Evening Rounds Vol. 33: Designing for Seniors
George and Mary are both 84 years old. They lived in their semi-rural home for over fifty years. Five years ago Mary was diagnosed with dementia; she lost her driver’s license and had several falls. She became unable to make her daily 2 km walk to purchase groceries. Yardwork became difficult to manage. Lack of outdoor lighting, uneven surfaces and winter conditions posed a constant hazard. Increasingly, George found it difficult to care for Mary alone at home. At this time they started to receive home care services and meals on wheels. They also received assistance with snow removal and home maintenance. With this support, they continued to visit with friends, work in their garden and remain at home for three more years.
This is not a work of fiction – it is the true story of presenter Joanie Sims-Gould’s grandparents. It is also a story that could be told by many older Canadians. In 2011, an estimated 5 million Canadians were 65 years of age or older. This number is expected to double in the next 25 years and will exceed 10 million seniors by 2036. George and Mary, like most older adults, would prefer to ‘age in place’. However this, is only possible if George and Mary and others like them are provided the services and support they need. These needs include adequate housing, transportation, recreational opportunities, health and home services and amenities that facilitate physical activity, social interaction and cultural engagement.
In this presentation, Joanie will highlight key challenges and facilitators to aging in place with specific attention to built, social and service environments, and highlight some of the strategies that the Active Aging Research Team uses to communicate research findings with stakeholders.
Evening Rounds is a monthly evening speaker series profiling health care communications and digital media campaigns, case studies and experts. It is always free, but space is limited.
Dr. Joanie Sims-Gould
Assistant Professor, UBC Department of Family Practice.
Twitter: @eveningrounds #eRounds