Healthy aging in place: Improving rural seniors’ health through policy and community level interventions (2014-2017)

Last Updated: February 22, 2017

Bonnie Jeffery, PhD (Lead Principal Investigator)
Nazeem Muhajarine, PhD (Co-Lead Principal Investigator)
Paul Hackett, PhD (Co-Investigator)
Sylvia Abonyi, PhD (Co-Investigator)
  (Co-Investigator)
Sarah Oosman, PhD (Co-Investigator)
Shanthi Johnson, PhD (Co-Investigator)
Nuelle Novik, PhD (Co-Investigator)
Tom McIntosh, PhD (Co-Investigator)

As with our previous healthy aging in place research, this latest team grant project (April 2014-March 2017) responds to the fact that seniors are one of the fastest growing population groups in Saskatchewan, with many unique needs, especially in rural and northern communities. The project builds on the findings from our rural seniors’ social support pilot project (2009-2010) and our 2011-2014 healthy aging in place study, which focused on priority interventions for which evidence suggests, that if successfully implemented, can be effective in sustaining older adults’ independence and ability to age in the place they choose.

This project will be composed of three studies involving policy, community and kin‐level interventions that support rural older adults’ ability to remain independent and live within their own homes and communities:

  1. Improving Rural Seniors’ Mobility and Social Interaction through Exercise
  2. Supporting Healthy Aging through Walkable Built Environment
  3. Addressing Rural Seniors’ Access to Information

SPHERU’s research team will work with a Rural Seniors Advisory Committee made up of representatives from the research communities: Dennis Fjestad (Wolseley), Dick Dow (Wolseley), Noreen Johns (Young), Murray Westby (Watrous) and Bev Bertram (Watrous). Other partners include Saskatoon Health Region, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, Saskatoon Council on Aging, Dr. Marc Viger, Blairmore Medical Clinic and Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.


Goals / Outcomes: The study follows up on our previous research in which we conducted a longitudinal qualitative study with seniors in several rural communities in Saskatchewan. Findings from the study identified a number of policy, community and kin‐level interventions to support seniors’ independence and ability to age in place. The Rural Healthy Aging Assessment Framework was one of the accomplishments from the earlier work and provides the foundation for these three projects. Each of the three studies has its own goals and objectives as outlined above and in the Action Plan Summary.

Funder: Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation

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