May 23, 2013 - 3:55am

Vancouver Island University’s Centre for Healthy Aging and Engaged Scholarship is hosting two free research networking luncheons to stimulate community dialogue on issues that matter to older adults and their families.

In a presentation at Providence Farm in Duncan on May 30 called “An Alternate Day Program for Older Adults with Mental Health Issues – Thriving or Languishing in Community?” Dr. Andrea Smilski, Associate Dean, Faculty of Health and Human Services at VIU, will present results of an innovative academic-community partnership for supporting mental health, well-being, and recovery to promote older adults' social interaction, community belonging, and caregiver respite.

Providence Farm provides therapeutic day programs and supports to adults who have mental health illnesses and addiction-recovery issues.

The networking session takes place from 12 noon to 2 pm at Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Road, Duncan. A tour of St. Ann's Garden, the project site, will also be included.

A second networking session in Parksville on June 25 features Diane Hancox, Clinical Counsellor and Jean Wilson, Program Coordinator, Oceanside Hospice Society, who will deliver a presentation called “Beyond the Bucket List: Key Areas for Planning to Live a More Meaningful Life before the Final Chapter.”

“Adults are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, yet this may not guarantee a life of quality,” explains Dr. Lynne MacFadgen, Project Manager for the Centre for Healthy Aging. “VIU is delighted to collaborate with the Oceanside Hospice Society to offer this session.

“It will focus on changes that can be made to increase meaning, deepen relationships, and face those tough but necessary discussions, when facing the final chapter of life.”

Interested community members are invited to join in this interactive and thought-provoking presentation that includes planning steps and resources to help older adults live and die well.

This session will take place at VIU's Parksville Qualicum Centre at 100 Jensen Avenue in Parksville, also from noon to 2 pm.

VIU launched the Centre for Healthy Aging and Community-Engaged Scholarship last January. The Centre’s mandate is to promote excellence in healthy-aging research, education and practice. It has a special focus on seniors’ health care improvements, active and productive aging, and the creation of age-friendly communities.

“An age-friendly community focuses on respect, social inclusion and learning from those who really know what is needed to improve the lives of older adults,” explains MacFadgen.

The Centre works collaboratively with VIU’s Faculty of Health and Human Services (HHS), Oceanside Healthy Aging Initiatives Committee, older adults and their caregivers, the municipalities of Parksville and Qualicum Beach and a diverse range of seniors’ organizations and health care practitioners.

To register for one or both sessions, email or call 250-248-2096 ext 3238.



Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6288 E: Twitter: @VIUNews

Tags: In the Community

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