Sandra P. Hirst RN, PhD, GNC(C) is an Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary. Sandra currently sits on the Boards of the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE), the International Federation on Ageing, and the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. Sandra has held a number of leadership positions including President of the Canadian Association on Gerontology. She is committed advancing the care of older adults residing in continuing care facilities through the education. She is the director of this CURAC project.
A Later Life Learning Initiative: An Innovative Strategy
Dr Sandra Hirst, Associate Professor Emeritus, University Of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
As the population of older adults increases, the field of later life adult education needs to respond accordingly. Older adults are a distinct population that will influence adult education in the future due to their growth in numbers, societal status, economic resources, and desire to continue to learn and to teach. However, historically, older adults have been under-represented in formal adult education activities. We know that older adults actively learn for a diverse variety of reasons.
Reported in this poster is a project promoting later life learning among older adults initiated by The College and University Retiree Associations of Canada /Associations de retraités des universités et collèges du Canada (CURAC/ARUCC). CURAC is a not-for-profit federation of retiree organizations at colleges and universities across Canada. Its objectives include the sharing of information about activities of member organizations. The majority of its members are over the age of 65 years. An outgrowth of CURAC’s commitment to its members, is the recent formation of its Later Life Learning Initiative. This is an on-line learning site that identifies learning activities for CURAC members across Canada. The Committee’s objectives include:
- exchanging information regarding upcoming educational sessions (primarily online) that are available from member organizations and approved national and international associations that involve retired staff from colleges and universities;
- offering information about free access online communications options, as well as providing referrals to groups that provide free online training sessions to keep our digital skills up to date;
- disseminating information regarding publications and related scholarly work by members of CURAC/ARUCC member associations; and
- developing innovative strategies for Later life Learning.
Specific details about the evolution of the Committee, the use of this resource by members, and its plan for its future work to promote later life learning.