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Our past projects are organized here by topic. Select a topic below, and you will be brought to the project(s) that incorporated the selected topic.

Abuse of Older AdultsEducation
Age-Friendly CommunitiesHealthy Aging
Aging with DisabilitiesHousing
Alzheimer's Disease and Other DementiasHuman Resources
Caregivers/Caregiving (family/friend)Mental Health
Caregivers/Caregiving (formal/professional)Policy
CommunicationPrescription Drug Use
Community, Consultation, and PartnershipsRural Communities
Continuing Care/Home Care/Long Term CareSocial Isolation
Technology

Abuse of Older Adults

Elder Abuse Awareness for Healthcare Professionals (April 2012 - April 2015)
The project developed information and educational resources on the topic of elder abuse to assist direct care providers and healthcare professionals working with older adults and their families in a variety of settings to better understand elder abuse. The project was led by the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia. The NSCA was a partner organization supporting the direction and implementation of the project and responsible for the evaluation of the project. The project was funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Elder Abuse - Lessons Learned from Family Violence (2008)
View final report
This project involved the development of a discussion paper discussing the lessons learned from work on family violence to inform research, policy and practice in the area of abuse of older adults. The discussion paper was one of several commissioned for an Expert Round Table on Elder Abuse organized by Human Resources and Social Development Canada in June 2008. This project was funded by Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Seniors Legal Information Kit (2008-2011)
This project addressed deficiencies in the public's knowledge and understanding of various aspects of arranging one's legal affairs. The project developed information materials on this topic to help safeguard seniors against financial abuse and exploitation. The project included delivering a series of information sessions throughout the province (click here for Project Description). "It's in Your Hands" a resource that provides legal information for seniors and families was developed and available at the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia website. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging developed and implemented the evaluation framework for the project.This project was funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

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Age-Friendly Communities

Age-Friendly Communities Canada Hub (2012-2014)
The Canadian Association on Gerontologyworked with partners to development an online networking and knowledge exchange platform to bring together stakeholders and to showcase the exciting Canadian work related to age friendly communities. NSCA was a partner on the project helping to promote the site and contributing content to help build the community. For more information click here http://www.afc-hub.ca/

Age-Friendly Communities Implementation and Evaluation Guide (2009) View the GuideView the Toolbox
This project involved the development of a resource for municipalities and communities interested in implementing and evaluating initiatives that support the advancement of age-friendly communities. The work involved reviewing existing best practices related to community resources of this kind and interviewing community representatives and researchers leading age-friendly work to help inform the content and format of the "Age-Friendly Communities in Canada: Community Implementation Guide and the Toolbox". This project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Age-Friendly Communities Nova Scotia Implementation (2011-2013)
This project was a community development initiative. Through advice, access to support resources and the provision of direct services NSCA support several municipalities in Nova Scotia who had received funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors Age-Friendly Communities Program to engage in the Age-Friendly Communities' strategic planning process. Activities included input into creating AFC Advisory Committees, gathering community information to build background report, assisting with the community consultation phase (e.g., focus groups, surveys) and synthesizing results into summary report. The work was funded by the NS Department of Seniors.

Age-Friendly Rural & Remote Communities Initiative (2007-2008)
View final report
This project explored the age-friendliness of 11 communities across Canada, including the Village of Guysborough, and elicited suggestions from seniors regarding what makes communities age friendly. The project was modeled after the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors and other jurisdictions within the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Building Age-Friendly Communities: Messaging to Shape Policy and Practice (2013-2014) View Home & Community Supports brochure, view Social Engagement brochure.
This project involved the development of two knowledge sharing products intended to share messages around the age-friendliness of Nova Scotia communities that can be used to shape community and health services policy and practice - 1) a brochure-style factsheet (Home & Community Supports, Social Engaement) that contextualizes key findings regarding health services and community planning in Nova Scotia; 2) a webinar during which participants discussed home and community supports and social engagement and learned about initiatives underway in Nova Scotia related to these issues. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Global Age-Friendly Cities - Halifax Site (2006-2007) View final report
This project explored the age-friendliness of Halifax Regional Municipality. This project was part of a larger initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) involving 33 cities world wide and intended to identify concrete indicators of an age-friendly city and to produce a practical guide to stimulate and guide advocacy, community development and policy change to make urban communities age friendly. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Seniors' Secretariat and Halifax Regional Municipality.

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Aging with Disabilities

Building Policy Frameworks for Older Parents Caring for Adult Sons and Daughters with Disabilities (2002-2003) View issue paper
This project brought together parents, individuals with disabilities, advocacy organizations, service providers, and government representatives with a goal of prioritizing current issues faced by parents and people with disabilities and to develop a shared set of policy goals founded on a vision of inclusion. This project was funded by Health Canada.

Older Parents Caring for Adult Sons/Daughters with Disabilities: Age Related Transitions (1999-2001) View final report.
This project explored the transitional challenges of older parents caring for adult sons/daughters with life long disabilities. Recommendations for services most supportive to these aging families are identified in the final report. This project was funded by National Health Research and Development Program.

Preparing for Change Project: A Guide for Elderly Parent(s) Caring for Sons and Daughters who have Disabilities (1996-1997)
This project explored issues relevant to the future planning concerns of older parent(s) caring for adult sons and daughters with disabilities. A video and guidebook were developed to encourage and assist families making decisions concerning future care needs. This project was funded by New Horizons - Partners in Aging, Health Canada.

The Next Stage: Retirement Planning for Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities (2005-2009) View final report   View discussion paper   View resource guide   View needs assessment report
This project fostered links between the aging and developmental disability sectors in Nova Scotia to respond to a growing need for information to update policy and programs relevant to retirement planning for persons aging with developmental disabilities. An Education Resource was developed based on the materials and knowledge gathered through the project. The resource manual is organized into four themes and contains one or more workshops to stimulate discussion amongst service providers. Presentation flide, workshop handouts, and resource material are provided. The themes are "building inclusive communities", "accessing community resources", "toolkit for positive aging with developmental disabilities", and "supporting aging with developmental disabilities" (see Publications for how to access this resource). The project was led by School of Health and Human Services, Nova Scotia Community College. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging developed and implemented the evaluation framework for the project. This project was funded by Public Health Agency of Canada.

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Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias

Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias Care Course Review (2007-2008)
This project involved an extensive review and revision of the ADOD Care Course curriculum, a nine-module course for individuals caring for persons with Alzheimer Disease and other dementias in the continuing care sector and for families assisting someone living at home. This project was funded by Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course Committee. For more information on Care Course visit http://www.adodcc.ca/

Alzheimer Specialized Care Units & Programs in Nova Scotia Nursing Homes and Homes for the Aged – Part II (1998-1999)
This project was a follow up to earlier work on care of persons with Alzheimer (see Part I) and reviewed the existing approaches to care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in Nova Scotia nursing homes. An analysis of the questionnaire responses (representing 89% of the nursing homes in Nova Scotia) revealed that several approaches to care were evident including special care units (found in almost half of the facilities), specialized programming and integrated care. This project includes a review of the current literature pertaining to Alzheimer Care in facilities. This project was funded by the Royal Bank of Canada, Nova Scotia Department of Health, Shannex Health Care Management, Northwoodcare Inc., MacLeod Group, Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations, and Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.

A Study of Family Experiences with Alzheimer's Disease (1989-1990)
This pilot study examined the experiences of caregivers of a relative with Alzheimer disease. Based on results from a mailed questionnaire with 77 Nova Scotia caregivers, the study’s report (Tozer, 1990) presents exciting insights into the dynamics of caregiving in Nova Scotia for relatives with Alzheimer disease. This project was funded by Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.

Impact Evaluation: Alzheimer & Related Dementias Care Course (1997)
This project evaluated the impact of the Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course on educating and equipping staff and caregivers to better serve those affected by the disease. This project was funded by Community Care Nova Scotia, Regional Industry Training Council.

Project Support for the Development of Dementia Strategy for Nova Scotia (September 2014-March 2015; Extended to Spring 2015)
This project supported the development of a dementia strategy for Nova Scotia. The strategy was led by the Department of Health and Wellness and Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. The Strategy is intended to enhance delivery of dementia care and treatment ensuring people living with dementia, as well as their families or care partners, are well supported. The NSCA facilitated public consultation sessions and provided support with project management and the development of an evaluation framework for the Strategy. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Branch, Department of Health & Wellness.

Review & Inventory of Curricula Relevant to Health Care Providers (2000-2001)
This project involved a review of courses with ADRD content in universities, colleges, and learning centres as well as training delivered by long term and acute care facilities and professional association in Nova Scotia. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health.

Revision of Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course (ADRDCC) (2002)
This project involved an extensive review and revision of the ADRDCC curriculum, a nine-module course for individuals caring for persons with Alzheimer Disease and related dementias in various settings. This project was funded by Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course Committee.

The Royal Bank Study on Alzheimer Special Care Units/Programs – Part I (1995-1997)
This project included a mailed survey to all nursing homes and homes for the aged in NS to understand approaches to caring for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. This information in addition to an extensive literature review helped to develop guidelines for faculty-based program development. This project was funded by Royal Bank of Canada.

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Caregivers/Caregiving (family/friend)

A Profile of Caregivers in Nova Scotia (2008)
This project involved the development of a background paper which family and friend caregivers in Nova Scotia including those caring for home care clients and a discussion of issues caregivers face in the context of rural communities, while being employed, with diverse cultural backgrounds, and caring for persons with dementia. The paper also examines the strategies other jurisdictions have taken to improve caregivers' quality of life. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Health.

A Provincial Adult Day Program for Older Nova Scotians (2007)
This project involved the collection and synthesis of information about existing adult day programs in other jurisdictions to support the Nova Scotia Department of Health's decision making around its role in such a program for Nova Scotia and considerations related to implementation. Delivery model options as well as specific examples/programs and their practices as examples of different delivery models were reviewed. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Health.

A Study of Family Experiences with Alzheimer's Disease (1989-1990)
This pilot study examined the experiences of caregivers of a relative with Alzheimer disease. Based on results from a mailed questionnaire with 77 Nova Scotia caregivers, the study’s report (Tozer, 1990) presents exciting insights into the dynamics of caregiving in Nova Scotia for relatives with Alzheimer disease. This project was funded by Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.

A Synthesis of Evidence-based Knowledge on Caregiver Assessment. (2013 - 2014) View policy brief
This project synthesized data collected from several projects which employed the C.A.R.E. Tool and developed a policy brief which provided evidence to advance policy that supports the practice of caregiver assessment. This project was funded by the Population Change and Lifecourse Strategic Knowledge Cluster, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Building Policy Frameworks for Older Parents Caring for Adult Sons and Daughters with Disabilities (2002-2003) View issue paper
This project brought together parents, individuals with disabilities, advocacy organizations, service providers, and government representatives with a goal of prioritizing current issues faced by parents and people with disabilities and to develop a shared set of policy goals founded on a vision of inclusion. This project was funded by Health Canada.

Care for the Caregiver Project (1989-1992)
This project was developed to provide social, physical and emotional support for those caring for elderly people and introduced caregiver education and support workshops in Nova Scotia. This project was funded by Senior's Independence Program, Health and Welfare Canada.

Care for the Caregiver: A Manual for Implementing Workshops (1993)
This manual was originally produced as part of the Care for the Caregiver Program, 1989-1992, at Mount Saint Vincent University. This manual is designed to contain all the necessary information to implement six Care for the Caregiver education workshops. In 2001-2003 the manual was updated and revised for Veterans' Affairs Canada. Each module includes objectives, agendas, course content, overhead prints, suggested video and readings, and references. The revised manual was funded by Veterans' Affairs Canada.

Caregiver Support and Enhanced Respite Demonstration Project (2010-2012)
This demonstration project used the C.A.R.E. Tool to assess caregivers’ needs for respite and then measured the impact of the respite intervention on the caregiver in two health districts in Alberta. The demonstration project was evaluated to understand issues related to implementation of caregiver assessment and respite options and potential province-wide expansion. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging was involved as a consultant on this project with respect to the use of the CARE TOol and evaluation framework. This project was funded by the Alberta Health Services. The project was led by Continuing Care Integrated Services, Seniors Health, Alberta Health Service.

Does Timing of Caregiver Assessment Make A Difference: Evaluating the Impact with Older Spousal Caregivers of Persons with Cognitive Impairment (2010 - 2013) View brochure here
Through the participation of 100 spousal caregivers from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, this research project examined the impacts of a caregiver assesment using the C.A.R.E. Tool for older spousal caregivers of a partner with cognitive impairment. It also looked at the learning experiences of nursing students (from Dalhousie and University of Prince Edward Island) as they worked with older spousal caregivers in conducting these assessments. Findings from the experiences of nursing students and from interviews with key stakeholders identified factors that may influence the development of education about caregivers for health care professionals. This project was funded by CIHR Institute of Aging, the Canadian Nurses Foundation and the Parkinson Society of Canada.

Educational Programs for Family Caregivers in Nova Scotia (1996-1997)
This study explored the strengths and limitations of the educational programs for family caregivers for both organizers and participants. Program leaders from the nine education/support programs in Nova Scotia were asked to complete a survey regarding the organization of the educational programs. As well an analysis of the evaluation forms from the various programs was completed. This project was one component of From Policy to People project (1995-1997) funded by Max Bell Foundation.

Family Involvement in Long Term Care (1995-1996)
This project used data from the 1995 General Social Survey and an existing data set of interviews with 214 Nova Scotia family members. The focus of this research was to examine the involvement of family members in the lives of elderly persons in long term care facilities. Findings from this research indicate that most family members were involved in providing care to the elderly person when they lived in the community and this continues into the long term care facility. This project was one component of From Policy to People project (1995-1997) funded by Max Bell Foundation.

From Policy to People: Generating Systemic Support for Family Caregivers (1995-1997)
From Policy to People provided planners at all levels of the health care system with information on the roles and responsibilities of family caregivers in different care settings. Initiatives were targeted to caregivers/families, service providers, professional educators and community groups through research, continuing education, community consultation and outreach. This project offered research support for planning and policy making; and provided advice and support for community needs assessment and program planning. Products developed included an Information Kit on Caregiving and several project specific reports. This project was funded by Max Bell Foundation.

Impact Evaluation: Alzheimer & Related Dementias Care Course (1997)
This project evaluated the impact of the Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course on educating and equipping staff and caregivers to better serve those affected by the disease. This project was funded by Community Care Nova Scotia, Regional Industry Training Council.

Older Parents Caring for Adult Sons/Daughters with Disabilities: Age Related Transitions (1999-2001) View final report.
This project explored the transitional challenges of older parents caring for adult sons/daughters with life long disabilities. Recommendations for services most supportive to these aging families are identified in the final report. This project was funded by National Health Research and Development Program.

Part of the Process: Enabling Older Caregiving Women to Participate (1998-1999)
This collaborative project aimed to increase the visibility of older caregiving women and offer tools to assist them in the process of participating in policy decisions. Four recommendations were cited. This project was funded by Status of Women Canada.

Partnerships in Care: The Involvement of Family Members with Elderly Relatives in Homes for Special Care (1994-1995)
Partnerships in Care explored the involvement of family members in the care of their elderly relatives who reside in nursing homes in Nova Scotia. Personal interviews were conducted with 214 Nova Scotia family members to understand the extent and scope of ongoing family relations and the factors which enhance or impede ongoing relations. An annotated bibliography and a report on the in depth analysis of interviews with family members were produced. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health and Fitness.

Preparing for Change Project: A Guide for Elderly Parent(s) Caring for Sons and Daughters who have Disabilities (1996-1997)
This project explored issues relevant to the future planning concerns of older parent(s) caring for adult sons and daughters with disabilities. A video and guidebook were developed to encourage and assist families making decisions concerning future care needs. This project was funded by New Horizons - Partners in Aging, Health Canada.

Shared Care: The Organization of Home Care and Family Caregiving (1989-1992)
This project explored the commonality and omission of supports received by elderly people from formal and informal settings. This report includes a literature review and in-depth analysis of interviews with caregivers and elderly persons. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health and Fitness.

Support for Informal Caregivers: An Intersectoral Responsibility (1997-1998)
This project explored supports available in Atlantic Canada for informal caregivers. Common learning and best practices were identified through telephone interviews with service providers and caregivers (155) and eight focus groups (two in each Atlantic Canada province), to aid in future development of policy and programs. This project was funded by Population Health Fund, Health Canada.

Supporting Caregivers of Older Adults: Tools for Service Providers, Program Planners, Educators and Policy Makers (January 2010 - December 2012View Caregiver Policy Lens  View Service Provider Resource Guide
This project developed two resources which facilitate programs and policy that support caregivers of older adults. The Caregiver Tool Kit includees a Resource Guide for paid care providers and a Caregiver Policy Lens for assessing policy and programs from the perspective of caregivers. The project involved consulting with service providers and policy analysts on the content of the resources and then piloting them at multiple sites across Canada. The project was led by B.C. Psychogeriatric Association. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging participated on the project's Advisory Commttee and facilitated consultations with caregivers, service providers and policy analysts in Nova Scotia.This project was funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

The C.A.R.E. Tool: Examining the Role of Caregiver Assessment in Health Promotion of Older Spousal Caregivers (2008) View discussion paper
This project involved the development of a discussion paper on the role of caregiver assessment as a health promotion initiative for older spousal caregivers. In particular, it examined the strengths and limitations of the C.A.R.E. Tool, a psycho-social assessment instrument for use by home care practitioners, in promoting and maintaining the health and well being of older spousal caregivers. This project was funded by Public Health Agency of Canada.

Time for Change: Regional Strategies to Support Informal Caregivers in Atlantic Canada (1998-1999)
This project brought together key stakeholders in Atlantic Canada through four provincial forums. These groups worked through an extensive process to develop achievable goals and strategies to support family caregivers in their region. This project was funded by Population Health Fund, Health Canada.

Tools to Support Caregiver Assessment
This project provided information to the researchers about the extent and performance of their C.A.R.E. Tool and the Caregiver Risk Screen, tools designed to be used by home care practitioners with family caregivers of dependent adults. This information assisted the team advance their promotion of the tools and their efforts with implementing caregiver assessment into practice.

Toward a Better Understanding: Promoting Effective Communication (1994-1996)
Toward a Better Understanding developed educational materials (ie: videos and accompanying manual) to enhance communication skills for caregivers of persons with communicative disorders. The two themes developed in this project were: methods to assess communicative skills and improving communication skills. This project was funded by  Crabtree Foundation.

Where to Begin: An Introductory Planning Guide for Family Caregivers (2004-2005) View guide
This eight page guide assists individuals to plan for the care of an older family member or friend. It includes contact information for various resources as well as a checklist to determine the needs of the care recipient. This publication was funded by Dr. F.R. MacKinnon Endowment Fund, Mount Saint Vincent University.

Work and Eldercare: Examining Reciprocity in Family Caregiving (1996-1997)
This project investigated reciprocity between elderly parents and employed adult children in order to identify issues that are pertinent to understanding reciprocal exchanges. Focus groups were conducted with women who were employed outside the home and provided some regular assistance to an elderly family member over the age of 60. Personal interviews were conducted with the care recipient. This project was one component of From Policy to People project (1995-1997) funded by the Max Bell Foundation.

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Caregivers/Caregiving (formal/professional)

Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias Care Course Review (2007-2008)
This project involved an extensive review and revision of the ADOD Care Course curriculum, a nine-module course for individuals caring for persons with Alzheimer Disease and other dementias in the continuing care sector and for families assisting someone living at home. This project was funded by Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course Committee. For more information on Course visit http://www.adodcc.ca/

Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice on Caregiving through E-Learning (2013-2013)

This project involved the development and piloting of an online training program on caregivers and caregiver assessment for health care practitioners working in home care. The program included both self-directed and real time components. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Care for the Caregiver: A Manual for Implementing Workshops (1993)
This manual was originally produced as part of the Care for the Caregiver Program, 1989-1992, at Mount Saint Vincent University. This manual is designed to contain all the necessary information to implement six Care for the Caregiver education workshops. In 2001-2003 the manual was updated and revised for Veterans' Affairs Canada. Each module includes objectives, agendas, course content, overhead prints, suggested video and readings, and references. The revised manual was funded by Veterans' Affairs Canada.

Care for the Caregiver: A Manual for Staff Training (1993)
This manual was originally produced as part of the Care for the Caregiver Program, 1989-1992, at Mount Saint Vincent University and intended to educate professionals who work with family caregivers. In 2001-2003 the manual was updated and revised for Veterans’ Affairs Canada and includes nine sections: a plan of action, profile of a caregiver, an overview of aging, communication skills, caregiver stress, stress management, role of staff, book and video list, and appendices. This revised manual was funded by Veterans' Affairs Canada.

Continuing Care Assistant Equivalency - Evaluation of Self-Study Modules (2004)
This project assessed the strengths and limitationsof the modules developed for individuals to obtain CCA equivalency.  Modules were piloted with staff at two sites. This project was funded by Health Care Human Resources Sector Council.

Continuing Care Assistant Program Review and Revision (2012)
This project reviewed the Continuing Care Assistant program with the view of incorporating the needs of District Health Authorities while still meeting the needs of the continuing care sector. In addition, a general review of the curriculum standards and learning outcomes were undertaken to ensure they are relevant and clear, and that the program incorporated the most up-to-date information and resources. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Assistant Program Advisory Committee.

Core Competency Standards for Community Residential and Vocational Services in NS (2002-2003)
This project examined the seven core competencies mandated by the Department of Community Services for all employees of community residential and vocational services in NS. The goal was to define the competencies to ensure standard interpretation, and produce materials to ensure the consistent attainment and portability of the competencies. This project was funded by Health Care Human Resources Sector Council.

Home Support Workers: Human Resource Strategies to Meet Future Projected Chronic Care Needs of Older Persons in Canada (Phase 1 & 2) (2009-2010)
This project involved two Phases both intending to improve Canada's ability to meet the projected demand for formal home care services for older persons. Phase 1 was a pilot phase and involved a literature review of key issues related to recruitment and retention of home support workers, identified strategies/practices that may be relevant across Canada and consultated with stakeholders in one health authority in BC to discuss priorities, barriers and enablers to recruitment and retention initiatives. Phase 2 built on the findings of Phase 1 by continuing to identify and analyze human resource strategies among public and private agencies, analyzed existing data sets to fill important gaps in the literature and held consultations with stakeholders in Halifax, Toronto, Regina and Montreal. The project was led by Dr. Janice Keefe, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Aging Research and Policy Analysis, Mount Saint Vincent University (www.msvu.ca/mdcaging). The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging developed and implemented the evaluation for the project. This project was funded by Health Human Resource Strategies Division, Health Canada.

Impact Evaluation: Alzheimer & Related Dementias Care Course (1997)
This project evaluated the impact of the Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course on educating and equipping staff and caregivers to better serve those affected by the disease. This project was funded by Community Care Nova Scotia, Regional Industry Training Council.

NEXUS Home Care in Canada Project - Nova Scotia Site (2007-2008) View summary report
This project examined the role of home support workers in the continuum of care to elderly persons living in the community. Based on personal interviews with 40 Nova Scotia home support workers a number of themes emerged pertaining to job satisfaction, recognizing needs beyond the care plan, worker-client relationships, sudden or predictable events or crises, safety concerns, scheduling and compensation, job stress, and changes in the work environment. This project is part of a larger initiative on home care in Canada led by Dr. Anne Martin Matthews, University of British Columbia and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Revision of Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course (ADRDCC) (2002)
This project involved an extensive review and revision of the ADRDCC curriculum, a nine-module course for individuals caring for persons with Alzheimer Disease and related dementias in various settings. This project was funded by Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course Committee.

Supporting Caregivers of Older Adults: Tools for Service Providers, Program Planners, Educators and Policy Makers (January 2010 - December 2012)View Caregiver Policy LensView Service Provider Resource Guide
This project developed two resources which facilitate programs and policy that support caregivers of older adults. The Caregiver Tool Kit includees a Resource Guide for paid care providers and a Caregiver Policy Lens for assessing policy and programs from the perspective of caregivers. The project involved consulting with service providers and policy analysts on the content of the resources and then piloting them at multiple sites across Canada. The project was led by B.C. Psychogeriatric Association. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging participated on the project's Advisory Commttee and facilitated consultations with caregivers, service providers and policy analysts in Nova Scotia.This project was funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

TEER for CARE: Technology-Enabled Education for Recognizing Caregivers’ Aspirations, Realities & Expectations (2010-2011)
This project developed and piloted an online workshop on family and friend caregivers for health care professionals. The workshop included both self-directed and real time components and was intended to help professionals become more aware of the realities of family and friend caregivers and critically assess their practice approach. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. 

The Next Stage: Retirement Planning for Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities (2005-2009) View final report   View discussion paper   View resource guide   View needs assessment report
This project fostered links between the aging and developmental disability sectors in Nova Scotia to respond to a growing need for information to update policy and programs relevant to retirement planning for persons aging with developmental disabilities. An Education Resource was developed based on the materials and knowledge gathered through the project. The resource manual is organized into four themes and contains one or more workshops to stimulate discussion amongst service providers. Presentation flide, workshop handouts, and resource material are provided. The themes are "building inclusive communities", "accessing community resources", "toolkit for positive aging with developmental disabilities", and "supporting aging with developmental disabilities" (see Publications for how to access this resource). The project was led by School of Health and Human Services, Nova Scotia Community College. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging developed and implemented the evaluation framework for this project. This project was funded by Public Health Agency of Canada.

Toward a Better Understanding: Promoting Effective Communication (1994-1996)
Toward a Better Understanding developed educational materials (ie: videos and accompanying manual) to enhance communication skills for caregivers of persons with communicative disorders. The two themes developed in this project were: methods to assess communicative skills and improving communication skills. This project was funded by Crabtree Foundation.

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Communication

Building Age-Friendly Communities: Messaging to Shape Policy and Practice (2013-2014) View Home & Community Supports brochure, view Social Engagement brochure.
This project involved the development of two knowledge sharing products intended to share messages around the age-friendliness of Nova Scotia communities that can be used to shape community and health services policy and practice - 1) a brochure-style factsheet (Home & Community Supports, Social Engaement) that contextualizes key findings regarding health services and community planning in Nova Scotia; 2) a webinar during which participants discussed home and community supports and social engagement and learned about initiatives underway in Nova Scotia related to these issues. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Fountain of Health Initiative for Integrative Positive Aging (2013)
The Fountain of Health Initiative involved the participation of a number of organizations, including NSCA, in a unified promotional campaign of key positive aging messages which were disseminated throughout Nova Scotia. At least six key messages, backed up by evidence, and providing concrete steps seniors can take, were developed. As a partner, the NSCA  contributed to the development of key messages and the distribution of the messages through its respective channels. The initiative was funded by NS Department of Seniors Positive Aging Fund.

Overcoming Barriers: Strategies for Promoting Interaction Between Seniors and Continuing Care Centres (1996-1997)
This project facilitated outreach initiatives conducted in partnership with long term care facilities and community seniors’ groups, focusing on reducing the barriers to communication and interaction between seniors and facilities. Publications include: final report; presentation of successful community initiatives for other continuing care centres/seniors’ groups in the community; a self-profile tool for facilities to assess their strengths and challenges in today’s changing health care system; and a kit for implementing and facilitating the use of the self-profile tool. This project was funded by New Horizons - Partners in Aging, Health Canada.

"Reaching Out": Promoting Communication and Interaction Between Seniors and the Long Term Care Sector (1994-1995)
This project explored many of the negative images and stereotypes surrounding long term facilities for elderly persons. The project includes summary results of the focus groups and an action plan for change. This project was funded by Senior's Independence Program, Health Canada.

Toward a Better Understanding: Promoting Effective Communication (1994-1996)
Toward a Better Understanding developed educational materials to enhance communication skills for caregivers of persons with communicative disorders. The two themes developed in this project were: methods to assess communicative skills and improving communication skills. This project was funded by the Crabtree Foundation.

Community, consultation, and partnerships

Age-Friendly Communities Implementation and Evaluation Guide (2009) View the GuideView the Toolbox
This project involved the development of a resource for municipalities and communities interested in implementing and evaluating initiatives that support the advancement of age-friendly communities. The work involved reviewing existing best practices related to community resources of this kind and interviewing community representatives and researchers leading age-friendly work to help inform the content and format of the "Age-Friendly Communities in Canada: Community Implementation Guide and the Toolbox". This project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Building an Alliance for Research on Continuing Care in Nova Scotia (2010-2011)
This project enabled the development of a CIHR Partnerships for Health System Improvement proposal on nursing home models of care which was subsequently funded (see Current Projects-Care and Construction). The alliance consisted of researchers who have an interest in continuing care and  decision makers, community organizations and practitioners from the continuing care sector to advance knowledge on the impact of culture change in Nova Scotia nursing homes. This project was funded by the Community Research Alliance, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Building Capacity for Research on Chronic Care Home and Community Supports (January 2015-March 2016)
The project involved the development of a background paper and hosting of a planning seminar that brought together interested researchers from across Canada. The group examined the feasibility of a study on home and community-based care for older adults with chronic care needs with the intention of submitting an application for funding.

Building Capacity in Continuing Care: Bridging Researchers & Decision Makers in the Atlantic Region (2002-2003)
View final report. View background paper.
This two-day workshop focused on increasing research in policy making. The goals of the workshop were to identify common strengths and gaps in policy directions, establish priorities for applied research in policy issues relevant to continuing care, determine the similarities and differences in policies across the Atlantic region and areas for collaborative work, and develop a potential collaboration on a specific issue within the scope of MSVU research expertise. Participants included researchers and decision makers from the Atlantic Provinces. This project was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF).

Building Interdisciplinary Capacity to Examine the Impact of Residents and their Families of a New Model of Care in Long Term Care Facilities (2009-2010) View background document View workshop report
This project fostered a research collaboration of academic researchers, practitioners and decision makers interested in examining the quality of resident and family involvement in long term care facilities in Nova Scotia. Literature was reviewed and gaps identified to inform discussions during a one day workshop. Participants included researchers from a variety of disciplines (e.g., occupational therapy, social work, nursing), as well as decision makers and practitioners. This project was funded by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Human Development, Mount Saint Vincent University.

Building Research Capacity to Examine Home and Community Based Supports and Services (2013-2014) View Background paper
This project involved planning and hosting a workshop that brought together interested researchers and sector representatives to examine the feasiblity of a study on home and community supports. This project was funded by Mount Saint Vincent University.

Care and Construction: Assessing Differences in Nursing Home Models of Care on Resident Quality of Life (2011-2015) View final report
The Care and Construction project took a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral approach to assess the impact of policy changes on resident quality of life in nursing homes in Nova Scotia. Using multiple methods, the project examined different physical designs (household, traditional) and staffing approach (full scope traditional) from the perspectives and experiences of the resident, the resident’s family and the staff. Click here to go to the Care and Construction website. This project was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Partnerships for Health System Improvement Program) and Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Community and University Consultation Project (1992-1993)
This project fostered discussion among Nova Scotia seniors as to the nature and level of their participation in the newly established Nova Scotia Centre on Aging. Stakeholders identified priority issues through a series of regional discussions and a provincial conference. This project was funded by New Horizons Program, Health and Welfare Canada.

Everyday Technology and Older Adults: Friends or Foe? (1999-2001) View final report.
This project brought together older adults and representatives of the technology industry in focus groups, interviews/survey and town hall meetings to promote understanding of the challenges of technology in the day-to-day lives of older adults and to ensure that the "human face" is not lost in the process of technological change. Strategies, educational materials and recommendations emerged from these discussions. In particular, education modules (including a video) were produced for older adults and for industry. This project was funded by Population Health Fund, Health Canada.

Expanding Our Horizons: Building Capacity for Interdisciplinary Research in Aging (2012) View workshop report
This workshop focused on building research collaborations on age-related issues across disciplines. The goals of the workshop were to allow people with an interest in aging to learn about research happening within the region and to advance their understanding of the ways and means to build successful research collaborations in aging. Participants included students to advanced researchers, and individuals from policy and practice fields. Participants background and research interests varied. The workshop included presentations on interdisciplinary research projects as well as results from a literature review highlight best practices on interdisciplinary research. Participants were asked to consider the opportunities and challenges of interdisciplinary research and the conditions required for successful collaborations. The project was funded by Community Connections & Creative Research Communications Grant, Mount Saint Vincent University.

From Policy to People: Generating Systemic Support for Family Caregivers (1995-1997)
From Policy to People provided planners at all levels of the health care system with information on the roles and responsibilities of family caregivers in different care settings. Initiatives were targeted to caregivers/families, service providers, professional educators and community groups through research, continuing education, community consultation and outreach. This project offered research support for planning and policy making; and provided advice and support for community needs assessment and program planning. Products developed included an Information Kit on Caregiving and several project specific reports. This project was funded by Max Bell Foundation.

Overcoming Barriers: Strategies for Promoting Interaction Between Seniors and Continuing Care Centres (1996-1997)
This project facilitated outreach initiatives conducted in partnership with long term care facilities and community seniors’ groups, focusing on reducing the barriers to communication and interaction between seniors and facilities. Publications include: final report; presentation of successful community initiatives for other continuing care centres/seniors’ groups in the community; a self-profile tool for facilities to assess their strengths and challenges in today’s changing health care system; and a kit for implementing and facilitating the use of the self-profile tool. This project was funded by New Horizons - Partners in Aging, Health Canada.

Partnerships in Care: The Involvement of Family Members with Elderly Relatives in Homes for Special Care (1994-1995)
Partnerships in Care explored the involvement of family members in the care of their elderly relatives who reside in nursing homes in Nova Scotia. Personal interviews were conducted with 214 Nova Scotia family members to understand the extent and scope of ongoing family relations and the factors which enhance or impede ongoing relations. An annotated bibliography and a report on the in depth analysis of interviews with family members were produced. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health and Fitness.

Population Aging and Policy Initiatives in Canada and China. A Collaborative Working Seminar and Comparative Research Development Initiative (2005-2007)
This project explored the potential for launching a collaborative and comparative research program focused on mutual issues of concerns and need respecting the demographic attributes and socio-economic and policy challenges with Canada and China. Interested researchers submitted position papers regarding their interests and expertise which were then discussed at an in person working seminar in July 2006 at which  close to 20 scholars from various disciplines and policy experts attended. This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Mount Saint Vincent University. 

Project Support for the Nova Scotia Action Plan for an Aging Population (May 2016-September 2016)  
This project involved organizing and conducting public engagement sessions to obtain input from Nova Scotians for an Action Plan for government. NSCA held community consultations in 7 locations throughout Nova Scotia and held in person sessions with specific groups who are typically underrepresented in general public sessions. Input from the in person sessions, online form and other submissions were collated and synthesized. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors.

Projecting the Housing Needs of Aging Atlantic Canadians – Proposal Development (2004-2005)
This project enabled the development of a SSHRCC Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) proposal on seniors and housing which was subsequently funded (see Current Projects). This developmental project was funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).

Projecting the Housing Needs of Aging Atlantic Canadians (2005 - 2011) visit http://www.ashra.ca/ for reports and factsheets
This collaborative research project involved more than 50 organizations, five universities, and all four Atlantic provinces. The research created a community profile model that predicts the future wealth and health states of seniors in Atlantic Canada. Surveys were conducted with more than 2000 Atlantic Canadian seniors. Focus groups with seniors were conducted as well as site visits of innovative housing approaches internationally. The results of the study were linked with policy. This project identified the existing and emerging housing needs for our aging population and developed policy recommendations on how to better meet these needs in the future, A conference was organized to share results and identify strategies to move forward. The project also fostered and strengthened relationships between private and public sectors; researchers and decision makers, etc. in the four Atlantic provinces to move forward with utilizing the project's results. This project was led by Dr. Don Shrinner, Mount Saint Vincent University. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging was one of the stakeholders involved. This project was funded through a Community University Research Alliance grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

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Continuing care/Home care/Long-term care

A Profile of Caregivers in Nova Scotia (2008)
This project involved the development of a background paper which family and friend caregivers in Nova Scotia including those caring for home care clients and a discussion of issues caregivers face in the context of rural communities, while being employed, with diverse cultural backgrounds, and caring for persons with dementia. The paper also examines the strategies other jurisdictions have taken to improve caregivers' quality of life. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Health.

Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias Care Course Review (2007-2008) This project involved an extensive review and revision of the ADOD Care Course curriculum, a nine-module course for individuals caring for persons with Alzheimer Disease and other dementias in the continuing care sector and for families assisting someone living at home. This project was funded by Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course Committee. For more information on Care Course visit http://www.adodcc.ca/

Alzheimer Specialized Care Units & Programs in Nova Scotia Nursing Homes and Homes for the Aged – Part II (1998-1999)
This project was a follow up to earlier work on care of persons with Alzheimer (see Part I) and reviewed the existing approaches to care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in Nova Scotia nursing homes. An analysis of the questionnaire responses (representing 89% of the nursing homes in Nova Scotia) revealed that several approaches to care were evident including special care units (found in almost half of the facilities), specialized programming and integrated care. This project includes a review of the current literature pertaining to Alzheimer Care in facilities. This project was funded by the Royal Bank of Canada, Nova Scotia Department of Health, Shannex Health Care Management, Northwoodcare Inc., MacLeod Group, Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations, and Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.

A Provincial Adult Day Program for Older Nova Scotians (2007)
This project involved the collection and synthesis of information about existing adult day programs in other jurisdictions to support the Nova Scotia Department of Health's decision making around its role in such a program for Nova Scotia and considerations related to implementation. Delivery model options as well as specific examples/programs and their practices as examples of different delivery models were reviewed. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Health.

A Synthesis of Evidence-based Knowledge on Caregiver Assessment. (2013 - 2014) View policy brief
This project synthesized data collected from several projects which employed the C.A.R.E. Tool and developed a policy brief which provided evidence to advance policy that supports the practice of caregiver assessment. This project was funded by the Population Change and Lifecourse Strategic Knowledge Cluster, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Building an Alliance for Research on Continuing Care in Nova Scotia (2010-2011)
This project enabled the development of a CIHR Partnerships for Health System Improvement proposal on nursing home models of care which was subsequently funded (see Care and Construction). The alliance consisted of researchers who have an interest in continuing care and decision makers, community organizations and practitioners from the continuing care sector to advance knowledge on the impact of culture change in Nova Scotia nursing homes. This project was funded by the Community Research Alliance, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Building Capacity in Continuing Care: Bridging Researchers & Decision Makers in the Atlantic Region (2002-2003) View final report. View background paper.
This two-day workshop focused on increasing research in policy making. The goals of the workshop were to identify common strengths and gaps in policy directions, establish priorities for applied research in policy issues relevant to continuing care, determine the similarities and differences in policies across the Atlantic region and areas for collaborative work, and develop a potential collaboration on a specific issue within the scope of MSVU research expertise. Participants included researchers and decision makers from the Atlantic Provinces. This project was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF).

Building Interdisciplinary Capacity to Examine the Impact of Residents and their Families of a New Model of Care in Long Term Care Facilities (2009-2010) View background document  View workshop report
This project fostered a research collaboration of academic researchers, practitioners and decision makers interested in examining the quality of resident and family involvement in long term care facilities in Nova Scotia. Literature was reviewed and gaps identified to inform discussions during a one day workshop. Participants included researchers from a variety of disciplines (e.g., occupational therapy, social work, nursing), as well as decision makers and practitioners. This project was funded by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Human Development, Mount Saint Vincent University.

Building Research Capacity to Examine Home and Community Based Supports and Services (2013-2014) View Background paper
This project involved planning and hosting a workshop that brought together interested researchers and sector representatives to examine the feasiblity of a study on home and community supports. This project was funded by Mount Saint Vincent University.

Care and Construction: Assessing Differences in Nursing Home Models of Care on Resident Quality of Life (2011-2015) View final report
The Care and Construction project took a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral approach to assess the impact of policy changes on resident quality of life in nursing homes in Nova Scotia. Using multiple methods, the project examined different physical designs (household, traditional) and staffing approach (full scope traditional) from the perspectives and experiences of the resident, the resident’s family and the staff. Click here to go to the Care and Construction website. This project was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Partnerships for Health System Improvement Program) and Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Caregiver Support and Enhanced Respite Demonstration Project (2010-2012)
This demonstration project used the C.A.R.E. Tool to assess caregivers’ needs for respite and then measured the impact of the respite intervention on the caregiver in two health districts in Alberta. The demonstration project was evaluated to understand issues related to implementation of caregiver assessment and respite options and potential province-wide expansion. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging was involved as a consultant on this project with respect to the use of the CARE TOOl and evaluation framework. This project was funded by the Alberta Health Services. The project was led by Continuing Care Integrated Services, Seniors Health, Alberta Health Service.

Continuing Care Assistant Program Review and Revision (2012)
This project reviewed the Continuing Care Assistant program with the view of incorporating the needs of District Health Authorities while still meeting the needs of the continuing care sector. In addition, a general review of the curriculum standards and learning outcomes were undertaken to ensure they are relevant and clear, and that the program incorporated the most up-to-date information and resources. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Assistant Program Advisory Committee.

Continuing Care Assistant Equivalency - Evaluation of Self-Study Modules (2004)
This project assessed the strengths and limitationsof the modules developed for individuals to obtain CCA equivalency.  Modules were piloted with staff at two sites. This project was funded by Health Care Human Resources Sector Council.

Core Competency Standards for Community Residential and vocational Services in NS (2002-2003)
This project examined the seven core competencies mandated by the Department of Community Services for all employees of community residential and vocational services in NS. The goal was to define the competencies to ensure standard interpretation, and produce materials to ensure the consistent attainment and portability of the competencies. This project was funded by Health Care Human Resources Sector Council.

Does Timing of Caregiver Assessment Make A Difference: Evaluating the Impact with Older Spousal Caregivers of Persons with Cognitive Impairment (2010-2013) View brochure
Through the participation of 100 spousal caregivers from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, this research project examined the impacts of a caregiver assesment using the C.A.R.E. Tool for older spousal caregivers of a partner with cognitive impairment. It also looked at the learning experiences of nursing students (from Dalhousie and University of Prince Edward Island) as they worked with older spousal caregivers in conducting these assessments. Findings from the experiences of nursing students and from interviews with key stakeholders identified factors that may influence the development of education about caregivers for health care professionals. This project was funded by CIHR Institute of Aging, the Canadian Nurses Foundation and the Parkinson Society of Canada.

Evaluation of RAI Demonstration Project (2003-2004)
The purpose of this project was to conduct a multi-method evaluation study of the RAI 2.0 Demonstration Project focusing on the implementation of the RAI 2.0 assessment tool. In depth interviews with staff from four nursing homes; site visits; telephone surveys; time logs, and focus groups were conducted. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health.

Evaluation Study: Choices for Living: Giving YOU Control (2003-2004)
This project involved an evaluation of a new model of "aging in place" developed by Northwoodcare Inc. and implemented during 2003-2004.  The project report provides a full description of the evaluation process and the activities undertaken to achieve objectives developed by the Northwood Project Evaluation Team, the results from the evaluation process, learnings gleaned and recommendations. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health.

Family Involvement in Long Term Care (1995-1996)
This project used data from the 1995 General Social Survey and an existing data set of interviews with 214 Nova Scotia family members. The focus of this research was to examine the involvement of family members in the lives of elderly persons in long term care facilities. Findings from this research indicate that most family members were involved in providing care to the elderly person when they lived in the community and this continues into the long term care facility. This project was one component of the From Policy to People project (1995-1997) funded by the Max Bell Foundation.

From Policy to People: Generating Systemic Support for Family Caregivers (1995-1997)
From Policy to People provided planners at all levels of the health care system with information on the roles and responsibilities of family caregivers in different care settings. Initiatives were targeted to caregivers/families, service providers, professional educators and community groups through research, continuing education, community consultation and outreach. This project offered research support for planning and policy making; and provided advice and support for community needs assessment and program planning. Products developed included an Information Kit on Caregiving and several project specific reports. This project was funded by Max Bell Foundation.

Home Support Workers: Human Resource Strategies to Meet Future Projected Chronic Care Needs of Older Persons in Canada (Phase 1 & 2) (2009-2010)
This project involved two Phases both intending to improve Canada's ability to meet the projected demand for formal home care services for older persons. Phase 1 was a pilot phase and involved a literature review of key issues related to recruitment and retention of home support workers, identified strategies/practices that may be relevant across Canada and consultated with stakeholders in one health authority in BC to discuss priorities, barriers and enablers to recruitment and retention initiatives. Phase 2 built on the findings of Phase 1 by continuing to identify and analyze human resource strategies among public and private agencies, analyzed existing data sets to fill important gaps in the literature and held consultations with stakeholders in Halifax, Toronto, Regina and Montreal. The project was led by Dr. Janice Keefe, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Aging Research and Policy Analysis, Mount Saint Vincent University (www.msvu.ca/mdcaging). The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging developed and implemented the evaluation for the project. This project was funded by Health Human Resource Strategies Division, Health Canada.

Home to Nursing Home: Understanding Factors That Impact the Path Seniors Take (2013-2014)
This project involved surveying continuing care clients, and caregivers of clients, who were approved for nursing home admission in Nova Scotia and were waiting for placement. Areas of inquiry include the type of support received prior to application, reason for application and who was involved in the decision, and type of support being received while waiting. The study results were to support planning of home care and nursing home care services in Nova Scotia. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

Impact Evaluation: Alzheimer & Related Dementias Care Course (1997)
This project evaluated the impact of the Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course on educating and equipping staff and caregivers to better serve those affected by the disease. This project was funded by Community Care Nova Scotia, Regional Industry Training Council.

NEXUS Home Care in Canada Project - Nova Scotia Site (2007-2008) View summary report
This project examined the role of home support workers in the continuum of care to elderly persons living in the community. Based on personal interviews with 40 Nova Scotia home support workers a number of themes emerged pertaining to job satisfaction, recognizing needs beyond the care plan, worker-client relationships, sudden or predictable events or crises, safety concerns, scheduling and compensation, job stress, and changes in the work environment. This project is part of a larger initiative on home care in Canada led by Dr. Anne Martin Matthews, University of British Columbia and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Older Workers: Human Resource Planning in Facility-Based Care (2002-2004)
This project developed a Facility Human Resource Tool Kit which offers a resource-planning package for employers and workers in continuing care facilities on issues relevant to an aging workforce. The project also included a process and outcome evaluation as well as a series of information sessions to disseminate resources to assist with strategic planning. All components of the project were funded by Human Resource Development Canada through a contractual agreement with the Health Care Human Resource Sector Council.

Overcoming Barriers: Strategies for Promoting Interaction Between Seniors and Continuing Care Centres (1996-1997)
This project facilitated outreach initiatives conducted in partnership with long term care facilities and community seniors’ groups, focusing on reducing the barriers to communication and interaction between seniors and facilities. Publications include: final report; presentation of successful community initiatives for other continuing care centres/seniors’ groups in the community; a self-profile tool for facilities to assess their strengths and challenges in today’s changing health care system; and a kit for implementing and facilitating the use of the self-profile tool. This project was funded by New Horizons - Partners in Aging, Health Canada.

Partnerships in Care: The Involvement of Family Members with Elderly Relatives in Homes for Special Care (1994-1995)
Partnerships in Care explored the involvement of family members in the care of their elderly relatives who reside in nursing homes in Nova Scotia. Personal interviews were conducted with 214 Nova Scotia family members to understand the extent and scope of ongoing family relations and the factors which enhance or impede ongoing relations. An annotated bibliography and a report on the in depth analysis of interviews with family members were produced. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health and Fitness.

Review & Inventory of Curricula Relevant to Health Care Providers (2000-2001)
This project involved a review of courses with ADRD content in universities, colleges, and learning centres as well as training delivered by long term and acute care facilities and professional association in Nova Scotia. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health.

Revision of Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course (ADRDCC) (2002)
This project involved an extensive review and revision of the ADRDCC curriculum, a nine-module course for individuals caring for persons with Alzheimer Disease and related dementias in various settings. This project was funded by Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course Committee.

Shared Care: The Organization of Home Care and Family Caregiving (1989-1992)
This project explored the commonality and omission of supports received by elderly people from formal and informal settings. This report includes a literature review and in-depth analysis of interviews with caregivers and elderly persons. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health and Fitness.

Supporting Caregivers of Older Adults: Tools for Service Providers, Program Planners, Educators and Policy Makers (January 2010 - December 2012) View Caregiver Policy LensView Service Provider Resource Guide
This project developed two resources which facilitate programs and policy that support caregivers of older adults. The Caregiver Tool Kit includees a Resource Guide for paid care providers and a Caregiver Policy Lens for assessing policy and programs from the perspective of caregivers. The project involved consulting with service providers and policy analysts on the content of the resources and then piloting them at multiple sites across Canada. The project was led by B.C. Psychogeriatric Association. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging participated on the project's Advisory Commttee and facilitated consultations with caregivers, service providers and policy analysts in Nova Scotia.This project was funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

The C.A.R.E. Tool: Examining the Role of Caregiver Assessment in Health Promotion of Older Spousal Caregivers (2008) View discussion paper
This project involved the development of a discussion paper on the role of caregiver assessment as a health promotion initiative for older spousal caregivers. In particular, it examined the strengths and limitations of the C.A.R.E. Tool, a psycho-social assessment instrument for use by home care practitioners, in promoting and maintaining the health and well being of older spousal caregivers. This project was funded by Public Health Agency of Canada.

Tools to Support Caregiver Assessment
This project provided information to the researchers about the extent and performance of their C.A.R.E. Tool and the Caregiver Risk Screen, tools designed to be used by home care practitioners with family caregivers of dependent adults. This information assisted the team advance their promotion of the tools and their efforts with implementing caregiver assessment into practice.

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Education

Age-Friendly Communities Implementation and Evaluation Guide (2009) View the Guide View the Toolbox
This project involved the development of a resource for municipalities and communities interested in implementing and evaluating initiatives that support the advancement of age-friendly communities. The work involved reviewing existing best practices related to community resources of this kind and interviewing community representatives and researchers leading age-friendly work to help inform the content and format of the "Age-Friendly Communities in Canada: Community Implementation Guide and the Toolbox". This project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias Care Course Review (2007-2008)
This project involved an extensive review and revision of the ADOD Care Course curriculum, a nine-module course for individuals caring for persons with Alzheimer Disease and other dementias in the continuing care sector and for families assisting someone living at home. This project was funded by Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course Committee. For more information on Care Course visit http://www.adodcc.ca/

Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice on Caregiving through E-Learning (2013-2013)
This project involved the development and piloting of an online training program on caregivers and caregiver assessment for health care practitioners working in home care. The program included both self-directed and real time components. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Care for the Caregiver: A Manual for Implementing Workshops (1993)
This manual was originally produced as part of the Care for the Caregiver Program, 1989-1992, at Mount Saint Vincent University. This manual is designed to contain all the necessary information to implement six Care for the Caregiver education workshops. In 2001-2003 the manual was updated and revised for Veterans' Affairs Canada. Each module includes objectives, agendas, course content, overhead prints, suggested video and readings, and references. The revised manual was funded by Veterans' Affairs Canada.

Care for the Caregiver: A Manual for Staff Training (1993)
This manual was originally produced as part of the Care for the Caregiver Program, 1989-1992, at Mount Saint Vincent University and intended to educate professionals who work with family caregivers. In 2001-2003 the manual was updated and revised for Veterans’ Affairs Canada and includes nine sections: a plan of action, profile of a caregiver, an overview of aging, communication skills, caregiver stress, stress management, role of staff, book and video list, and appendices. This revised manual was funded by Veterans' Affairs Canada.

Continuing Care Assistant Equivalency - Evaluation of Self-Study Modules (2004)
This project assessed the strengths and limitationsof the modules developed for individuals to obtain CCA equivalency.  Modules were piloted with staff at two sites. This project was funded by Health Care Human Resources Sector Council.

Continuing Care Assistant Program Review and Revision (2012)
This project reviewed the Continuing Care Assistant program with the view of incorporating the needs of District Health Authorities while still meeting the needs of the continuing care sector. In addition, a general review of the curriculum standards and learning outcomes were undertaken to ensure they are relevant and clear, and that the program incorporated the most up-to-date information and resources. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Assistant Program Advisory Committee.

Core Competency Standards for Community Residential and Vocational Services in NS (2002-2003)
This project examined the seven core competencies mandated by the Department of Community Services for all employees of community residential and vocational services in NS. The goal was to define the competencies to ensure standard interpretation, and produce materials to ensure the consistent attainment and portability of the competencies. This project was funded by Health Care Human Resources Sector Council.

Educational Programs for Family Caregivers in Nova Scotia (1996-1997)
This study explored the strengths and limitations of the educational programs for family caregivers for both organizers and participants. Program leaders from the nine education/support programs in Nova Scotia were asked to complete a survey regarding the organization of the educational programs. As well an analysis of the evaluation forms from the various programs was completed. This project was one component of From Policy to People project (1995-1997) funded by Max Bell Foundation.

Elder Abuse Awareness for Healthcare Professionals (April 2012 - April 2015)
The project developed information and educational resources on the topic of elder abuse to assist direct care providers and healthcare professionals working with older adults and their families in a variety of settings to better understand elder abuse. The project was led by the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia. The NSCA was a partner organization supporting the direction and implementation of the project and responsible for the evaluation of the project. The project was funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Everyday Technology and Older Adults: Friends or Foe? (1999-2001) View final report.
This project brought together older adults and representatives of the technology industry in focus groups, interviews/survey and town hall meetings to promote understanding of the challenges of technology in the day-to-day lives of older adults and to ensure that the "human face" is not lost in the process of technological change. Strategies, educational materials and recommendations emerged from these discussions. In particular, education modules (including video) were produced for older adults and for industry. This project was funded by Population Health Fund, Health Canada.

Impact Evaluation: Alzheimer & Related Dementias Care Course (1997)
This project evaluated the impact of the Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course on educating and equipping staff and caregivers to better serve those affected by the disease. This project was funded by Community Care Nova Scotia, Regional Industry Training Council.

Institute of Aging 2009 Summer Program in Aging (2008-2009)
This project involved the planning and co-hosting of the CIHR Institute of Aging (IA) Summer Program in Aging which was held at White Point Beach Resort (NS), June 2009. The aim of the Summer Program in Aging (SPA) is to provide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows involved in aging research a program of advanced training that crosses disciplines, sectors, institutions, and geography. Fifty individuals from various disciplines and from across Canada spent 4 days at this training/education event. Participants benefited from a program full of plenaries, group discussions, and workshops on topics such as multidisciplinary collaboration, ethics, professionalism, grant writing, knowledge transfer, etc. led by leading researchers in the field. This project was funded by CIHR Institute of Aging.

Conference: Our Future is Aging: Current Research on Knowledge, Practice and Policy (Planning: May 2015-June 2016 ACTUAL EVENT: June 16-17, 2016)

The conference showcased the latest research on aging from diverse disciplines, promising practices in interdisciplinary research and discussion on how this leading-edge research shapes knowledge, practice and policy.

Preparing for Change Project: A Guide for Elderly Parent(s) Caring for Sons and Daughters who have Disabilities (1996-1997)
This project explored issues relevant to the future planning concerns of older parent(s) caring for adult sons and daughters who have disabilities. A video and guidebook were developed to encourage and assist families making decisions concerning future care needs. This project was funded by New Horizons - Partners in Aging, Health Canada.

Research into Healthy Aging: Challenges in Changing Times (November, 1996)
Research into Healthy Aging presented the inter-disciplinary conference proceedings co-sponsored by the Faculty of Health Professionals, Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, Mount Saint Vincent University. The conference explored age related issues including themes on: aging and heart disease; assessment tools; caregiving and Alzheimer’s disease; decision making and self-care; elderly abuse and research issues; mental and physical health; multicultural perspectives; seniors as peer resources; and women and social support.

Review & Inventory of Curricula Relevant to Heath Care Providers (2000-2001)
This project involved a review of courses with ADRD content in universities, colleges, and learning centres as well as training delivered by long term and acute care facilities and professional association in Nova Scotia. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health.

Revision of Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course (ADRDCC) (2002)
This project involved an extensive review and revision of the ADRDCC curriculum, a nine-module course for individuals caring for persons with Alzheimer Disease and related dementias in various settings. This project was funded by Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Care Course Committee.

The Next Stage: Retirement Planning for Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities (2005-2009) View final report   View discussion paper   View resource guide   View needs assessment report
This project fostered links between the aging and developmental disability sectors in Nova Scotia to respond to a growing need for information to update policy and programs relevant to retirement planning for persons aging with developmental disabilities. The project was led by School of Health and Human Services, Nova Scotia Community College. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging developed and implemented the evaluation framework for the project.This project was funded by Public Health Agency of Canada.

Seniors Legal Information Kit (2008-2011)
This project addressed deficiencies in the public's knowledge and understanding of various aspects of arranging one's legal affairs. The project developed information materials on this topic to help safeguard seniors against financial abuse and exploitation. The project included delivering a series of information sessions throughout the province (click here for Project Description). "It's in Your Hands" a resource that provides legal information for seniors and families was developed and available at the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia website. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging developed and implemented the evaluation framework for the project.This project was funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

TEER for CARE: Technology-Enabled Education for Recognizing Caregivers’ Aspirations, Realities & Expectations (2010-2011)
This project developed and piloted an online workshop on family and friend caregivers for health care professionals. The workshop included both self-directed and real time components and was intended to help professionals become more aware of the realities of family and friend caregivers and critically assess their practice approach. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Toward a Better Understanding: Promoting Effective Communication (1994-1996)
Toward a Better Understanding developed educational materials (i.e. videos and accompany manual) to enhance communication skills for caregivers of persons with communicative disorders. The two themes developed in this project were: methods to assess communicative skills and improving communication skills. This project was funded by Crabtree Foundation.

Where to Begin: An Introductory Planning Guide for Family Caregivers (2004- 2005) View guide
This eight page guide assists individuals to plan for the care of an older family member or friend. It includes contact information for various resources as well as a checklist to determine the needs of the care recipient. This publication was funded by Dr. F.R. MacKinnon Endowment Fund, Mount Saint Vincent University.

Why Isn’t Dad Fishing Anymore? Seniors and Depression (2011-2012) Click here to view video
This project involved the development of a video to increase awareness about seniors and depression. Based on the story of a family’s real struggle with depression , the video debunks common myths that depression is a normal part of aging and reinforces the message that treatment is available to help older adults diagnosed with depression. The video was developed in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Seniors Mental Health Network of which the NS Centre on Aging is a member. This project was funded by Mental Health Division, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

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Healthy Aging

Age-Friendly Communities Nova Scotia Implementation (2011-2013)
This project was a community development initiative. Through advice, access to support resources and the provision of direct services NSCA support several municipalities in Nova Scotia who had received funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors Age-Friendly Communities Program to engage in the Age-Friendly Communities' strategic planning process. Activities included input into creating AFC Advisory Committees, gathering community information to build background report, assisting with the community consultation phase (e.g., focus groups, surveys) and synthesizing results into summary report. The work was funded by the NS Department of Seniors.

Age-Friendly Rural & Remote Communities Initiative (2007-2008)View final report
This project explored the age-friendliness of 11 communities across Canada, including the Village of Guysborough, and elicited suggestions from seniors regarding what makes communities age friendly. The project was modeled after the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors and other jurisdictions within the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

A Profile of Social Isolation in Canada (2005-2007)
This project, conducted in two phases, examined the factors, barriers, key characteristics and consequences associated with social isolation of older Canadians in order to support the development of a comprehensive profile of social isolation in Canada. This project was funded by Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Social Isolation.

Building Age-Friendly Communities: Messaging to Shape Policy and Practice (2013-2014)
This project supported the development and implementation of knowledge sharing products and activities that contributed to clearer messaging around the age-friendliness of Nova Scotia communities that can be used to shape community and health services policy and practice. The NSCA managed and coordinated project activities related to the development of two knowledge sharing products: 1) a brochure-style factsheets ((Home & Community Supports, Social Engaement) that contextualizes key findings regarding health services and community planning in Nova Scotia; 2) a webinar. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Elder Abuse - Lessons Learned from Family Violence (2008) View final report
This project involved the development of a discussion paper discussing the lessons learned from work on family violence to inform research, policy and practice in the area of abuse of older adults. The discussion paper was one of several commissioned for an Expert Round Table on Elder Abuse organized by Human Resources and Social Development Canada in June 2008. This project was funded by Human Resources and Social Development Canada.

Everyday Technology and Older Adults: Friends or Foe? (1999-2001) View final report.
This project brought together older adults and representatives of the technology industry in focus groups, interviews/survey and town hall meetings to promote understanding of the challenges of technology in the day-to-day lives of older adults and to ensure that the "human face" is not lost in the process of technological change. Strategies, educational materials and recommendations emerged from these discussions. In particular, education modules (including video) were produced for older adults and for industry. This project was funded by Population Health Fund, Health Canada.

Exploring the Impact of Cancer on Mental Health: Seniors Experiences and Perspectives (2007-2008)Seniors to Seniors Report
This project explored the experiences of seniors with cancer. The project included a series of focus groups with older men and women in four regions in Canada who had experienced cancer to capture their experience, the challenges they experienced related to their emotional well being, and their strategies for coping. The project developed two resources “Seniors to Seniors. Talking about Cancer” and “Seniors Perspectives on Their Cancer Care: Report to Healthcare Providers”. The project was led by Dr. Penny MacCourt, British Columbia Psychogeriatric Association in collaboration with partner organizations across Canada. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging served on the project’s Advisory Committee and also organized focus groups with seniors in Nova Scotia. This project was funded by Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Strategy –Cancer Component, Public Health Agency of Canada.

Fountain of Health Initiative for Integrative Positive Aging (2013)
The Fountain of Health Initiative involved the participation of a number of organizations, including NSCA, in a unified promotional campaign of key positive aging messages which were disseminated throughout Nova Scotia. At least six key messages, backed up by evidence, and providing concrete steps seniors can take, were developed. As a partner, the NSCA contributed to the development of key messages and the distribution of the messages through its respective channels. The initiative was funded by NS Department of Seniors Positive Aging Fund.

Global Age-Friendly Cities - Halifax Site (2006-2007) View final report
This project explored the age-friendliness of Halifax Regional Municipality. This project was part of a larger initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) involving 33 cities world wide and intended to identify concrete indicators of an age-friendly city and to produce a practical guide to stimulate and guide advocacy, community development and policy change to make urban communities age friendly. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Seniors' Secretariat and Halifax Regional Municipality.

Population Aging and Policy Initiatives in Canada and China. A Collaborative Working Seminar and Comparative Research Development Initiative (2005-2007)
This project explored the potential for launching a collaborative and comparative research program focused on mutual issues of concerns and need respecting the demographic attributes and socio-economic and policy challenges with Canada and China. Interested researchers submitted position papers regarding their interests and expertise which were then discussed at an in person working seminar in July 2006 at which  close to 20 scholars from various disciplines and policy experts attended. This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Mount Saint Vincent University.

Research into Healthy Aging: Challenges in Changing Times (November 1996)
Research into Healthy Aging presented the inter-disciplinary conference proceedings co-sponsored by the Faculty of Health Professionals, Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, Mount Saint Vincent University. The conference explored age related issues including themes on: aging and heart disease; assessment tools; caregiving and Alzheimer’s disease; decision making and self-care; elderly abuse and research issues; mental and physical health; multicultural perspectives; seniors as peer resources; and women and social support.

The C.A.R.E. Tool: Examining the Role of Caregiver Assessment in Health Promotion of Older Spousal Caregivers (2008) View discussion paper
This project involved the development of a discussion paper on the role of caregiver assessment as a health promotion initiative for older spousal caregivers. In particular, it examined the strengths and limitations of the C.A.R.E. Tool, a psycho-social assessment instrument for use by home care practitioners, in promoting and maintaining the health and well being of older spousal caregivers. This project was funded by Public Health Agency of Canada.

The Role of Senior Volunteers in Sustaining Rural Communities (2005-2008) View final report   View highlights-An Overview  View highlights-Sustaining Rural Culture  View highlights-Organizational Considerations
This project examined the contribution of senior formal volunteers in three rural areas in Nova Scotia from two perspectives. Through a literature review, focus groups with rural seniors and interviews with key informants the research explored the benefits to rural seniors of being involved as volunteers, and the benefits in their communities of this volunteer work as seen from the perspective of those communities in which they volunteered. This project was funded by Imagine Canada's Knowledge Development Centre, Canada's Volunteerism Initiative.

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Housing

Assisted Living Project and Policy Development (2002-2003)
This project included a literature search and development of a synthesis paper on assisted living options within Atlantic Canada. This project was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Evaluation Study: Choices for Living: Giving YOU Control (2003-2004)

This project involved an evaluation of a new model of "aging in place" developed by Northwoodcare Inc. and implemented during 2003-2004. The project report provides a full description of the evaluation process and the activities undertaken to achieve objectives developed by the Northwood Project Evaluation Team, the results from the evaluation process, learnings gleaned and recommendations. This project was funded by Nova Scotia Department of Health.

Projecting the Housing Needs of Aging Atlantic Canadians (2005-2011) visit http://www.ashra.ca/ for reports and factsheets
This collaborative research project involved more than 50 organizations, five universities, and all four Atlantic provinces. The research created a community profile model that predicts the future wealth and health states of seniors in Atlantic Canada. Surveys were conducted with more than 2000 Atlantic Canadian seniors. Focus groups with seniors were conducted as well as site visits of innovative housing approaches internationally. The results of the study were linked with policy. This project identified the existing and emerging housing needs for our aging population and  developed policy recommendations on how to better meet these needs in the future, A conference was organized to share results and identify strategies to move forward. The project also fostered and strengthened relationships between private and public sectors; researchers and decision makers, etc. in the four Atlantic provinces to move forward with utilizing the project's results. This project was led by Dr. Don Shrinner, Mount Saint Vincent University. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging was one of the stakeholders involved. This project was funded through a Community University Research Alliance grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.   

Projecting the Housing Needs of Aging Atlantic Canadians – Proposal Development (2004-2005)
This project enabled the development of a SSHRCC Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) proposal on seniors and housing which was subsequently funded (see Current Projects). This developmental project was funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).

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Human Resources

Care for the Caregiver: A Manual for Staff Training (1993)
This manual was originally produced as part of the Care for the Caregiver Program, 1989-1992, at Mount Saint Vincent University and intended to educate professionals who work with family caregivers. In 2001-2003 the manual was updated and revised for Veterans’ Affairs Canada and includes nine sections: a plan of action, profile of a caregiver, an overview of aging, communication skills, caregiver stress, stress management, role of staff, book and video list, and appendices. This revised manual was funded by Veteran’s Affairs Canada

Continuing Care Assistant Equivalency - Evaluation of Self-Study Modules (2004)
This project assessed the strengths and limitationsof the modules developed for individuals to obtain CCA equivalency.  Modules were piloted with staff at two sites. This project was funded by Health Care Human Resources Sector Council.

Home Support Workers: Human Resource Strategies to Meet Future Projected Chronic Care Needs of Older Persons in Canada (Phase 1 & 2) (2009-2010)                                                                               
This project involved two Phases both intending to improve Canada's ability to meet the projected demand for formal home care services for older persons. Phase 1 was a pilot phase and involved a literature review of key issues related to recruitment and retention of home support workers, identified strategies/practices that may be relevant across Canada and consultated with stakeholders in one health authority in BC to discuss priorities, barriers and enablers to recruitment and retention initiatives. Phase 2 built on the findings of Phase 1 by continuing to identify and analyze human resource strategies among public and private agencies, analyzed existing data sets to fill important gaps in the literature and held consultations with stakeholders in Halifax, Toronto, Regina and Montreal. The project was led by Dr. Janice Keefe, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Aging Research and Policy Analysis, Mount Saint Vincent University (www.msvu.ca/mdcaging). The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging developed and implemented the evaluation for the project. This project was funded by Health Human Resource Strategies Division, Health Canada.

NEXUS Home Care in Canada Project - Nova Scotia Site (2007-2008) View summary report
This project examined the role of home support workers in the continuum of care to elderly persons living in the community. Based on personal interviews with 40 Nova Scotia home support workers a number of themes emerged pertaining to job satisfaction, recognizing needs beyond the care plan, worker-client relationships, sudden or predictable events or crises, safety concerns, scheduling and compensation, job stress, and changes in the work environment. This project is part of a larger initiative on home care in Canada led by Dr. Anne Martin Matthews, University of British Columbia and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Older Workers: Human Resource Planning in Facility-Based Care (2002-2004)
This project developed a Facility Human Resource Tool Kit which offers a resource-planning package for employers and workers in continuing care facilities on issues relevant to an aging workforce. The project also included a process and outcome evaluation as well as a series of information sessions to disseminate resources to assist with strategic planning. All components of the project were funded by Human Resource Development Canada through a contractual agreement with the Health Care Human Resource Sector Council.

Peer Support Programs: Learning from the Experience of Others (1997-1998)
This project was intended to enhance the understanding of factors that contribute to the viability of Peer Support Programs in Canada. 135 Peer Support Programs across Canada were surveyed through telephone interviews. From these interviews three issues emerged which became the themes for thirteen teleconference meetings with Peer Support Program Leaders. This project was funded by Population Health Fund, Health Canada.

The Role of Senior Volunteers in Sustaining Rural Communities (2005-2008) View final report   View highlights-An Overview  View highlights-Sustaining Rural Culture  View highlights-Organizational Considerations
This project examined the contribution of senior formal volunteers in three rural areas in Nova Scotia from two perspectives. Through a literature review, focus groups with rural seniors and interviews with key informants the research explored the benefits to rural seniors of being involved as volunteers, and the benefits in their communities of this volunteer work as seen from the perspective of those communities in which they volunteered. This project was funded by Imagine Canada's Knowledge Development Centre, Canada's Volunteerism Initiative.

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Mental Health

Exploring the Impact of Cancer on Mental Health: Seniors Experiences and Perspectives (2007-2008)Seniors to Seniors Report
This project explored the experiences of seniors with cancer. The project included a series of focus groups with older men and women in four regions in Canada who had experienced cancer to capture their experience, the challenges they experienced related to their emotional well being, and their strategies for coping.  The project developed two resources “Seniors to Seniors. Talking about Cancer” and “Seniors Perspectives on Their Cancer Care: Report to Healthcare Providers”.  The project was led by Dr. Penny MacCourt, British Columbia Psychogeriatric Association in collaboration with partner organizations across Canada. The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging served on the project’s Advisory Committee and also organized focus groups with seniors in Nova Scotia. This project was funded by Healthy Living and Chronic Disease  Strategy –Cancer Component, Public Health Agency of Canada.

Why Isn’t Dad Fishing Anymore? Seniors and Depression (2011-2012) Click here to view video.
This project involved the development of a video to increase awareness about seniors and depression. Based on the story of a family’s real struggle with depression , the video debunks common myths that depression is a normal part of aging and reinforces the message that treatment is available to help older adults diagnosed with depression. The video was developed in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Seniors Mental Health Network of which the NS Centre on Aging is a member. This project was funded by Mental Health Division, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

Policy

* Note: most studies conducted by NSCA are 'policy relevant' however the following have a specific policy focus.

A Profile of Caregivers in Nova Scotia (2008)
This project involved the development of a background paper which family and friend caregivers in Nova Scotia including those caring for home care clients and a discussion of issues caregivers face in the context of rural communities, while being employed, with diverse cultural backgrounds, and caring for persons with dementia. The paper also examines the strategies other jurisdictions have taken to improve caregivers' quality of life. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Health.

A Provincial Adult Day Program for Older Nova Scotians (2007)
This project involved the collection and synthesis of information about existing adult day programs in other jurisdictions to support the Nova Scotia Department of Health's decision making around its role in such a program for Nova Scotia and considerations related to implementation. Delivery model options as well as specific examples/programs and their practices as examples of different delivery models were reviewed. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Health.

A Synthesis of Evidence-based Knowledge on Caregiver Assessment. (2013 - 2014) View policy brief
This project synthesized data collected from several projects which employed the C.A.R.E. Tool and developed a policy brief which provided evidence to advance policy that supports the practice of caregiver assessment. This project was funded by the Population Change and Lifecourse Strategic Knowledge Cluster, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Building Capacity in Continuing Care: Bridging Researchers & Decision Makers in the Atlantic Region (2002-2003) View final report. View background paper.
This two-day workshop focused on increasing research in policy making. The goals of the workshop were to identify common strengths and gaps in policy directions, establish priorities for applied research in policy issues relevant to continuing care, determine the similarities and differences in policies across the Atlantic region and areas for collaborative work, and develop a potential collaboration on a specific issue within the scope of MSVU research expertise. Participants included researchers and decision makers from the Atlantic Provinces. This project was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF).

Building Policy Frameworks for Older Parents Caring for Adult Sons and Daughters with Disabilities (2002-2003) View issue paper
This project brought together parents, individuals with disabilities, advocacy organizations, service providers, and government representatives with a goal of prioritizing current issues faced by parents and people with disabilities and to develop a shared set of policy goals founded on a vision of inclusion. This project was funded by Health Canada.

From Policy to People: Generating Systemic Support for Family Caregivers (1995-1997)
From Policy to People provided planners at all levels of the health care system with information on the roles and responsibilities of family caregivers in different care settings. Initiatives were targeted to caregivers/families, service providers, professional educators and community groups through research, continuing education, community consultation and outreach. This project offered research support for planning and policy making; and provided advice and support for community needs assessment and program planning. Products developed included an Information Kit on Caregiving and several project specific reports. This project was funded by Max Bell Foundation.

Part of the Process: Enabling Older Caregiving Women to Participate (1998-1999)
This collaborative project aimed to increase the visibility of older caregiving women and offer tools to assist them in the process of participating in policy decisions. Four recommendations were cited. This project was funded by Status of Women Canada.

Project Support for the Development of Dementia Strategy for Nova Scotia (September 2014-March 2015; Extended to Spring 2015)
This project supported the development of a dementia strategy for Nova Scotia. The strategy was led by the Department of Health and Wellness and Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. The Strategy is intended to enhance delivery of dementia care and treatment ensuring people living with dementia, as well as their families or care partners, are well supported. The NSCA facilitated public consultation sessions and provided support with project management and the development of an evaluation framework for the Strategy. This project was funded by the Continuing Care Branch, Department of Health & Wellness.

Population Aging and Policy Initiatives in Canada and China. A Collaborative Working Seminar and Comparative Research Development Initiative (2005-2007)
This project explored the potential for launching a collaborative and comparative research program focused on mutual issues of concerns and need respecting the demographic attributes and socio-economic and policy challenges with Canada and China. Interested researchers submitted position papers regarding their interests and expertise which were then discussed at an in person working seminar in July 2006 at which  close to 20 scholars from various disciplines and policy experts attended. This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Mount Saint Vincent University.

Support for Informal Caregivers: An Intersectoral Responsibility (1997-1998)
This project explored supports available in Atlantic Canada for informal caregivers. Common learning and best practices were identified through telephone interviews with service providers and caregivers (155) and eight focus groups (two in each Atlantic Canada province), to aid in future development of policy and programs. This project was funded by Population Health Fund, Health Canada.

Time for Change: Regional Strategies to Support Informal Caregivers in Atlantic Canada (1998-1999)
This project brought together key stakeholders in Atlantic Canada through four provincial forums. These groups worked through an extensive process to develop achievable goals and strategies to support family caregivers in their region. This project was funded by Population Health Fund, Health Canada.

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Prescription Drug Use

Seniors’ Prescription Drug Use in Nova Scotia (2003-2004) View final report.
This study examined patterns in seniors’ purchase and use of prescription drugs, what factors influence these patterns, and the strategies that seniors use to influence related public policy. 424 surveys were distributed to seniors aged 65 and over and interviews were conducted with 20 individuals. This project was funded by Merck Frosst.

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Rural Communities

Age-Friendly Rural & Remote Communities Initiative (2007-2008) View final report
This project explored the age-friendliness of 11 communities across Canada, including the Village of Guysborough, and elicited suggestions from seniors regarding what makes communities age friendly. The project was modeled after the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors and other jurisdictions within the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Aging Well in Rural Places (2002)
This project, under the direction of Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre, focused on seniors with mental issues and depression in rural communities. The NS Centre on Aging conducted the literature review and a comprehensive evaluation of the project. This project was funded by Health Canada.

The Role of Senior Volunteers in Sustaining Rural Communities (2005-2008) View final report   View highlights-An Overview  View highlights-Sustaining Rural Culture  View highlights-Organizational Considerations
This project examined the contribution of senior formal volunteers in three rural areas in Nova Scotia from two perspectives. Through a literature review, focus groups with rural seniors and interviews with key informants the research explored the benefits to rural seniors of being involved as volunteers, and the benefits in their communities of this volunteer work as seen from the perspective of those communities in which they volunteered. This project was funded by Imagine Canada's Knowledge Development Centre, Canada's Volunteerism Initiative.

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Social Isolation

A Profile of Social Isolation in Canada (2005-2007)
This project, conducted in two phases, examined the factors, barriers, key characteristics and consequences associated with social isolation of older Canadians in order to support the development of a comprehensive profile of social isolation in Canada. This project was funded by Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Social Isolation.

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Technology

Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice on Caregiving through E-Learning (2013-2013)
This project involved the development and piloting of an online training program on caregivers and caregiver assessment for health care practitioners working in home care. The program included both self-directed and real time components. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

TEER for CARE: Technology-Enabled Education for Recognizing Caregivers’ Aspirations, Realities & Expectations (2010-2011)
This project developed and piloted an online workshop on family and friend caregivers for health care professionals. The workshop included both self-directed and real time components and was intended to help professionals become more aware of the realities of family and friend caregivers and critically assess their practice approach. This project was funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Everyday Technology and Older Adults: Friends or Foe? (1999-2001)View final report.
This project brought together older adults and representatives of the technology industry in focus groups, interviews/survey and town hall meetings to promote understanding of the challenges of technology in the day-to-day lives of older adults and to ensure that the "human face" is not lost in the process of technological change. Strategies, educational materials and recommendations emerged from these discussions. In particular, education modules (including video) were produced for older adults and for industry. This project was funded by Population Health Fund, Health Canada.

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