Centre for Aging and Community

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About Us

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.


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.


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.

The Centre for Aging and Community brings together researchers from a range of disciplines — including psychology, counselling, philosophy, and medicine — to explore creative ways to examine aging and promote opportunities to enhance healthy aging and wellbeing. We work alongside older adults, community organizations, healthcare practitioners, and industry partners to explore strengths and challenges of the experiences of older adults.

The Centre’s primary research axes are:

  1. Cognitive Aging and Dementia
  2. Optimizing Mobility
  3. Caregiving: Quality of life and meaning
  4. Community, Care and Connectivity
  5. Interventions to optimize quality of life

Participate in a Study

Would you like to participate in an upcoming study? Please complete this short survey and we will contact you if you meet criteria for one of our upcoming studies!

We are truly grateful for your participation as our research would not be possible without your help! Please note that you can remove yourself from our list at any time by contacting Dr. Stephanie Yamin at syamin@ustpaul.ca.

Community Engagement

The Centre has identified three areas of focus for soliciting community engagement:

  1. Social isolation: Equipping persons and groups for community action
    • Epidemic of loneliness: What is our moral responsibility?
  2. Life review: Finding your spiritual roots
    • Who am I? Finding meaning and purpose in life.
  3. Paradigm shift: Moving from an “I” culture to “We” culture
    • Engaging community in this historic change to an aging society.

Outreach and Partnerships

In its research, the Centre is affiliated with a number of partners, both institutionally and through the networks of the researchers themselves. In its community engagement, the Centre serves the community at large through outreach and engagement with a variety of individuals and organizations in sectors related to aging. It also serves the University community through its research, programming and through annual awards for students to support their studies and research in issues related to aging.


The Centre is funded by a generous leadership gift as a cornerstone contribution towards the establishment of this Centre. The administration of the gift is managed in accordance with the policies of the University. The University continues to seek grants and further donor contributions in order to extend its mandate for research and community engagement.

Thomas G. Feeney Q.C. Award for Aging and Community

Each year, the Centre funds two awards of $2,500 for students enrolled on a full-time basis in graduate studies (master’s or doctorate) at Saint Paul University who are conducting original research that explores issues related to aging and community.


Centre for Aging and Community

Saint-Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa (Ontario)
K1S 1C4

613 236-1393

Patricia Marsden-Dole

Stephanie Yamin