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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.

2020-2024 AGE-WELL APPTA Policy Rounds

2024 Policy Rounds:

AGE-WELL & APPTA Policy Rounds: Accessible and effortless monitoring of chronic respiratory diseases in older adults: A data-driven approach for timely interventions

Date: March 27, 2024

Speaker: Speaker: Sejal Bhalla, Ph.D. student, Computational Health and Interaction Lab (CHAL), Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

Description: Timely diagnosis and remote disease monitoring have proven instrumental in improving outcomes for patients grappling with chronic respiratory diseases. However, despite the advances in digital health, respiratory health monitoring systems encounter several challenges that impact their integration into clinical care. This presentation aims to explore these challenges, providing insights into the factors affecting feasibility and acceptance. It will introduce a new software tool designed to address some of these challenges, facilitating monitoring, timely interventions, and enhanced quality of life for older adults.

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AGE-WELL & APPTA Policy Rounds: How Gerry Connect is Enhancing Social Connection and Independence in Aging Populations

Date: March 20, 2024

Speaker: Speaker: Michelle Nguyen, Product Manager, Gerry Connect by Toronto MicroElectronics Inc.

Description: Gerry Connect is enhancing social connection and independence among aging populations. It enables older adults to virtually visit loved ones via video calls without the need for assistance, thereby strengthening social connections for older adults with their family and friends, regardless of distance or outbreaks. With one tap on the screen, older adults can make or receive video calls in an easy, fast, and secure manner. Gerry Connect enhances autonomy for older adults and frees up time for staff to provide care. The platform offers the ability to manage participants and access analytics remotely. Family members or care providers can manage Gerry Connect on behalf of older adults by using the Administrative Web Portal without physically being in the room. Gerry Connect has been successfully used in various settings, including home care, retirement homes, and long-term care facilities. Pilot programs and qualitative workshop sessions for Gerry Connect have indicated that the program has a positive impact on participants’ social well-being. The presentation will attempt to influence policy decision-making in favour of using technologies, such as Gerry Connect, to enhance quality of living among aging populations.

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AGE-WELL & APPTA Policy Rounds: Using Geographic Data for Policy Planning and Program Development in Canadian Communities Facing Accelerated Aging

Date: February 28, 2024

Speaker: Speaker: Dr. R. Lee Kirby, MD, FRCPC, Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University

Description: Description: In our upcoming webinar, learn and discover more about the Wheelchair Skills Program (WSP), an online resource offering free, evidence-based assessment and training for wheelchair users, spanning manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs, and motorized mobility scooters. The WSP, a user-friendly initiative, empowers individuals with mobility impairments allowing them to have greater independence in their day-to-day activities. This event is a chance to understand more about how the WSP, a low-tech, high-impact training is applicable in various settings. Join us as we navigate towards enhanced mobility and inclusivity for older adults with diverse mobility needs.

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AGE-WELL & APPTA Policy Rounds: Using Geographic Data for Policy Planning and Program Development in Canadian Communities Facing Accelerated Aging

Date: February 21, 2024

Speaker: Dr. Catherine Bigonnesse, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Healthy Aging, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of New Brunswick

Description: An aging population is a very complex phenomenon that affects many sectors of our society simultaneously. However, policies on aging are often developed in silos without a coherent vision of the interconnecting factors. To adequately address the needs of older adults, geographic context must be incorporated to policy planning and program development. This webinar presents the newly established Atlantic Observatory on Aging dedicated to the monitoring of healthy aging indicators across communities in Atlantic Canada. Its purpose is to provide stakeholders and policymakers with a simple and easy tool to access data on the aging population anchored in geographic locations relevant for public policy planning and program development. Join us to discover what happens when geomatics and gerontology meet to make sense of big data about our aging population!

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AGE-WELL & APPTA Policy Rounds: Coordinated Aging in Place Services (CAPS) with Integrated Primary Health Care

Date: January 31, 2024

Speaker: Paula Pickard, RN BN, Regional Manager Chronic Disease, Horizon Health Network

Description: The ability of older adults to age safely at home is influenced by factors such as chronic conditions and frailty. Chronic conditions are persistent, life-limiting health issues with no cure, while frailty is not a normal aspect of aging and hinders daily functioning. These factors can result in decreased physical function, heightened safety risks, increased hospital admissions, and diminished quality of life for older adults. To address these challenges, there is a growing focus on community-based primary health care (PHC) services. This summary introduces recent research on an integrated PHC service called Coordinated Aging in Place Services (CAPS), designed to support community-dwelling older adults at risk of frailty or chronic conditions. The webinar discusses participant experiences, theoretical conclusions, practical recommendations, clinical quality improvement findings, and implications for program planners and policymakers in addressing the complex needs of aging individuals.

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2023 Policy Rounds:

AGE-WELL & APPTA Policy Rounds: A Platform Purpose-built for Older Adults

Date: November 30, 2023

Speaker: Jordan Schley, Founder & CEO, Care2Talk

Description: Discover how technology and a holistic approach to older adult care can bridge the generation gap, making it easier for our loved ones to stay connected with their families, friends, and the world. Through this all-in-one platform Care2Talk is ensuring that healthcare services are convenient and tailored to older adults’ unique needs. Explore how this platform simplifies medication management, prescription refills, and ensures timely reminders for older adults, resulting in reduced missed doses and less medication confusion. Discover how older adults can engage in virtual social activities, connect with like-minded individuals, and foster a sense of community, all from the comfort of their homes. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to explore the potential of an all-in-one platform that embodies the motto, “Never leave seniors behind.” Join us on a journey to enhance the quality of life for older adults.

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AGE-WELL & APPTA Policy Rounds: Recruiting diverse older adults to research via an anti-oppression approach: A case study

Date: October 30, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Paula Gardner, PhD. Asper Chair in Communication; Professor Communication Studies and Media Arts, McMaster University

Description: Black, Indigenous and older adults of colour (BIPOC) are often reluctant to participate in research, given a long history of abuse, neglect and exploitation of BIPOC people in research and experiences with health care and technologies. At the same time, it is ethically imperative that BIPOC older adults are represented in research to ensure that data accurately reflects the diversity of older Canadian adults and to ensure that research opportunities are equitably distributed. This webinar discusses key barriers to entering into research for BIPOC older adults and key anti-oppression techniques researchers can take to make research a safer, more hospitable and beneficial space for diverse older adults. The webinar includes policy recommendations to funding organizations to incorporate training for researchers in anti-oppressive approaches for successful research recruitment and engagement.

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Prioritizing Mental Health and Well-Being: Unveiling Solutions for Long-Term Care Staff

Date: September 28, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Carole Estabrooks, CM, PhD, RN, FRSC, FCAHS, FAAN, FCAN, Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta

Description: Join us for an insightful webinar that delves into the work of Long-Term Care (LTC) staff. For years, LTC staff have navigated through challenges stemming from a growing demographic, limited staffing, and insufficient funding, all while providing care. As the LTC workforce continued an already challenging journey, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic magnified their resource shortages and exposed them to acute stressors. Our webinar highlights the mental health challenges that LTC staff face daily, exploring its profound implications on their well-being. Discover a proactive approach to address this critical issue head-on as this webinar goes beyond the surface, delving into the heart of the matter – sharing expert insights on the current state of LTC workforce mental health. Join us to explore strategies, foster resilience, and champion the cause of our LTC staff.

Community-Led Digital Literacy Training for Older Adults

Date: July 26, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Brian Detlor, Professor & Area Chair (Information Systems), DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University

Description: Despite the growing predominance of older adults in Canadian society, as a group, older adults are still less likely to make use of digital devices. Older adults’ limited use of digital devices is troubling as the ability to access and use digital technologies, such as social media and the Internet, can overcome the negative effects of social isolation and loneliness, which seniors in general are more likely to experience as they age. Due to financial concerns, many older adults lack access to digital devices, the Internet, and digital literacy training opportunities. In response, community organizations, such as public libraries and social service agencies, fill the gap by providing free or low-cost digital literacy training opportunities to marginalized community members, including older adults. However, how best to deliver such instruction is not well-understood. Neither are the challenges confronting such delivery, as well as solutions to overcome such obstacles. This webinar reports on recent research findings that provide theoretical contributions and practical recommendations in this problem area. Organizational factors that foster or challenge digital literacy training initiatives are described, as well as user considerations that impact community member uptake, digital literacy skills development, and digital literacy appreciation. A case study is also described of the utility of a community partnership approach between public libraries and seniors’ organizations to deliver digital literacy training to older adults.

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Context-Aware Sensing for Aging-in-Place

Date: June 28, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Qiyin Fang, Canada Research Chair in Biophotonics and a Professor in the Department of Engineering Physics, McMaster University

Description: Using telemedical technologies for remote monitoring of patients is an active area for aging-in-place applications, which will lead to improved care and prevent unnecessary use of unplanned resource intensive services. While many data can be collected, interpretation and analysis of their meaning requires establishing contexts autonomously, especially for large datasets analyzed using machine learning models. The McMaster Smart Home for Aging-in-Place (SHAPE) is a multidisciplinary collaborative research platform designed to develop novel sensor and associated sensor network technologies specifically for aging-in-place applications. In this talk, we will give a brief overview of the research platform and several ongoing sensor development projects.

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Bridging the Digital Divide for Older Adults

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.

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Active Aging: Empowering Older Adults with Interactive Technologies for Improved Balance and Aging-in-Place

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.

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Preventing Caregiver Stress and Burn Out: CareLink Advantage Can Help!

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.


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Pain in Long-Term Care Settings: Applications of mHealth Technology and Policy Implications

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.


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Concordance of Frailty Among Community-Dweling Older Couples: An Administrative Health Data Study

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.


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2022 Policy Rounds:

Is innovation in the details: What have we learned from the Band-Frail Project

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.

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Applying Rehabilitation Strategies to Population Health: Use of Technology to Support Self-Management and Prevention

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.

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A digital health tool for integrated care: interRAI Check Up Self-report

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.

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The data scarcity problem in understanding older adult mobility

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.

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Personal Assistance Robots: Will they improve the lives of aging adults?

Date: June 2nd, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET
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.

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Community Based Digital Literacy – Meeting the Needs and Wants of Older Adults

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.

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CFN’s Frailty Outcomes Consensus (FOCUS) Project: Study findings and potential applications
Date: March 9, 2022 at 1:00pm ET
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.

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Including older people from disadvantaged groups in research practice: A compensation series
Date: February 22, 2022 at 1:00pm ET
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.

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Advancing the Role of the Internet of Things in Public Health Research
Date: February 8, 2022 at 2:00pm ET
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.

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2021 Policy Rounds:

The tech-enabled home: guiding industry and innovators
Date: November 30, 2021 at 12:00pm ET
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.

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Engaging people living with dementia in decision-making
Date: September 15, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
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.

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Community Connectors: Harnessing positive community energy to address social isolation and loneliness
Date: August 18, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
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.

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How attention to provincial long-term care policies can support or inhibit resident quality of life
Date: July 21, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
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.

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Late life homelessness: Recognizing and addressing unmet need
Date: June 17, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
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.

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The need for policy change to facilitate improved pain assessment and management in long-term care facilities
Date: May 27, 2021 at 2:30pm ET
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.

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Measuring and enforcing the human rights of older persons
Date: April 8, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
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.

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Responding to the COVID-19 emergency, returning to growth: Older workers and the pandemic recovery
Date: April 1, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
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?

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From ideation to implementation: A case study in translating advances in research into industry-friendly outcomes
Date: March 9th, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
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.             

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Technology with a Face: A Future with Social Robots
Date: February 24th, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
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.               

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VOICES of Canada's Seniors: A roadmap to an age-inclusive Canada
Date: February 11th, 2021 at 1:00pm ET
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.

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Barriers and Facilitators of Digital Health Adoption for Chronic Disease Management
Date: January 27th, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET
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.

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Collaborating Online Resources & Education (CORE) in Alberta and BC: Promoting Healthy Aging using a digital knowledge hub for seniors serving organizations
Date: January 13th, 2021 at 1:00-2:00 pm ET
Speakers: Kesa ShikazeExecutive 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.

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2020 Policy Rounds:

Engaging government to scale up MOvIT+: A program offering assistive technology coaching and supports
Claudine auger_squareDate: December 9th, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET
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 largescale implementation study of a web-based intervention for older adults with mobility limitations.

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Engaging Older Adults in Research: The OA-INVOLVE Experience

Amanda Jenkins_squareDate: December 3rd, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET
Amanda Jenkins, PhD, Research Coordinator, OA-INVOLVE

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.

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Mobilizing international partnerships to inform dementia and missing persons policies
Neubauer headshot_squareDate: November 26th, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET
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.

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The use of automated vehicles by older adults with cognitive impairments
Shabnam squareDate: November 12th, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET
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.

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Policy challenges and approaches to the ethical design, development, and procurement of Age-Tech
cosmin_munteanu-218x300_squareDate: October 27th, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET
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.

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How to scale up and sustain assistive technologies by leveraging policy partnerships
kobayashi_photo1_squareDate: October 15th, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET
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
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When employees are diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or early onset dementia at work: Getting ahead of the curve
josephine-mcmurrayDate: September 29th, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET
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. 

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Sparking action to support rapid-learning health and social systems in Canada
MikeWilson_2020Date: September 18th, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET
Speaker: Dr. Michael Wilson, Associate Professor, McMaster University

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2023 AGE-WELL Public Webinar Series
AGE-WELL Public Webinar: Harnessing the Power of Technology for People Living with Cognitive Decline
Date: January 31, 2024 at 12:00 pm ET


Creating Smart Homes: Innovative Solutions to Support Aging in Place
Date: March 27, 2023 at 2:00 pm ET


Tech for Health: How AgeTech Can Help Promote Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness
Date: June 6, 2023 at 2:00 pm ET


Creating Smart Homes: Innovative Solutions to Support Aging in Place
Date: March 27, 2023 at 2:00 pm ET


Designing to Include Dementia and Personhood
Date: January 25, 2023 at 12:00 pm ET


2022 AGE-WELL Public Webinar Series
How Technology Can Help to Address the Problem of Falling
Date: November 23, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET


AgeTech and Arthritis: How Technology Can Help People Living with Arthritis
Date: September 20, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET


Unpacking the Latest Census Data from an AgeTech Perspective
Date: July 26, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET


Balancing Work and Care: Strategies for Meaningful Employment
Date: April 5, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET


Exploring wandering prevention strategies and innovations
Date: March 30, 2022 at 2:00 pm ET


Monitoring heart and lung health using innovative technologies
Date: February 16, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET


2021 AGE-WELL Webinar Series
Part 5: Improving accessibility for people with various cognitive abilities through inclusive research and development
Date: September 23, 2021 at 1:00pm ET


Part 4: Reducing Social Isolation in Older Adults and Staying Resilient During the Pandemic
Date: May 13, 2021 at 1:00pm ET

For resources from the webinar, click here.

Part 3: Experiences in Caregiving during COVID-19: What Have we Learned?
Date: April 6, 2021 at 1:00pm ET


Part 2: Keeping Your Brain Active and Healthy During COVID-19
Date: March 18, 2021 at 1:00pm ET


Part 1: Everything You Need to Know to be an Engaged Health Researcher

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


2021 Other AGE-WELL Events/Webinars
AgeTech Innovation Week
Date: October 4-8, 2021

To watch the event recordings, click here.

National Long-Term Care Standard Consultation: Operation and Infection Prevention and Control of Long-Term Care Homes
Speakers: Dr. Alex Mihailidis, Scientific Director and CEO, AGE-WELL and Cassandra Gullia, Project Manager, CSA Group
Date: May 5, 2021, 2 pm ET


2020 AGE-WELL Webinar Series

Part 6: Technology Use and Attitudes towards Aging among Older Canadians during COVID-19: New Poll Results
Speakers: Ahsan Sadiq, Director of Market Insights, Health & Wellness, Environics Research, Andrew Sixsmith, Scientific Director, AGE-WELL, Judy Tinning, older adult/retired secondary school teacher
Date: November 18, 2020, 1 pm ET

Part 5: Revisiting Pandemic Perspectives from Older Adults and Caregivers
Speakers: Ron Beleno, OACAC co-chair, caregiver advocate; Olive Bryanton, OACAC Atlantic Canada representative, older adult advocate; Lisa Poole, OACAC West-Central Region Representative, caregiver advocate; Sherry Baker, OACAC Vice Chair, older adults and caregiver advocate
Date: October 1, 2020, 1 pm ET

Part 4: In-home rehab made possible for knee replacement recovery
Speaker: Nirtal Shah, founder and CEO, Curovate
Date: August 11, 2020

Part 3: Serious games: How digital games can help older adults combat social isolation
Speakers: Dr. David Kaufman and Dr.S Louise Sauvé
Date: July 8, 2020

Part 2: Connecting the Unconnected: Introducing FamliNet
Speakers: Dr. Ron Baecker and Stephanie Gagne
Date: June 3, 2020

Part 1: Pandemic Perspectives from Older Adults and Caregivers
Speakers: Ron Beleno, Dr. Olive Bryanton, Dr. Andrew Sixsmith & Dr. Alex Mihailidis
Date: May 20, 2020


2019-2020 Creating the Future Webinar Series
Part 1: Involving End-Users in All Stages of Research
Speakers: Dr. Julie Robillard, Ian Goldman & Dr. Kristine Goulet
Date: February 19, 2019

Part 2: How AGE-WELL Technology is Changing Homes of the Future & Promoting Independence for All
Speakers: Dr. Alex Mihailidis
Date: April 24, 2019

Part 3: Building an Innovation Hub - A Case Study
Speakers: Dr. Frank Knoefel, Dr. Josephine McMurray, Dr. Rafik Goubran & Dr. Bruce Wallace
Date: June 11, 2019

Part 4: How to Successfully Partner Internationally to Create Real-World Products
Speakers: Dr. Andrew Sixsmith & Dr. Lili Liu
Date: September 19, 2019

Part 5: Supporting People who Juggle Work and Caregiving: Challenges and Solutions
Speakers: Dr. Janet Fast & Johnna Lowther
Date: November 7, 2019


2017-2018 Public Webinar Series
Consent & Capacity Part II
Speaker: Krista James, National Director of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law
Date: September 18, 2018

Training the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow
Speakers: Leo Mui, Manager, Entrepreneurship Initiatives, the Impact Centre & Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, CEO, Braze Mobility Inc.
Date: August 21, 2018

Predicting and Preventing Falls using Technology
Speaker: Dr. Steve Robinovitch, Professor, Simon Fraser University, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology and School of Engineering Science
Date: July 5, 2018

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Speakers: Krista James, National Director of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law & Valerie Le Blanc, Staff Lawyer, British Columbia Law Institute
Date: June 13, 2018

Consent & Capacity Part I
Speaker: Krista James, National Director of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law
Date: May 15, 2018

Can I Help You? The Future of Socially Assistive Robots in Healthcare
Speaker: Dr. Goldie Nejat, Professor, University of Toronto, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Date: April 9, 2018

The Application of an Equity Lens to the Development of Technology for Older Adults
Speakers: Dr. Karen M. Kobayashi, Associate Professor and Research Affiliate, University of Victoria and Dr. Simon Carroll, Research Associate, University of Victoria
Date: February 22, 2018

Using Technology to Detect Pain in Older Adults with Dementia
Speakers: Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Professor and Research Chair in Aging and Health Psychology, University of Regina & Dr. Babak Taati, Scientist at Toronto Rehab – UHN
Date: February 22, 2018

The Opportunity of the Older Consumer
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Sixsmith, Scientific Director, AGE-WELL
Date: December 6, 2017

Using Technology and Speech to Track Alzheimer’s
Speaker: Frank Rudzicz, Scientist, Toronto Rehab Institute/University of Toronto
Date: November 14, 2017

How can technology help you locate your wandering family member when they are experiencing dementia?
Speaker: Dr. Lili Liu, lead investigator for the project and chair of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta
Date: October 3, 2017