August 8 – 10, 2018 | Concurrent Sessions | Chelsea Hotel – Select Meeting Rooms
Addressing disparities in access to palliative care: Developing a palliative approach curriculum for non-healthcare workers supporting people who are homeless
- Paul Holyoke, Saint Elizabeth Health Care
- Sandra Tudge, Saint Elizabeth Health Care
Building from the knowledge that non-healthcare providers, such as outreach workers, housing workers, and addiction workers can and do build trusting relationships with structurally vulnerable people, and on their different approach to caring with fewer regulations and restrictions than in traditional healthcare, an opportunity exists to foster these relationships to improve palliative services and access to care. These non-healthcare workers lack, however, knowledge and training about a palliative approach to care.
In this workshop two facilitators will describe how, in collaboration with people with lived experience of homelessness, peer workers, social care workers and organizational partners in Toronto, Victoria and Calgary, we developed a curriculum on the palliative approach to care for non-healthcare care workers, including those who work with older adults. The curriculum has been developed in keeping with the non-traditional pedagogical approaches preferred by the non-healthcare workers.
Participants will learn about:
- an inclusionary approach to co-designing programs for palliative care and the palliative approach to care;
- the adapting, adopting and embedding principles of palliative care to enable a palliative approach for a non-healthcare learner group; and
- a new curriculum on the palliative approach to care for social care workers
First, information will be provided about the curriculum development process and its collaborative components. Then we will open up the workshop for questions, answers and discussion. Next, we will provide an opportunity to experience “learning” the curriculum. Finally, we will brainstorm ideas about how to make more people aware of the curriculum, encourage its uptake, and its possible use for other learner groups.
- Wendy Mayhew, President, WISE – Seniors in Business
- Jeff Weiss, President & CEO, Age of Majority
More than half of American baby boomers plan to work past the age of 65 or not retire at all and they are projected to have faster annual rates of labor force growth than that of any others. And when it comes to starting new businesses, the reality is that senior entrepreneurs (aka. “Seniorpreneurs”) are creating jobs for themselves and others, contributing billions of dollars of taxes along the way. In fact, more than 50% of all US business owners are over the age of 50. They are also considerably more successful with start-ups compared to younger entrepreneurs. The numbers are staggering, yet older entrepreneurs are the most under supported and underserved group of business owners.
This inspiring and entertaining presentation will present the true picture of aging consumers in older consumers have no desire to completely stop working once they hit the age of 65; instead, they are going back to school, learning new skills, starting new careers and leading the charge in creating new, disruptive businesses.
Attendees of this session will be inspired to think about potential changes and impacts in their respective areas of focus – from public policy changes to shifts in marketing to new thinking about the needs of the overall workforce and workplace.
- Trish Barbato, Revera
This session will be completely interactive, beginning with a review of the definition and framework for design thinking – Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. Participants will then be introduced to the tools of design thinking and use them to tackle the real-world challenge of ageism. Participants will be broken into groups to brainstorm as many ideas as possible around the issue of ageism. By the end of the workshop, each participant will be asked to take away at least one idea that they ‘pledge’ to implement in their own environment.
Participants will use brain storming techniques and prioritization processes to arrive at the most viable opportunities to the question of “How Might We End Ageism?” We will then work to refine the opportunities and gather energy and people willing to make commitments using the most viable alternatives.
Participants will acquire the following skills:
- An understanding of what design thinking is;
- Practice in using design thinking tools that can be used together, or individually, within their own work environment;
- Experience in thinking beyond their usual boundaries;
- Using deep creativity to solve a problem; and
- Identify one (or more) practical solutions to combat ageism that can be implemented in their context or environment.
- Paul Holyoke, Saint Elizabeth Research Centre
- Katherine Rizzi, Saint Elizabeth Research Centre
The overall goal of this interactive workshop is to engage participants in practical discussions on the challenges and opportunities in the provision of spiritual care at the individual, practice and organizational levels. The workshop will begin with a brief presentation on the research of Holyoke and Stephenson (2017) that identified, from the practices of spiritually-focused hospice programs across North America, nine organizational-level principles and practices to support spiritual care at the end-of-life.
Next, workshop facilitators will describe the following details about the second-stage qualitative study that identified barriers, opportunities and key processes for actually implementing the nine spiritual care principles at the organizational, practice, and individual levels in secular health care organizations: Focus groups were conducted with health care and spiritual care workers (n=55) in hospital, hospice, and home care settings in four Canadian cities. Framework analysis was applied by two independent researchers to analyze the data, who then, together, developed a working analytical framework. The resulting framework includes barriers, facilitators, and processes related to the following three categories and themes:
- Place: identifying and creating elements that enable a sacred space (physical & imagined) in any setting for any person;
- People: involvement and practices that support a holistic approach to care, including the spiritual; and
- Time: investing time in and for spiritual care, often in stark contrast to systemic pressures for hurried, transactional care in the healthcare system.
Following these brief presentations, workshop participants will be asked to consider the application of the framework themes across the continuum of care and work together to brainstorm and discuss immediate, shorter term and longer term actions to improve and expand spiritual care at the end-of-life in accordance with the nine organizational-level principles and practices. Workshop facilitators will guide reflections on challenges and opportunities related to the actions identified, for example, asking participants to consider whether there is a need for additional financial and human resources.
At the end of this workshop, participants will be equipped with tools and ideas to apply the framework in their own organizations and practice areas to enhance the delivery of spiritual care at the end-of-life.
- Helen Dennis, Aging and The New Retirement
- Dr Janet M. Hively, Co-Founder and US Liaison, Pass It On Network
- Sandra Timmermann, Gerontologist and UN Representative, International Federation on Ageing
The concept of retirement is different from 25 years ago.
To a greater extent than in the past, older people want to engage in work and play meaningful roles in their community, live a life of purpose and, together with younger people, help create social and economic change for themselves and their communities.
Often they are held back by the age stereotypes. But changes are taking place throughout the world that are challenging these stereotypes.
This interactive session focuses on the “Retirement Reset.”
What needs to be done to bring this new way of thinking to scale? During this session, participants will:
- Increase their knowledge about the new breed of retirees
- Better understand retirees’ needs, capabilities and aspirations, and
- Learn about innovative models – models that can be replicated – to meet the new challenges and opportunities as the transition to retirement and move along the age continuum.
The expected outcomes are:
- Increased awareness and knowledge about conditions leading to the reset of retirement;
- Increased knowledge of models that support this reset, and
- Increased potential to adapt the models so that they will be responsive to national and local conditions and needs.
The three panelists will provide a global overview and framework on retirement today and how it differs from the past; explain life planning as a process that encourages economic stability, promoting entrepreneurship, employment options, community service and policy change; demonstrate how small group self-styled learning communities help older adults make the transition to and through retirement, use their talents in new ways, address issues they will likely face with age, and fulfill their aspirations; and discuss skill building models that enable older workers and those who seek employment to adapt their experience to new economic markets. Gender differences will also be addressed.
Responding to discussion questions, workshop participants will have the opportunity to make observations and add their own illustrations to the examples of Retirement Reset approaches. The expectation is that the workshop, through the presentations and group participation, will demonstrate that these approaches can enhance healthy aging, tap underutilized human capital, contribute to the well being of communities and the economy, and lead to a better world where people of all ages are full participants.
- Cynthia Stuen, UN representative
- Erica Dhar, AARP
- Ken Bluestone, The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP)
The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) adopted at the Second World Assembly on Aging in 2002 marked a turning point in how the world addresses the key challenges of “building a society for all ages.” The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at a historic UN Summit, seeks to eradicate poverty and achieve shared prosperity for all, leaving no one behind by 2030. Progress has been made to include older persons in some of the 17 goals but work remains at the national level to ensure that no one is left behind. In MIPAA and Agenda 2030, there are gaps and it is noted that ageism is widely tolerated throughout the world. Without a Convention to Promote and Protect the Rights of Older Persons there is not a legally binding international instrument that would bring clarity to both the nature of older persons’ rights and the responsibility of each nation to protect them.
The Stakeholder Group on Ageing is a member of the Major Groups and Other Stakeholders involved in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It represents organizations and networks of organizations concerned with ageing issues and is the voice of older persons at the global level with respect to the 2030 Agenda. In addition, it seeks to increase knowledge of ageing in all countries and seek the full age disaggregation of data for goals and targets in Agenda 2030. The Stakeholder Group on Ageing Advocates for the removal of all age caps and age brackets by national statistical offices in SDG indicators relevant for older people and ageing is a major concern. Overall, it seeks a life-course approach and the recognition of older persons and their contributions as a valuable part of society resource.
The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP) works with agencies seeking to promote and strengthen the rights of older persons globally. Administered by Age International, UK, [and HelpAge International] Co-Chaired by Age International and HelpAge International, GAROP seeks involvement of organizations is building a globally to build a broad-based civil society platform to strengthen the protection of the rights of older people and engagement with national human rights institutes, national governments and United Nations entities. Multi-stakeholder civil society membership base to work on strengthening civil society voices with national human rights institutes, Member States and the United Nations entities, GAROP members seek the creation of an international human rights convention for older persons as the purpose of supporting efforts at the United Nations to elaborate a legally binding human rights instrument to protect their rights of older persons.
This workshop will address the key areas for implementation of Agenda 2030 fulfilling its mandate for older persons and for older people and the current status of UN discussions on a convention, how these processes are related, and that would address and will provide practical strategies for involving older people and civil society at the local and national level to ensure there is a society for all ages.
Elder Mediation: A Vision for Handling Disputes and Preventing Abuse Involving Older Persons Through Consensual Dispute Resolution
- Jennifer Suzor, Ontario Association for Family Mediation
- Mary-Anne Popescu, Ontario Association for Family Mediation
This presentation will focus on the emerging use of Elder Mediation as an effective proactive method of resolving conflict, identifying and preventing abuse, and strengthening the multi-generational relationships of Older Persons.
Participants will learn the fundamentals of Elder Mediation and how it can be used to resolve conflict and prevent abuse of Older Persons. The types of Elder Abuse will be identified and practical solutions to common dilemmas will be explored.
Through the use of Case Studies and group discussions; the characteristics of family systems and intergenerational family dynamics will be explored. We will examine0 how the balance of power in Elder Mediation affects family systems and Participants will comprehend how the characteristics of aging influence families in conflict. Together we will explore best practices in Elder Mediation and increase understanding of the impact of elder abuse in families.
- Marlene Krasovitsky, The Benevolent Society
This interactive workshop will explore how we feel about getting older; our fears, what we are looking forward to and what we associate with ageing. We will then explore how our assumptions and beliefs influence the decisions we make and our attitudes to older people…and our future (or present) selves.
Drawing from research and the key elements of Every Age Counts – the Australian campaign to tackle ageism, participants will discuss ways in which ageist assumptions and stereotypes influence and underpin policy, practice and public discourse. Participants will also discuss the impact of ageism on people’s own internalized attitudes and expectations of themselves. The workshop will also explore the levers and means by which to bring about a shift in social norms and affect policy and practice.
- Rebekah Churchyard, The Neighbourhood Group
- Julie Piche
- Rachel Denny
- Vera Souza
Neighbour 2 Neighbour (N2N) 2.0 is an interagency partnership that includes 3 agencies in the downtown Toronto area with friendly visiting programming and 1 agency for appointment accompaniment. Friendly visiting programming connects isolated older adults to volunteers for social time by: visiting in their home, making phone calls or attending community activities together. When it comes to keeping connected and having friends, age shouldn’t matter.
The agencies received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in the GROW stream to expand or replicate a proven model (in this case, friendly visiting programming). Partners: The Neighbourhood Group (TNG, lead), West Neighbourhood House (WestNH) and Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre (WNC) with the Community Access Program (CAP) at Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC) will guide workshop participants through their collaborative process.
We will address N2N 2.0 from the micro, mezzo and macro social work levels of practice while integrating our main considerations for collective impact.
We will address the following areas:
Micro definition: working directly with older adults in our communities.
Micro questions: When is someone socially isolated? How does it feel to be isolated? Why do people become isolated? Is social isolation an ageist issue? What does a volunteer want?
Mezzo definition: working between agencies and within our neighbourhoods.
Mezzo questions: Do we have a shared agreement? How did we conduct our outreach? What do we do with shared catchment? How do we keep organized and share information?
Macro definition: interventions (large scale) that affect communities and program systems.
Macro questions: What systemic challenges do you face? How do you deal with societal ageism? How is N2N 2.0 preparing for replication? Where does social isolation belong in policy?
This workshop will be solutions-focused and interactive! We will engage our audience with real challenges N2N 2.0 encountered, ask them what they would do and go over what N2N 2.0 did. We are better together and look forward to sharing with IFA attendees!
Addressing the Growing Psychosocial End-of-Life Care Needs of Older Adults in Nursing Homes: The Value of Social Work
- Dr Mercedes Bern-Klug, University of Iowa
- Amy Lemke, University of Iowa
Against the backdrop of Erickson’s psychosocial development theory and using case studies, in this workshop we will examine emotional and psychosocial challenges that often arise in the context of living and dying with advanced chronic illness in a long-term care setting. We will also examine sources of resiliency among older adults.
The workshop includes a presentation of conceptual frameworks that professional social workers use to anticipate, assess, and address unmet psychosocial needs among nursing home residents approaching the end of life. In addition to sharing tools available in the public domain to screen for dementia, depression, and spiritual well-being. We will also share publicly available advance care planning tools which can be used with residents and family members.
The workshop concludes with a discussion of the advantages to residents, families, and staff member of having an on-site professional social worker in the nursing home setting.
- Describe a conceptual framework useful in anticipating, assessing and addressing common psychosocial challenges facing older adults who live in nursing homes.
- Name and be able to locate three screening tools useful in nursing homes for: dementia, depression and spiritual well-being.
- Discuss three sources of strength and resiliency among older adults in nursing homes, and how to build on those strengths.
- Distinguish “advance care planning” from “advance directives” and explain how advance care planning can help enhance the quality of living and dying in a nursing home while also addressing resident and family psychosocial issues related to the end of life
- David Willer, GSK, Global Medical Affairs, Mississauga, Canada
- Leonard Friedland, GSK, Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Philadelphia, USA
Learning Objective: Through an understanding of the science behind vaccine technology, you will be better equipped in making informed decisions about which vaccines are appropriate for which patients, as well as providing confident vaccination recommendations.
This session will:
- Review advances in vaccine technology, including adjuvants
- Explain how advances in vaccine technology affect the immune response and vaccine efficacy
- Discuss practical communication about vaccine technologies at the point of care
- Present a case study on the efficacy of a novel adjuvanted investigational shingles vaccine in older adults
- Sue Bronson, Association for Conflict Resolution Elder Justice Initiative on Eldercaring Coordination
- Linda Fieldstone, Association for Conflict Resolution Elder Justice Initiative on Eldercaring Coordination
- Karim Yamount, Association for Conflict Resolution Elder Justice Initiative on Eldercaring Coordination
High conflict family dynamics become a health issue for ageing persons, intensifying physical, psychological and cognitive challenges. However, until recently, there were no court connected efforts to address this issue. To respond to this critical situation, the Elder Justice Initiative on Eldercaring Coordination developed a dispute resolution process for families when conflict impacts the autonomy, care and safety of ageing persons. In these cases, conflict is driving the family relationships and interpersonal interactions, including cross allegations, inconsistencies, and entrenchment. This innovative process reduces conflict by addressing the personal agendas of family members, refocusing them on the voice of their ageing loved one.
Workshop attendees will be able: to define “eldercaring coordination”; demonstrate the need for this new process; and detail its benefits for ageing persons and their families. Attendees will participate in an interactive exercise to personalize the experience of the ageing process in the midst of a familial tug-of-war. The transitions of ageing are made even more difficult, confusing and depleting as family conflict increases, exhausting the ageing person’s coping mechanisms. The group will then discuss their reactions to better understand how small choices may have big effects, and to explore disconnection between intention and consequences, including the possible motivations of family members from their own limited perspectives. The Eldercaring Coordinator’s court ordered role is to help transform families’ intractable conflict and create cognitive shifts that promote better outcomes for both ageing persons and their families.
Deliberating about Innovative Efforts to Engage Citizens and Patients in Using Evidence About Optimal Aging and Driving System Change
- John Lavis, McMaster Health Forum
- Dr Kaelan Moat, McMaster Health Forum
The McMaster Health Forum and its partners (the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging and the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative) have developed a number of innovative approaches for engaging citizens and patients (and their families), supporting them to:
- Learn how the best-available evidence about optimal aging can be used to address their pressing questions, and about how their health system works, through citizen-focused capacity-building initiatives;
- Find evidence about the aging-related issues that matter most to them through the establishment of an online one-stop shop of pre-appraised research evidence and citizen-friendly evidence products (McMaster Optimal Aging Portal), and through the preparation of citizen briefs informed by the best-available evidence; and
- Spark insights about the opportunities for driving change in their health system through convening citizen panels.
This workshop brings together two researchers involved in designing, implementing and evaluating these approaches (Lavis, Moat) in order to take stock of what is being done and what is being learned about their usefulness and impacts. It also aims to engage a range of participants in structured deliberations about these approaches, in order to identify ways to strengthen them and scale up their use. Participants will include representatives of citizen and patient groups (and, when possible, engaged citizens and patients themselves), as well as the health professionals, policymakers and researchers involved in efforts to engage citizens and patients to support optimal aging.
The workshop will span 90 minutes, and be divided into two segments. In the first segment, presenters will spend 30 minutes sharing what is being done and what is being learned through innovative efforts that support citizens and patients to: 1) learn how the best-available evidence about aging can be used, and how the health system works (10 mins); 2) find the best-available evidence about aging (10 mins); and 3) spark insights about opportunities for system change (10 mins).
The second segment will consist of three 20-minute deliberations facilitated by the presenters that address these same groups of efforts. In each deliberation, participants will consider the innovative approaches presented and those they have used in order identify strengths, potential weaknesses, opportunities for improvement and anticipated threats associated efforts to equip citizens and patients (and their families) with knowledge and skills to find and use evidence, and to drive health system change. A summary of key themes and promising next steps will be prepared by workshop presenters and circulated to participants after the event
The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging: A Platform Study to Support Policy Decisions and Initiatives
- Verena Menec, University of Manitoba, Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging
- Lauren Griffith, McMaster University, Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging
- Simone Powell, Public Health Agency of Canada
Given the aging population, there is a strong need for high-quality evidence to inform health and social policy decision-making that will help to improve the health and well-being of Canada’s seniors. The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is the largest and most comprehensive platform study of aging ever undertaken in Canada that is expected to foster cutting edge research to answer the most pressing questions on healthy aging. The CLSA is a strategic initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Support for the study has been provided by the Government of Canada through the CIHR and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, as well as the provincial governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The CLSA has recruited over 51,000 Canadians aged 45-85 at baseline who will be followed up over at least 20 years. The lower age limit allows the inclusion of a sample from the “baby boom” cohort while the upper limit includes individuals entering their senior years who are making the transition into retirement, those who are already retired, and those who have already reached older age. The study consists of two cohorts: The Tracking cohort (over 21,000 Canadians) was randomly selected from all ten provinces. Participants are surveyed via computer-assisted telephone interviews and respond to a wide range of measures, such as health, function, health behaviors, psychological well-being, caregiving, social engagement, and labor force participation. The Comprehensive cohort (over 30,000 Canadians) involves participants from 11 Canadian cities in seven provinces who participate in an in-home interview and come to a data collection sites for a wide range of physical, functional, psychological, and biological assessments. The majority of questionnaire-based data is the same for Tracking and Comprehensive, and weights have been calculated such that the data from over 50,000 participants can be combined.
In Spring of 2018 we will be launching a report summarizing different aspects of the CLSA baseline data. The Government of Canada has partnered with the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging to undertake analysis of the Baseline data of the CLSA and to produce a report highlighting several research and policy-relevant areas.
The CLSA serves to respond to the World Health Assembly’s Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health which calls upon Member States to improve measurement, monitoring, and research on healthy aging.
This workshop has two objectives:
- To provide an overview of the CLSA methodology and the kinds of measures that are being collected; and
- To present select findings and discuss how the CLSA can support responding to policy-relevant questions. Participants will be shown how to access CLSA data and will have the opportunity to ask questions on how to use the CLSA data for their own purposes
- Nancy Christine, Third Age Network
- Sandra Kerr, Ryerson University
The workshop will discuss how Third Age learning programs can support improved cognitive health and increased socialization for senior participants and demonstrate how to create such programs.
Globally, there are several program models of Third Age learning: institution or community based; organized by paid staff or operated by participants. In the TAN (Third Age Network, Ontario, Canada) model of Third Age learning, the over-riding principle is that the Third Agers (senior volunteers) are the planners, organizers, and managers of the learning events. This principle is as important a learning opportunity as the traditional educational component of the activity.
The workshop will discuss the different models, as well as alternative formats. The steps in creating a community-based model and the organization to support it will be outlined. Ways of finding the human, knowledge and financial resources required for creating your chosen model(s) will be discussed as well exploring additional opportunities for socializing.
The TAN model of Third Age learning involves active engagement of the organizers as well as participants. This dynamic component offers further opportunities for learning and socializing, both of which are essential in keeping seniors healthy and independent… a benefit both to society and to the Third Agers themselves. The workshop will demonstrate – through the participation of active senior leaders – just how this strategy works to meet the aspirations, potential and needs of the burgeoning populations of senior members of our societies.
Two presenters will provide an overall picture of Third Age learning and how it can impact on the cognitive health of seniors in the community. The introduction will discuss two means of delivering programs: through an institution or through the community. We will then examine how the operations and results of the two methods differ. Next, how to progress from the idea to creating such a program will be outlined using examples of actual programs now operating. Following this, three program models will be examined – lecture, peer learning and webinars- with participants experienced in each model outlining the strategies for ensuring content and participation, the management and operation of each model, and some of the challenges that groups face. Dialogue will be invited following each step in the presentation to explore and expand on the information presented.
Using surveys, linked data and microsimulation models to examine the health of older adults: Surveillance, planning and evaluation
- Julie Bernier, Statistics Canada
- Dr Rochelle Garner, Statistics Canada
- Sharanjit Uppal, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The purpose of this workshop is to highlight the varying sources of data that can be used to examine the health and well-being of older Canadians, as well as to aid in planning and evaluation of programs and policies aimed at older adults.
Survey data is very useful for its depth of information on a target population. Cross-sectional data can be used to examine the associations between health and its determinants at all ages, including during older adulthood. An example using the General Social Survey will study how various domain of satisfaction contribute to overall life satisfaction, an outcome known as being related to mental and cognitive health among seniors will be given.
Remote Care Innovation for Elder Caregiving: Prevention and Wellness Tools to Achieve and Measure Functional Ability
- Michael Hodin, Global Coalition on Ageing
The Global Coalition on Aging will lead a panel consisting of representation from technology, home care, healthcare, and gerontology to address how innovations in each sector are enabling a healthier and more active ageing. We will explore the ways in which remote care is becoming the standard of care for healthier ageing in the 21st century, as well as how its applications with the aforementioned sectors is leading to both improvements in quality of life and healthcare cost efficiencies. As the WHO-identified metric for healthier and active ageing, functional ability will be the common strand for testing, showing, and measuring the impact of innovation. We will share specific applications of remote care in the home, as well as explore ways in which remote care can be further enhanced – both through enablers such as payment incentives and barrier-reducers at the public policy and individual levels. Panelists will engage in a free-flowing discussion on the current and future value of remote care, and changes required in the public policy as well as market ecosystems for continued progress.
The format will be a facilitated conversation based on four powerful questions and interactive discussion among panelists. Questions:
- How will remote care innovations improve elder caregiving, and therefore the functional ability and quality of life, for the senior and his or her family caregiver?
- How are effective applications of remote care leading to cost savings for elder caregiving at the public fiscal and individual family levels?
- What progress do you see in the next 3, 5, 10 years in your space that will enable elder care to become more valued?
- Jon Parr Vijinski, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary
- Carole-Lynne Le Navenec, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary
What are the issues that inspire future leaders in gerontology? How can students from the various multidisciplinary backgrounds in health care – who will become the scholars, clinical practitioners, academics, policy advisers – come together to identify the key issues for 21st century gerontological care?
What will the 21st century require of gerontologists? A few key areas for consideration include: (1) how can gerontology remain “human”, and remain person-focused, as it adapts and utilizes the advances of technology; (2) what kind of skills do future leaders from various disciplines need to more effectively engage in KT; (3) how can future leaders come to a new understanding of gerontology as it is applied in various parts of the world; (4) what skills do future leaders in gerontology need to face the challenges of the coming decade with ongoing demographic, social, and technological change?
These are some of the key issues that the future leaders on gerontological research need to consider. This workshop is designed to bring students of gerontology, from every discipline, to discuss and debate the suggested issues. It will place an emphasis on networking to ensure that future gerontological leaders collaborate and learn from each other going into the 21st century. This workshop, bringing together future leaders from all over the world, will encourage participants to draw on cultural perspectives to enrich the exchange of ideas.
- Trish Barbato, Revera
- Bill Jarvis, Revera
- Dennis Champ, Revera
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the increasing influence of technology and innovation in the senior living sector broadly, and for seniors specifically. The session will be interactive, providing the audience with insights into the technology landscape for seniors and an understanding of how organizations can quickly and efficiently create an innovation structure to support the creativity and risk-taking required in the senior living sector today.
Through the session attendees will:
- better understand how technology and innovation are impacting and enabling the lives of seniors;
- learn about and see cutting edge technologies designed to allow seniors to live their life to the fullest;
- gain knowledge of how to design innovation initiatives within their organizations and how to engage the seniors they serve.
SPECIAL FEATURE: A live question and answer period with Revera’s two current Resident Innovation Ambassadors about their roles, technology and innovation.
- Marie Pierre Chevrier, Kativik Regional Development Agency
- Marie-Pierre McDonald, Group BC2
- Bobby Snowball, President of the Regional Elders’ Inuit committee, in Kuujjuaq
- Benjamin Arreak is the Counsellor for elders’ and women issues for KRG in Nunavik
How then, can AFC contribute to active ageing for the Inuit elders of Nunavik, in the changing context of their lives. One of the objectives is to expose the methodological constraints that necessarily called for adaptation of concepts, language and working tools, including data collection. Indeed, the different Guides to AFC call for a diagnosis of living environments, amongst other steps to be taken. But the cognitive and cultural patterns existing within the different community dynamics, call for flexibility, sensitivity, and even humility, to allow the empowering process to follow its own course.
One has to accept taking risks in introducing creative means of communication, both with stakeholders as well as with the elders themselves. Consultation was done using symbols for consensus, and opening communication channels for exchange. Some of the problematic issues had to be ploughed through to reach solutions brought up by the elders and the regional stakeholders, in order to organize the action plan.
Within the process, special attention has been given to elder knowledge regarding the safe keep of the environment. Inuit expertise is precious not only in as much as urban planning and land use development are concerned, but elders’ also serve as informants for upholding sustainable development goals. The urban planner involved in the process
will touch on the importance of engaging elder and community participation on these issues. Engaging planners within the nexus of stakeholders is of primary importance. Their understanding of design as a means to plan favorable environments, overriding social assets, calls for an overall view of all amenities within living communities.
Two elders from the Inuit community, both of whom are institutional representatives, will follow-up with reports on the trickle-down effect of the Kativik regional policy for Inuit elders, to the resulting AFC mobilization, within the northern villages surrounding the Nunavik peninsula.
The AFC approach has led to the Kativik regional policy for inuit seniors, and to the related action plan, a process that covered more than a two-year period. The presentation will be done from a field perspective. This should allow practioners to view and compare problematic issues within their own communities, as well as according solutions. Theoreticians, on the other hand, may benefit from reality checks coming from ground work.
Elders dispose of a wealth of territorial knowledge. Both in the north and in the south, this cultural and natural heritage remains untapped and needs to be heard. The very notion of favorable environments introduces a most overlapping view of sustainable development, one that we must embrace within the AFC process. We are targeting these two incentives to stimulate a more comprehensive approach to AFC and to further stronger AFC networks.
Innovation Case Study: How Academia, Industry, Government, and Entrepreneurs Can Partner to Develop and Scale Technology for the Aging Demographic
- Azi Boloorchi, Revera
- Frank Rudzicz, Scientist, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University of Toronto, WinterLight Labs;
- Jeanie Zabukovec, AGE-WELL NCE
This session will discuss a case study of how entrepreneurs, industry and research funding agencies can leverage their core capabilities to create an ecosystem that fosters the development and commercialization of technologies for and with seniors.
Through an interactive panel format, we will demonstrate the effectiveness of the critical enablers of the partnership between WinterLight Labs (a start-up) with Revera (a senior living provider) and AGE WELL (a federally funded research network).
Topics will include:
- How researchers can bridge the gap between technical, clinical and market validation;
- The specific ways industry can help foster innovations that scale
- How policy makers and research funders can create the conditions which enable commercialization of research with measurable impact in improving the aging experience.
- How to engage meaningfully with seniors to deeply understand their needs and wants;
- How to design solutions with the senior at the centre;
- How to co-create with industry who can help to commercialize and scale.
- How to choose strong research and companies that align to your innovation objectives;
- How to understand and use seniors’ insight to improve the aging experience.
- How to create a strong innovation ecosystem;
- How to effectively partner with researchers and industry to maximize impact and growth.
- Alana Officer – Department of Ageing and Life Course, World Health Organization
*More presenters to be added
One of the greatest challenges age-friendly initiatives face is how to demonstrate that efforts to enhance the age-friendliness of a city or community create the conditions that improve the lives of older people and especially those in most need. Being clear about the expected change and measuring and tracking the actions and outcomes before, during and after a planned program of activities can help attribute meaningful community changes to an ongoing strategy.
This workshop will explore how to measure the impact of work being undertaken to create age-friendly cities and communities within the broader framework of an age-friendly environment. This workshop will address questions such as:
- How are metrics developed that are both locally meaningful and effective for showing change? How can you know if you are reaching those most in need?
- How can “change” be expressed in a practice and policy environment?
- What are some examples of evaluation approaches that have demonstrated impact at the individuals and/or community level?
- Alana Officer – Department of Ageing and Life Course, World Health Organization
*More presenters to be added
What people value is different between individuals and changes over the course of people’s lives. Although research is limited and recognizing the great diversity of capacity and circumstance in older adults, some of the things older people identify as important include: having a role or identity; relationships; the possibility of enjoyment; autonomy; security; and the potential for personal growth.
Environments have a crucial role in enabling people to experience older age in a positive way. In 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) set out a new framework for action built around the new concept of functional ability. This concept focuses on the role of environments in both building and maintaining our physical and mental capacities as well as enabling us, at any given level of capacity, to do the things that we value. Several domains of functional ability are crucial to achieve this end. These are the abilities to:
- move around;
- build and maintain relationships;
- meet one’s own basic needs;
- learn, grow and make decisions; and
Workshop 1 will:
- explore these abilities, how they relate to each other and to WHO’s original eight age-friendly city domain (topics), and the implications for developing age-friendly cities and communities with a specific focus on inequities.
- be the foundation session for workshops 2 and 3 held on the following days which will focus on how to engage, plan and measure success.
How can we build and sustain connections within and across local planners and other decision-makers?
- Alana Officer – Department of Ageing and Life Course, World Health Organization
*More presenters to be added
Learning to successfully work within the machinery and systems of the local planning environment and the various decision-makers is critical to being effective in advancing age-friendly work. Those wishing to advance age-friendly approaches and actions must also understand and know how to build connections with decision makers including legislators, city and town planners and other authorities.
This workshop will address questions such as:
- Who are the critical stakeholders in decision-making around age-friendly environments, and how do they intersect and engage with one another?
- How have age-friendly approaches influenced planners to incorporate the needs of older people?
- What are some successful practices that illustrate cross- sector planning with an age-friendly lens?
- How have different communities succeeded in fostering leadership, generating political will and sustaining support for age-friendly efforts across shifting administrations and changing political priorities?
- Christine Young, City of Melville Western Australia
- Rhonda Parker
This workshop will explore this unique collaborative approach and present findings from a study involving 300 people living with dementia across Western Australia into the lived experience of dementia in the community; the enablers, disablers and priority areas for change. It will also identify opportunities for a new and integrated model that enhances the age friendly approach by ensuring the needs of people living with dementia are identified and included.
The workshop will provide a practical opportunity to identify activities and initiatives that help support both aged friendly and dementia friendly integration and allow the participants to explore new learnings that can be taken back to their communities. It will explore some of the barriers to change and how these can be overcome as well as ideas for engaging communities in this work.
This will be an interactive style of workshop where participants can workshop their own thinking and ideas of how to progress dementia friendly principles within the age friendly context identifying both the challenges and the opportunities unique to their context.
- Peter J. Whitehouse, Case Western Reserve University and University of Toronto
- C.Terry Hokenstad, Case Western Reserve University
This session will focus on Age Friendly Environments that facilitate Active Ageing through the life course. Emphasis will be given to approaches that optimize opportunities for life-long learning and the importance of learning organizations, such as schools, museums, and universities. Our program will give attention to the multi-age learning programs, particularly the concepts and practices of intergenerational schools in Cleveland and elsewhere as examples of effective programs for promoting deep learning and social engagement, as well as individual and community health.
Age Friendly Environments serve different purposes including access to physical activities, healthy food, social support, and transportation. The Global Age Friendly Cities Program in Cleveland, Ohio will be cited as an example of promoting active ageing through creating of age friendly environments. We will focus on their function in providing social engagement through life-long learning, in different roles such as volunteers or paid workers. Individual seniors often need or prefer to be active in different ways. Children can benefit from the individualized attention caring adults and elders can offer and in group activities.
- Diane Turner, Officer for Seniors, Ministry of Social Development
- Stephen Neville, Auckland University of Technology
Since 2015 New Zealand has been supporting three communities to implement the age-friendly initiatives. The three pilot communities are Hamilton City, which is an urban city with a total population of 156,800 people, New Plymouth which is a coast city with a population of 74,184 people and the Kapiti Coast which is a rapidly growing coastal retirement community of just under 50,000 people. As pilot communities each community undertook different processes. From November 2017 to May 2018 a small team from Auckland University of Technology led by Associate Professor Stephen Neville undertook a process evaluation with the three pilot communities to understand the strengths of their different approaches and look at what lessons can be applied to other communities in New Zealand.
The evaluation team took a strengths based participatory approach that involved working alongside the people involved in each pilot community as well as the national agency. The evaluation identified the strengths of each of the community’s different approaches and provided the opportunity for those involved to share key lessons on a number of topics such as navigating community factions.
This workshop will provide participants with an opportunity build new knowledge on evaluating age-friendly communities. You will get the opportunity to understand the approach New Zealand has taken to implement and evaluate age-friendly community initiatives through a brief case study. This will be followed by a facilitated debate amongst participants where you will be given the opportunity to test New Zealand’s approach against your own countries experience. How replicable is New Zealand’s experience in your own or other jurisdictions? Learn some tools and techniques for evaluating age-friendly communities using a strengths based approach that combines a bottom up community led development approach supported by top-down leadership.
- John Swinton, University of Aberdeen Scotland
- Andrew Ricker, Health Television Network Australia
- Ray Saucy, Baptist Housing Canada
The workshop will present IFA delegates with an overview of the nature of spirituality and the importance of spiritual care (Professor John Swinton), alongside of an overview of the Spiritual Care Series training tool and its roll out in Australia over the previous 14 months (Andrew Ricker). The presentation will also feature a case study presented by the Baptist Housing organization from Canada focusing on their work within this area carried out over the previous 6 months (Ray Saucy).
The future of aged care depends on care providers being able to demonstrate that they have a deep holistic understanding of the older person and are paying attention to the fullness of that person within that context. By paying attention to spiritual care and building that into an organization’s mission, we are sensitizing the whole organization to holistically understand the older person, thereby making the older person’s care experience a positive one.
The 16-hour SCS volunteer training course is sector endorsed and is an initiative of the Health Television Network in Australia. The SCS is made up of eight high quality video episodes, featuring Professor John Swinton. Each two-hour session is practical as well as highly relevant. Apart from the video content, the course is supported by a 200-page participant workbook and 150-page facilitator manual, as well as group discussions, practical exercises, individual activities and online assessments.
The SCS is suitable for a wide range of volunteers from industry standard age care homes to multi-faith care providers and church groups. The SCS is also designed for flexible learning from large to small group facilitated settings.
Delegates will learn about the definition of “spirituality” and what quality “spiritual care” looks like in action for the older person. They will take away an understanding of how spiritual care volunteers can be recruited and trained within their own countries to provide this service. The SCS will be made available to delegate countries, dependent on the level of interest expressed at the workshop.
- Rhonda LaTreille Age Friendly Business Academy
- Geoff Pearman Partners in Change
Population, consumer, and workforce ageing is creating new risks and winning opportunities for business. More than ever, businesses are challenged to attract and retain valuable staff and loyal customers.
Find out why mature employees play a such critical role in the workplace, and learn about the economic impact the age 50+ offer to the business revenues and community well-being.
This interactive workshop will explore what it means to create an age friendly business with practical tips on how to get started.
Part 1 Becoming an Age Friendly Employer
- 5 common risks and opportunities from workforce ageing
- Taking a strategic approach
- The characteristics of an age friendly workplace
Part 2 Creating an Age-Friendly Customer Experience
- Top 3 areas where businesses get it wrong
- Why it is so much more than just offering a seniors discount
- Compelling proof of the difference an Age-Friendly customer engagement can make to your business bottom-line.
At the conclusion of this workshop participants will have
- Discussed the challenges and risks faced by employers from the ageing of their workforce
- Been introduced to a process for building a mature aged workforce strategy
- Identified 6 fields of better practice
- Listed the primary elements of an age-friendly customer experience
- Reviewed long-term benefits for the business, staff, customers and community
Pathways to Innovation - How can Canada bridge the gap between policy and solutions in the aging and technology space?
- Alex Mihailidis, AGE-WELL NCE
- Paul Stolee, University of Waterloo
- Don Juzwishin, Alberta Health Services
- Rosalie Wang, University of Toronto &
- Michael Wilson, McMaster University
- Kevin Harter, Aging National Innovation Hub
- Josephine McMurray, Wilfrid Laurier University
- Dorina Simeonov, AGE-WELL (Facilitator)
The session will begin by highlighting AGE-WELL’s efforts to support successful innovation, adoption of, and access to, aging-related technologies by:
- Identifying key challenges through a scoping review, a multiple case study, and over 50 stakeholder interviews looking at policy and regulatory issues. These findings informed the creation of resources for innovators including a policy primer and an interactive website where innovators can answer questions about their technology to receive tailored information about relevant stages of innovation.
- Researching equitable access to assistive technologies through a jurisdictional scan, interviews, citizen and stakeholder dialogues. Findings suggest high fragmentation and complexity in funding and service programs resulting in system navigation issues and inequity of access.
- Launching a national innovation hub focused on designing innovative solutions to specific policy, program, and service challenges, through the development of best practices for rapid adoption of evidence-based technologies.
- Investigating the partnerships and linkages among researchers, policymakers, practitioners, industry, and citizens, and the ecosystem elements that support health-technology and age-technology research, development, evaluation, commercialization and implementation.
This will be followed by a facilitated discussion using the guiding questions below:
- What are the top three policy priorities in the aging and technology space?
- How can we support innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape in Canada?
- How can we promote a shift in policy to ensure equitable access to technologies that help older adults and their caregivers?
- What can regions do to create an ecosystem that supports the development of innovative age-related technologies from research through to commercialization?
- Michelle Dellamora, Age Friendly London
- Tracy Denth
The workshop will include:
- Background of the Age Friendly London initiative and the hub and satellite model of older adult recreation programming
- Explanation how the work of the AFLN is interfacing with practical application through the delivery of programs and services at the neighbourhood level
- Description of the Seniors’ Satellites Tool Kit information and how to use the Tool Kit
- A group learning activity where participants will be lead through a case study of how to use the Tool Kit with a focus on troubleshooting for communities with varying needs
- Question and answer period.
Workshop participants will develop their competency in creating age friendly neighbourhoods with a focus on how to implement older adult recreation programming. Participants will also be equipped with a practical example of a program implementation model and how to overcome barriers during the implementation process.
Who should attend: Those with direct control over older adult recreation programming and service delivery. Mid- and high-level decision-makers from organizations and municipalities. Age friendly advocates and Councils on Aging.
- Lorene Casiez, Quadrangle Architects Limited
- Dev Mehta, Quadrangle Architects Limited
The Boomer generation is redefining aging and retirement. What was considered sufficient and comfortable a decade ago is no longer enough and the built environment will need to keep up. How are these changing needs being met by professionals in the field?
Lorene Casiez and Dev Mehta are Associates at Quadrangle, an architecture and design firm based in Toronto. Lorene leads the accessibility consultation team, drawing on her background in environmental and interior design, nursing and public health to help public- and private-sector clients realize built environments which are useable and enjoyable for all. Dev is an architect who specializes in designing residential environments. He is attuned to the demands driving the private sector which is looking to meet the tastes, wants, and needs of a changing Boomer market. In this session Dev and Lorene will provide a holistic vision of why and how the building industry is going beyond minimum legislated requirements to create inclusive, future-proofed spaces. With examples drawn from their work, they will dissect environments where people live, learn, work and play and challenge the audience to question their own environments, and ask what changes could be made to make those spaces more inclusive and useable.
The objectives of the workshop are:
- To provide an understanding of specific strategies that designers and the building industry employ, or could employ, to enhance the usability of the built environment and to foster inclusive communities;
- To open a conversation with professionals and stakeholders in the audience about areas in the built environment that are not commonly addressed and brainstorm solutions for removing these barriers to engagement.
- Atul Jaiswal, Queen’s University
- Kelly Patterson, Deafblind Ontario Services
Individuals with deafblindness or dual sensory loss are those who have concurrent impairment in vision and hearing senses. There has been recent interest in this population in the scientific community due to evidence suggesting increase in prevalence of this condition in older adult population and age-related dual sensory loss is going to become an alarming concern for public health system. Individuals who are experiencing deafblindness or dual sensory loss have unique communication, accessibility, and mobility challenges. Their challenges are unique because a single sensory impairment can be more or less compensated by using the other sense, whereas in individuals with a deafblindness or dual sensory loss compensation may not help and they need new coping measures and support. Despite the terms deafblind and dual sensory loss are used interchangeably, evidence suggests that experiences of older adults with congenital or acquired deafblindness are somewhat distinct from those older adults with age-related dual sensory loss of vision and hearing.
Age-friendly environment could be created for people with deafblindness or dual sensory loss by removing the accessibility and knowledge barriers.
The aim of the workshop is to make professionals in the field aware of the challenges faced by these two groups and then present potential solutions. The workshop would emphasize on the importance of strategies such as awareness generation, training of manpower (professionals), use of technology, and accessible barrier-free environment for these two groups. The workshop would be interactive by using case scenarios, direct interaction, and simulation activities such as using blind folds and ear plugs to simulate the experience of hearing and visual difficulties. The workshop will use case scenarios from the field in combination with recent knowledge developments in the field of deafblindness and dual sensory loss to present challenges and potential solutions. The simulation exercises would be complemented with the direct interaction with individual with deafblindness or dual sensory loss to provide a hands-on exposure.
- Kate Murzin, Realize
Two decades ago, there was a sea change when highly effective combination antiretroviral therapy was introduced and people who expected to die of HIV, often at young ages, began to recover from the devastating effects of the virus. Today, people living with HIV (PLWHIV) who have access to HIV treatment can expect to live almost as long as their peers who are HIV-negative (Samji et al 2013) and the first groups of people living long-term with HIV have reached their senior years. New HIV diagnoses among older adults are also increasingly common, in part due to changing social norms about dating in older age, condom fatigue, and a low perception of personal risk (PHAC 2015). As a result, the number of older adults living with HIV worldwide is greater than ever before, and growing.
- To provide an overview of HIV transmission and risk reduction strategies through an aging lens.
- To challenge myths and misconceptions about HIV, sex, and aging.
- To illustrate how HIV, HIV treatments and social inequities impact health and the experience of aging.
- To reduce HIV-stigma and foster empathy among stakeholders in the aging sector through social contact with older adults living with HIV.
- To identify ‘quick win’ actions that will help increase access to mainstream (non-HIV) aging care and support services for older people living with and vulnerable to HIV.
- Devan Nambiar, Sherbourne Health Centre, Rainbow Health Ontario
The workshop will provide a historical context on LGBT2S and its impact on LGBTI2S seniors. Many LGBTI2S seniors grew up in an era when it was a criminal offense to be LGBTI2S. LGBTI2S was diagnosed as a mental illness until 1973 in DSM III. For many senior LGBTI2S the years of criminalization, imprisonment, harassment, fired from jobs, shame-based trauma, assault, medical assessment of their sexual lives have created a huge burden on the mental, emotion, sexual, spiritual and physical health. The burden has affected their sense of identity and affects their well-being on an intersectional and multidimensional level.
The session uses a blended learning style utilizing didactic, videos, quiz/ exercises and case scenarios to build knowledge and practical tools in becoming confident and knowledgeable to provide optimal care to LGBTI2S seniors.
- Samantha Edmonds, Silver Rainbow
- Pauline Crameri, Silver Rainbow
This workshop will discuss who L,G,B,T and I peoples are and the issues that affect these distinct populations, and why we need to address their genders, bodies, relationships, and/or sexuality differently. It will demonstrate why we need to move from ‘but we treat everyone the same” to “how can we meet each person’s individual needs”, particularly in the age of person centred care. It will explore the learnings we have gained on what makes an aged care service culturally safe for each group.
This session will engage participants in how to respond to the unique needs of each of L,G,B,T, and I peoples, reflect critically on their own practices, and plan genuinely inclusive services that meet the distinct, and sometimes overlapping needs, of each group. It will provide practical examples and models of how aged care services and the sector can genuinely respond in a way that is inclusive of this diversity.
- Henry de Souza, Correctional Services Canada
- Bruce Stevens, Charles Stuart University
As countries around the world experience population aging, it is not surprising that our prisons are now housing and providing care to a growing number of older prisoners. While the exact age of what constitutes an ‘older prisoner’ varies, there are three groups of older prisoners: those who have grown old in prison as a result of lengthy sentences imposed when they were younger; recidivists who have come in and out of incarceration over a long period of time; and, those who were incarcerated for the first time in their 50s and 60s. Older prisoners, not unlike older adults in mainstream society, can present with varying degrees of chronic disease, disability, mental health and addiction issues. Providing care however to older adults in an environment where public safety and security are paramount brings with it unique and unprecedented challenges. Governments around the world are grappling with similar issues such as, how do we define an older adult within the prison context? how do we address the needs of older prisoners within the context of population management? what are the health care needs of aging prisoners and how do we meet those needs given the realities of prison life?
This 90 minute interactive workshop has three objectives: 1) to shed light on the health care needs of older prisoners, a segment of society often hidden from view; 2) to share the results of an international systematic review of aged care interventions for older prisoners, 3) to present the Correctional Service of Canada’s (CSC) proposed approach to addressing the health care needs of Canada’s older adults in custody and engage workshop participants in an interactive discussion on the proposed approach and how to best meet the needs of older prisoners.
The IFA 2018 Global Conference is expected to attract aging experts from across the globe including researchers, policy makers, practitioners and community based organizations. This workshop has a practical focus and provides a unique opportunity to participate in what is expected to be a highly interactive dialogue on how to best meet the needs of an older adult prison population.
Participants will be encouraged to share their views and expertise on the proposed approach including areas specific to health care related assessment and screening. As most people have not had the opportunity to work with older prisoners, this workshop provides an opportunity to hear perhaps for the first time, what it is like behind the prison walls, the realities of incarceration for older adults and some of the myths that often create a narrative around this hidden population of older people.
Older LGBTQI People Town Hall #1: Addressing Inequalities – Older LGBTQI People: Invisibility and Marginalization
The diverse nature of older people and in particular, sub-populations including older LGBTQI people, are often under-represented in policy dialogue and targeted programs. At some levels of development and in the general population there is often an assumption that the experience of older people is the same regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or intersex variations. This session aims to draw attention to the inequalities experienced at the nexus of ageing and LGBTQI identities, as well as explore how that nexus becomes further problematized through additional intersections of oppression including culture, class, age, ethnicity, religion and ability.
Society often understates the fact that life experiences significantly impact and at times jeopardise the health and ability of older people to meet their basic needs. Despite the recent shift in a few countries towards greater acceptance of LGBTQI people and greater recognition of the need for tailored services for older LGBTQI individuals, this growing older population remains entirely invisible in many parts of the world and still experiences stigma and discrimination, negatively impacting their health and well-being, in all countries. As most individuals and organizations who work with older persons embrace a “life course approach to ageing,” earlier life events and the inequalities experienced by individuals throughout their lives have profound impacts on the population of older LGBTQI people.
In addition to exploring the systemic inequalities, this session will also delve into the impact of ageism and age-based discrimination (internal and external) within the LGBTQI community. The loss of community many older LGBTQI people experience compounded with loneliness perpetuates the conditions of social isolation. Additionally, many challenges persist for older LGBTQI people entering the third phase of life. Discrimination against older LGBTQI people while they are receiving and accessing services is still common despite the social, legal, and political advances in some countries that have been propelled into action over the years. Older LGBTQI people are also more likely to experience poverty and financial instability due to laws and regulations impacting access to pensions, social security and other services important during retirement. Financial instability puts older LGBTQI people in a very precarious position, limiting access to housing and appropriate medical treatment. Even when the financial resources are accessible, very few LGBTQI friendly communities and residential care housing are available.
Older LGBTQI People Town Hall #2: Addressing Inequalities – Older LGBTQI People: Culture, Spirituality and Resilience
Although culture and spirituality are distinct ideas, they interact with each other in critical ways throughout the ageing process. The impact of these two concepts is even more pronounced within ageing LGBTQI communities. This session will explore the role that culture and spirituality have on the health and well-being of older LGBTQI people separately, as well as how some of their implications maintain the conditions of marginalization for this population. The strength and resilience of older LGBTQI people will also addressed in this session.
For older LGBTQI people, the role that spirituality and culture have (and has had throughout life) in shaping personal beliefs and affiliations becomes even more pronounced later in life. As individuals get older, their desire and willingness to connect or reconnect with spirituality can increase. For older LGBTQI people, this can be a contentious issue as many try to reconcile their desire for spirituality at the end of life, with joining a community which may have shunned them on the basis of their identity throughout their life. Globally, conservative organized religions continue to propagate anti-LGBTQI rhetoric, policies and practices, which have had far-reaching impacts at the political and systems level, while also negatively impacting cultural discourses around LGBTQI communities. Detrimental and harmful social norms which systemically oppress LGBTQI people are the outcomes of these systems. Despite recent evidence published in the Minorities Report 2017: attitudes to sexual and gender minorities around the world that highlights how individuals believe they can respect their religion and culture while being accepting of diversity, anti-LGBTQI sentiments continue to be propagandized by certain dominant religious institutions.
Throughout their lives, many older LGBTQI people experienced persecution due to their identities not reflecting cultural norms. Loss of relationships ranging from familial to organizational, due to identity, often makes LGBTQI communities’ ageing process different and more difficult than their non-LGBTQI counterparts. Spiritual places of worship and cultural centers are important gathering places for older people and older LGBTQI people are less likely to participate in these community initiatives due to discrimination (or fear of), contributing to the social isolation of older LGBTQI people. Even within older LGBTQI people communities, racism, sexism and transphobia is evident, leaving many groups burdened by additional layers of oppression beyond age and LGBTQI identities.
The impact of culture and spirituality as it underpins issues related to progress and change in the care pathways and caregiving offered to older LGBTQI people is rarely addressed. Conflicting cultural and spiritual values that impact the progress and change contribute to complacency and barriers such as homophobic responses, taboos, and the infringement on the rights of older LGBTQI people to services. This can be exacerbated where cultural norms and language are different from the dominant culture where older LGBTQI people are living. Despite these difficulties, older LGBTQI people have continued to exhibit strength and resilience throughout the ageing process. Many older LGBTQI people have found support and belonging within communities more accepting of diverse sexual or gender identities, while still experiencing violence and discrimination from society at large. These communities may be non-traditional social support networks, or cultures around the world that have been and are more accepting of diverse sexualities and those that recognize and accept multiple genders.
Older LGBTQI People Town Hall #3: Addressing Inequalities – Older LGBTQI People: Care Pathways and Caregiving
Despite the recent shift towards greater recognition of the need for tailored services for older LGBTQI individuals, and greater sensitization of the issues, this growing population still experiences stigma and discrimination, negatively impacting their health and well-being. Care pathways and caregiving are of vital importance for ageing individuals but are more challenging for older LGBTQI people seeking care later in life. This session will explore the issues experienced by older LGBTQI people while navigating care pathways and caregiving options.
Invisibility and marginalization due to social exclusion, institutional structures, and social or family pressures to “go back into the closet” prevent older LGBTQI people from seeking out and receiving necessary care and services. The fear that older LGBTQI people have about care pathways and caregiving is multifaceted. Older LGBTQI people worry that by being open with their identity they will receive poor or harmful care and be judged by caregiving and health care employees, as well as other older people accessing these services. There is also the concern that there is a lack of training on the needs of older LGBTQI people within care and service settings. These fears are reality-based, reflecting the harsh realities that many older LGBTQI people face when seeking care. Not understanding the needs of this population can reduce access to LGBTQI sensitive health care in critical areas like HIV care, hormone therapy and other medical treatment for ageing transgendered or transitioned people, etc.
LGBTQI communities often rely more on friendship and community support networks rather than traditional family systems. This is a source of great resilience, but also poses a unique set of problems for older LGBTQI people who are involved with specific care pathways. Older LGBTQI people are less likely to have family members who can support them as they age, which adds to their financial insecurity and reduces the number of care options available to them. Additionally, many older LGBTQI people experience reduced autonomy in their decision making due to their partners not being recognized within institutional structures or under the law.