ACT develops flyer for community resources in NDG, Montreal for COVID-19

In collaboration with community organizations, ACT has developed a bilingual flyer that outlines COVID-19 community resources in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) neighbourhood of Montréal, Québec. ACT has been working with allies in the community to develop an outreach strategy, especially to reach older adults who are not online. This flyer is currently being distributed at COVID-19 testing clinics, and will soon be distributed door-to-door to the 35,000 households in the neighbourhood.

 

New report on the affordability of mobile services in Canada

ACT researchers Catherine Middleton, Kim Sawchuk, Constance Lafontaine, Scott DeJong and Julia Henderson submitted a report as part of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) review of the affordability of mobile devices in Canada (2019-57) on October 23. ACT researchers conducted 62 interviews with older adults in four provinces over the span of four months and drew from data gathered in the ACT longitudinal study. Their analysis suggests that the current pricing system makes mobile services unaffordable to many older Canadians, particularly to older adults living with low income. You can download it here (PDF).

The October 2019 report follows complementary initial report submitted on May 15 2019, available here (PDF).

New report to British Columbia government on mobile services

ACT researchers were invited by the British Columbia government to submit an intervention as part of the province’s public engagement and legislative review to identify ways to improve cell phone contract and billing transparency. The ACT report, titled “Fair Sales Practices and Affordable Services: The Cell Phone Needs of Canadian Seniors,” emphasizes the need for challenging the current telecommunication landscape, ending aggressive and misleading sales practices, and providing affordable mobile services to all Canadians.

Graduate Summer School – Beyond the Body: Recasting Aging

From July 3 to 10 ACT collaborator engAGE: Concordia University’s Centre for Research on Aging will host its first intensive and experiential international graduate summer school. The title of the summer school is Beyond the Body: Recasting Aging.

Keynote speakers include Toni Calasanti (Virginia Tech), Paula Negron (Université de Montréal), Ros Jennings (University of Gloucestershire), Erin Lamb (Hiram College) and Barbara Marshall (Trent University). A small number of fellowships are available for international students who need financial assistance to attend the summer school. Visit the summer school website to learn more about the course outline and application process. The application deadline is April 15.

Questions can be directed at engage@concordia.ca

New Research Grant on Intelligent Personal Assistants

Galit Nimrod and Yael Edan of Ben Gurion University of the Negev were awarded a research grant from the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology to study processes of assimilation of Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs) among older users. IPAs combine features of both service and companion robots, and have great potential to promote subjective wellbeing in old age. Applying the holistic approach to the study of human-robot interaction in later life, Nimrod and Edan will explore the extent to which IPAs indeed promote wellbeing in later life, the factors that constrain or alleviate processes of assimilation of IPAs, and whether processes of assimilation and contribution to wellbeing vary upon IPA’s type.

The study will combine knowledge and methods from both the social sciences and industrial engineering. Sixty community-dwelling individuals aged 75 years and over will be recruited and given an IPA for a period of three months. During this time, qualitative and quantitative measures will be used to assess use patterns, the outcomes resulting thereof and factors that constrain use. Results are expected to promote the existing body of knowledge regarding processes of assimilation of new technologies among older adults. In addition, the findings will be used to create a toolbox for technology developers and designers, that will guide adaption of existing technology to older people’ needs as well as development of designated technologies for the global aging population.