Sciences, School of Nursing, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Her areas of interest were/are public health and international health. In addition to helping strengthen learning opportunities for nursing students to have clinical placements in northern Canada and abroad, Barb participated in several health sciences projects that partnered McMaster with universities and professional associations throughout Latin America and Mexico. She has 20 academic publications to date. She is politically active on a number of social justice issues
Report on a Peer Led Educational Intervention to Enhance Positive Aging for Older Adults in Hamilton Ontario Canada
Barb Carpio, Hamilton Council On Aging, Canada
Anne Pizzacalla, Laura Bonilla, Cheryl Fenn, Francis Lester, Cathy Thomas and Diane VanMeeteren, Hamilton Council on Aging Board of Directors, Canada
The Hamilton Council on Aging (HCoA) is a non-profit volunteer advocacy organization influencing attitudes, policies, and programs for older adults in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. This poster reports on designing and implementing an HCoA educational intervention to enhance positive aging in Hamilton.
Extensive citizen consultation in 2015 and 2019 identified access to information, resources to support healthy aging as a key priority. In response to this identified need, HCoA developed an educational series called Positive Aging.
Positive Aging is a research-based, evidence-informed series of 6 interactive workshops developed by the GERAS Centre for Aging Research, a partner of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences. Topics covered address key lifestyle components that the participants can enhance, including normal changes of aging, fitness, mental health, nutrition, being socially active, home safety, and prevention of falls.
- Enhance knowledge of the evidence-based practices on healthy aging,
- Support participants to adopt healthy lifestyle practices and to connect with supporting resources and services, and
- Provide retired health care professionals with a meaningful volunteer role as a peer educator.
A volunteer team of retired health care professionals and educators delivered the course to diverse communities – rural, urban, and multicultural. The interactive design, volunteer -peer-led model of this series catered to the diversity of Hamilton’s older adult population and provides a sustainable model for the delivery of future learning.
During COVID-19, we adapted the in-person series to ZOOM and telephone formats through multiple civic partnerships. The course has been offered 15 times since 2018 in various formats to over 300 seniors in Hamilton and the surrounding area.
Participants in all three formats of the course reported that the Positive Aging sessions provided new information and tools to make positive changes in their lives.
Six peer educators have consistently volunteered to lead the program and reported feeling valued in this role. In addition, the role provides an opportunity to continue utilizing and developing old and new professional skills and to give back to the community.
- Seniors are interested in taking ownership of their health.
- Seniors in the community can access online and telephone health teaching opportunities.
- Retired health care providers and educators are a resource in the community that can be tapped to provide expertise and links to community groups.
- COVID-19 pandemic provided the impetus to adopt new forms of health education and enhance community partnerships.