July 26, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET
Speaker: Dr. Melissa Northwood, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Description: Older adults and caregivers face challenges with fragmentation in the health and social care systems. Digital health tools can provide older adults and care providers with information, thus improving communication and care delivery. The interRAI Check Up is a self-report tool that obtains a person’s perspective on their health and well-being. When shared across electronic health records, it lets older adults, caregivers, and health and social care providers share health information and create a shared care plan. In a series of studies, Dr. Northwood and a team of researchers evaluated the implementation of the interRAI Check Up in community support services, specialized geriatric services, and primary care. This webinar will share the lessons learned in these studies and policy implications for health information management.
Date: June 29th, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET
Speaker: Dr. Zheng Rong, Professor, Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University
Description: Despite the significant advance of AI in computer vision and natural language processing, developing wearable-based solutions to monitoring and characterizing older adult mobility still faces significant challenges due to the lack of quality data from older populations. In this talk, we first present a case study on in-hospital patients to illustrate the extent of the problem, and then discuss our current efforts toward mitigating the data scarcity problem and possible policy implications.
Date: June 2nd, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET
Speaker: Dr. Gary Bone, Professor, Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University
Description: While robots have worked in factories for many years, they have yet to make an impact on our personal lives. The only exception is the over 10 million robotic vacuums, such as the Roomba, that are now helping people keep their homes clean. Are they only the beginning of a personal robot revolution? Based on large investments in robotics by companies such as Amazon, Toyota and Hyundai and the thousands of people developing robots all over the world, many people think the answer is “Yes!”. Even with that positive assessment, the future of personal robots, particularly robots for physically assisting aging adults, is unclear. What should they look like? How smart should they be? What tasks should they perform? Can they be both strong and safe? How much will they cost? Will people accept them into their homes? The answers to these questions, along with the most promising robotic technologies for physically assisting people, will be discussed in this thought-provoking talk.
Date: April 28, 2022, 1:00pm ET
Speaker: Dr. Tara La Rose, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, McMaster University
Description: Digital technology holds the potential to enhance accessibility, improve social mobility and foster connection. For older adults, these positive potentials may be complicated by limited digital literacy and a lack of access to technologies. Older adults require support to enhance access and attention to the diversity existing within Canada’s aging population. Preliminary findings from three studies: 1) Promoting Digital Literacy in the Community (SSHRC, PDG); 2) Direct[Message]: Understanding Mediated Engagement in the Arts for Older Adults (CCFA); and 3) DigitalFUSE: Enhancing Digital Literacy and Online Mobility with Older Adults in the Arabic Speaking Community (MIRA) suggests the importance of accessibility as a broadly defined goal in older adults’ digital literacy projects, as well as supporting older adults’ engagement with technology on their own terms. These studies suggest the importance of regional/context specific programs for improving digital literacy and technological engagement if older adults are to reap the social rewards of digital technology.
Speaker: Dr. Jeanette Prorok, Manager, Special Projects & Evaluation, Canadian Frailty Network
Description: In July 2019, CFN launched the Frailty Outcomes Consensus (FOCUS) Project. The FOCUS Project brought together frailty researchers, clinicians, and administrators, as well as older adults and caregivers from across the world to work toward consensus on a set of core outcomes and common data elements for frailty. This Policy Rounds session will highlight the results of this work as well as avenues for implementation of the core set.
Speaker: Amanda Grenier, Professor and Norman and Honey Schipper Chair in Gerontological Social Work at the University of Toronto and Baycrest Hospital
Description: Research practice often overlooks larger questions about meaningful participation, disadvantage, and vulnerability. One notable example is how standard and historical practices of not-compensating particular groups, or of restricting compensation as a form of control, can contribute to inequality and sustain harmful practices against older people from disadvantaged groups. Dr. Grenier will discuss and share a series developed by AGE-WELL’s CC1 team on knowledge mobilization. This webinar is intended to start a conversation about the importance of compensation, and serve as a resource for funders, ethics committees, universities, and academic faculty and students carrying out research with older people in Canada.
Speaker: Dr. Plinio Morita, Associate Professor – School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, J.W. Graham Information Technology Emerging Leader Chair in Applied Health Informatics, & Assistant Professor – Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
Description: Dr. Plinio Morita will explore the role of Internet of Things (IoT) technology in informing public health research and will discuss how the siloed data ecosystems that we currently have around the world prevent data from having a major positive impact on public health practice. In this presentation, he will talk about the challenges in accessing and sharing IoT and Active Assisted Living data during the pandemic and some examples of how IoT data was used to inform public health initiatives.
2021 Policy Rounds:
Speaker: Michael Chrostowski, Business Development and Industry Relations Manager, AGE-WELL
Description: In 2020, AGE-WELL brought together a broad cross-section of industry leaders in technology and aging along with older adults and caregivers to form an Industry Advisory Group on the future of aging in place. The first output of this working group was a whitepaper on the tech-enabled home. You will hear about the conclusions and recommendations of the working group and how these could enable better solutions for aging in place in the future.
Speaker: Krista James, National Director Canadian Centre for Elder Law, and Staff Lawyer, British Columbia Law Institute
Description: Although international, federal, and provincial / territorial laws protect the rights of people living with dementia to make their own decisions or participate in decision-making where they have capacity issues, people living with dementia are often excluded from making decisions about health care, money, and other every day issues that matter to them. This webinar will highlight key laws, identify barriers to participation in decision-making, and discuss the work of the Canadian Centre of Elder Law to support policy and practice change that honours the decision-making autonomy of people living with dementia.
Speaker: Lyne Ouellet, University of New Brunswick PhD candidate and Research Assistant at St. Thomas University
Description: Social isolation and loneliness among older adults has been described as a global epidemic by the US Surgeon general prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It may impact one’s health and has been said to cost $1644 USD per person yearly in health care dollars. Systems are slowly realizing the importance of addressing this issue. To further guide decision makers, three components can be considered when setting policies aimed at assisting community members and developing interventions: interventions should be adaptable to local context, employ a community development approach and be productive in nature. The community of Fredericton, New Brunswick plans to build on momentum it has generated and develop its own Community Connector program to complement the many wonderful initiatives already in place.
Speaker: Dr. Janice Keefe, Professor and Chair, Department of Family Studies and Gerontology Lena Isabel Jodrey Chair in Gerontology and Director, Nova Scotia Centre on Aging Mount Saint Vincent University
Description: Long-term care homes are complex settings in which people live and work. They are a place many call “home” in their later years yet they are highly-regulated environments with a strong emphasis on safety and security. This paradox emerges as a key message from our review of policies in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia and has been further highlighted during the pandemic. This presentation will provide insights from the Seniors-Adding Life to Years project’s policy review and challenge decision makers to think about how policies support or inhibit resident quality of life.
Speaker: Amanda Grenier, PhD, Professor and Norman and Honey Schipper Chair in Gerontological Social Work
Description: Homelessness among older people is on the rise in Canada and international contexts. This webinar outlines key issues and needs with regards to late life homelessness, and highlights gaps in policy and practice. It shares lessons and insights from research with older people with lived experience, and provides suggested directions for change.
Speaker: Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Research Chair in Aging and Health, Director of the Centre on Aging and Health and Professor of Psychology at the University of Regina
Description: As many as 80% of long-term care residents may be suffering from persistent pain. Yet pain problems in this population are underrecognized, underassessed and undermanaged. Underlying conditions causing pain may go undetected leading to increased suffering and, often, higher future health care costs. Current policies specify minimum standards for pain assessment that do not meet patients’ needs. This presentation outlined policy changes that are needed to improve pain assessment and management in long-term care facilities.
Speaker: Christian Whalen, Deputy Advocate, Office of the Child, Youth, and Seniors Advocate of New Brunswick
Description: In this webinar, we will review the efforts globally to develop a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Older Persons and consider how the rights of older persons in New Brunswick and Canada today can best be measured and enforced. A proposed annual measurement tool on the State of the Older Person and a policy lens to take older persons into account in policy development will be discussed.
Speaker: Jonathan Lai, APPTA Policy Challenge Participant and MSc candidate, University of Alberta
Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the Canadian economy in a severe and unprecedented manner. For older workers and their families, the pandemic represents an ongoing challenge to their livelihoods, employment status, and financial well-being. Moreover, the current public health risks associated with COVID-19 also threatens the policy goal of increasing the labour force participation of older workers over the course of the next decade. This presentation will address the following policy question: what actions can be taken to ensure the financial well-being of older Canadians and support the future labour force contributions of older workers beyond the COVID-19 pandemic?
Speakers: Dr. Jennifer Boger, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo and Schlegel Research Chair in Technology for Independent Living, and Srusht Dastan, Commercialization Officer, University of Waterloo
Description: This webinar will give a high-level overview of a researcher’s journey in transforming the research outcomes of the CARE-RATE project into a licence-ready format that is accessible by industry. Topics will include development of multi-institution IP sharing, translation of knowledge between disciplines and sectors, and obtaining NSERC funding to complete a market assessment. The talk will conclude with a discussion of what might be done to improve these types of activities.
Speaker: Shane Saunderson, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto
Description: Robots have already had a massive impact on our world and, as we learn to make them more social, are poised to evolve our hospitals, schools, businesses, and homes. However, given the potential for these robots to change the very fabric of our society and interactions, we have a responsibility to approach their deployment in a considered and collaborative way. Technology can bring with it great change, good and bad, and technology with a face, even more so.
Speaker: Laura Tamblyn-Watts, CEO of CanAge
Description: CanAge is Canada’s independent nonprofit seniors’ advocacy organization. Participants will learn about the VOICES roadmap which aims to spark system change by highlighting scalable innovative practices and laying the groundwork for an age-inclusive Canada.
Speaker: Dr. Meshari F. Alwashmi, Chief Scientific Officer, BreatheSuite
Description: This webinar will cover the perceptions of patients and health care professionals regarding the adoption of innovative digital health interventions for chronic disease management. These facilitators and barriers are vital to inform the successful development and implementation of digital health interventions for chronic disease management.
Speakers: Kesa Shikaze, Executive Director, Seniors & Housing, Government of Alberta; Barb McMillan, Provincial Coordinator – Community Engagement, United Way of Lower Mainland; Karen McDonald, Community-Based Senior Serving Leadership Council Chair; and Mariam Elghahuagi, Seniors Engagement and Communications Advisor, United Way of Calgary
Description: Originally launched in 2018 in BC, followed by a launch in 2020 in Alberta, the Collaborative Online Resources and Education (CORE) platform is a digital knowledge hub that’s been developed to support seniors-serving organizations in both provinces to connect with each other, share resources and best practices, and much more! Please join us for a discussion about the collaborative partnerships forged between community organizations and government in each province as well as across jurisdictions, and learn more about how the CORE platform has been leveraged to support the seniors serving sector throughout the pandemic.
2020 Policy Rounds:
Speaker: Dr. Claudine Auger, Associate Professor, Université de Montréal
Description: This presentation will discuss the various partnership strategies that lead to engaging health care centers and the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Quebec in supporting a large–scale implementation study of a web-based intervention for older adults with mobility limitations.
Date: December 3rd, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET
Speaker: Amanda Jenkins, PhD, Research Coordinator, OA-INVOLVE
Description: The OA-INVOLVE project documents best practices of involving older adults in technology research and development with the aim to establish guidelines for older adult engagement. The active involvement of older adults in the research and development of technologies for older adults has scientific, commercial, and broader societal benefits. However, due to barriers such as lengthy ethics approvals at universities, lack of researcher training in participatory methods, and restrictive funding structures, older adults are often not engaged in the development of technologies from the beginning. In this presentation, we explore these barriers and how institutional policies can be changed to better support researchers in meaningfully engaging older adults throughout the research process.
Speaker: Dr. Noelannah Neubauer, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo
Description: The number of missing persons living with dementia is on the rise and is quickly becoming one of the top populations that are being reported missing to police around the world. As we begin to identify and develop strategies to mitigate the risks of getting lost among this group, we will need policies to support their implementation. The purpose of this webinar will be to share our research team’s aims and experiences as it pertains to mobilizing international partnerships through networks to inform dementia and missing persons policies.
Speaker: Shabnam Haghzare, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto
Description: While the race to bring automated vehicles to the market continues to accelerate, the societal implications of the wide use of this technology have not yet been fully addressed. Notably, developing licencing requirements that can accommodate individuals of all capabilities have been identified as one of the necessary first steps by the Canadian government. This talk will provide an overview of an AGE-WELL project on the use of automated vehicles by older adults and discuss the potential implications on licencing guidelines.
Speaker: Dr. Cosmin Munteanu, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Description: Older adults (65+), who are already at risk of social isolation and loneliness, are at increasing risks of also being “digitally isolated”. The fast-changing landscape of services being transitioned to a primarily digital format (especially services essential to this demographic, from health, to financial, and to personal/social connectivity) may in fact lead to older adults’ digital marginalization. In our AGE-WELL research, we have been investigating inclusive design methods such as the participatory design of interactive applications. However, in our investigation of industry practices and policies, we have also uncovered barriers to the adoption of such methods by developers and designers. We reflect here on the value of such approaches and the limitations of relying exclusively on market forces to address barriers to the use of these design methods. We then describe our emerging research on the policy and procurement changes that may bring meaningful and structurally sustainable changes to the inclusive and ethical development of AgeTech.Stay Tuned for Slides
Speaker: Dr. Karen Kobayashi, Professor/ Associate Dean, University of Victoria
Description: In this presentation we will discuss how our implementation science team is working with policymakers, i.e., the BC Ministry of Health and provincial health authorities, to examine the scale up, spread and sustainability of assistive technologies (ATs) for older adults and their caregivers in the province. In particular, we will highlight how policy partners:
- Supported and enabled the research team
- Had a direct impact on improving the assessment and evaluation of innovative ATs for older adults
- Helped the appropriate implementation of ATs in home and community-care settings
Speaker: Dr. Josephine McMurray, Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
Description: As the workforce ages, there will be an exponential rise in the number of workers who develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early onset dementia (EOD) while on the job. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities emphasizes that reasonable accommodation must be provided to individuals with disabilities such as MCI|EOD, so that they may be able to enjoy equal opportunity in the workplace. Dr. McMurray will provide a high-level summary of the Cog@Work team’s research into the science behind employers’ response to this “rising tide”, and the Canadian policy environment which guides them.Stay Tuned for Slides
Speaker: Dr. Michael Wilson, Associate Professor, McMaster University Download Slides
For resources from the webinar, click here.
Speakers: Andrew Sixsmith, PhD, Scientific Director, AGE-WELL; Judith Sixsmith, PhD, Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Dundee; Alex Mihailidis, PhD, Scientific Director and CEO, AGE-WELL; Mei Lan Fang, PhD, Lecturer/Assistant Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Dundee
Date: March 8, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
To watch the event recordings, click here.
Date: May 5, 2021, 2 pm ET
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