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Research on the mobilization of knowledge for older adults and their families is proposed within the context of three central forces affecting the aging of the Canadian population.

  • First, there has been an unprecedented growth in the number and proportion of older persons in Canada, a trend where older adults will outnumber children in less than 10 years.
  • Second, older adults themselves and those involved with them, from volunteers through professionals to family members, have only rudimentary knowledge about aging issues which limits the provision of suitable social support.
  • Third, the evidence shows that 30 to 40% of persons do not receive appropriate support according to available scientific evidence while 20 to 25% of support provided is not needed or potentially harmful.

With one in seven Canadians currently 65 years of age and over, it is important to know if knowledge about aging is reaching the hands of those who most need it and whether the information is used to the advantage of all Canadians.

Project Objective: The purpose of this program of research is to evaluate the impact of a set of pocket tools in digital and paper formats (distributed by the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly [NICE]) that contain straightforward evidence-based information about the core challenges of aging.

The project will employ a multi-phase research approach (see Figure below) to answer the following main questions:

1)      What is the degree of uptake and utilization of the pocket tool information by older adults, their caregivers and professionals?
2)      What implementation strategies (paper or digital) are used by these three groups?
3)      How is the information applied according to instrumental, conceptual or symbolic uses by these three groups?
4)      Does the knowledge transfer have an impact on the behaviour of the three groups?

 

Figure 1. Planned Phases of Research

phases