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Centre for Aging and Community - About Us

About Us

Centre for Aging and Community

In 2015, Canada officially became an aging society. We now have more people aged 65 and over than under the age of 15. Statistics Canada reports that, over the next 20 years, the cohort of people aged 65 years and older will continue to grow at a pace of four times faster than the population at large. This dramatic shift to an aging society deeply affects the many dimensions of human living on both a personal and collective basis. Current circumstances of an aging society call for multi-sector and multidisciplinary exploration and analysis to identify critical concerns and propose appropriately adapted practices. Saint Paul University provides a rich learning environment in which to explore critically and creatively the many issues and conditions that affect the way humans live, relate and make meaning.

Beginning in 2015, researchers and community collaborators have held consultation meetings with professionals from diverse organizations and sectors who are engaged in practices and policy-making that affect the aging population. In these consultations, participants reflected on questions of justice and inclusivity for the aged, their families and their caregivers in areas of health care, spiritual care, housing, education and community services. It has become clear that attending to such questions calls for building hospitable environments in which difference is openly welcomed as opportunities for learning, growing, and determining appropriate courses of action.

These initial consultations led to the development and delivery of a conference on “Building Hospitable Communities for Aging” in September 2016. This conference brought diverse groups and communities in dialogue on issues related to an aging society and motivated the creation of the Centre for Aging and Community. As a result of the collaborations surrounding the 2016 conference “Building Hospitable Communities for Aging”, Monique Lanoix, Associate Professor at Saint Paul University and Iva Apostolova, Associate Professor at Dominican University, edited a compilation of research titled Aging in an Aging Society: Critical Reflection.

Mandate

The Centre aspires to promote healthy aging through optimization of quality of life and community resources for older adults. Through innovation, collaboration and interdisciplinary research, researchers work with older adults and their communities in order to address challenges and facilitate opportunities in all realms of daily life, including social, physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual and political spheres.

Vision

The intention of the Centre is two-fold:

  1. As a centre for research, its purpose is to promote and advance research on issues related to aging from a number of perspectives and disciplines.
  2. As a centre for community engagement, its purpose is to create spaces for raising awareness, engaging in meaningful dialogue and inspiring effective action in response to specific concerns of an aging society.

The interplay between research and community contributes to knowledge creation and community action.
The Centre also aims to strengthen the connection between research and the community. This is achieved in a number of ways, including:

  • Community member participation in the research itself and feedback into the community
  • Granting awards for student research
  • Programming that gathers researchers and community members in response to a broad range of issues that concern the psychological, social, ethical, spiritual, religious and moral dimensions of an aging society
  • Collaborating with organizations, community members, leaders, professionals, researchers and policy makers to explore and create new possibilities for the wellbeing of all in this aging society.

 



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