She explains that the researchers involved with the centre will connect with older people and their communities to address challenges and facilitate opportunities in all realms of life: social, physical, cognitive, emotional and political.
“Our approach involves innovative, collaborative, interdisciplinary research and research–creation," she says.
"We partner with older people, community groups, health-care and social-service professionals and industry partners. Our goal is to engAGE in thoughtful analysis of the strengths and challenges that we experience in relation to age and to suggest strategies for change."
4 holistic research clusters
Researchers in the group approach aging as something that happens to all of us from the day we are born.
“We recognize that age is associated with certain challenges. But we also wish to study aging by focusing on the strengths and opportunities that are associated with age and work to dispel ageist assumptions, practices and policies that negatively impact older people.”
Research at engAGE encompasses a holistic approach, reflected in four clusters designed to expand traditional disciplinary boundaries:
- Communities, care and connectivity to engage older people as social actors in their communities and re-vision care in a bidirectional and intergenerational way
- Culture, creativity and aging to consider the importance of creative approaches to later life that facilitate engagement with the arts and humanities
- Health, well-being and the life course to address physical, cognitive and emotional changes associated with aging that are also situated socially and culturally in order to strengthen the participation of older people in their communities
- Politics, policy and economies of aging to explore public policy and political engagement of older adults
Already, engAGE has an impressive list of 25 members from all four Concordia faculties, including area heads Kim Sawchuk (Department of Communication Studies), Janis Timm-Bottos (Department of Creative Arts Therapies), Natalie Phillips (Department of Psychology) and Patrik Marier (Department of Political Science).
The centre also has a full calendar of events planned, notably the Canadian Association on Gerontology’s annual conference in Winnipeg, from October 19 to 21, and Age 3.0: Aging in the City on November 1.