Engaging Communities for Healthy Aging

Developing and implementing evidence-based, culturally sensitive dementia risk reduction programming in rural and semi-rural communities across Cape Breton Island.

Key information

Who is this project for? People aged 55+ at risk of developing dementia, people living with dementia and care partners living in rural communities across Cape Breton Island with a special focus on Mi’kmaq, African Nova Scotian, Gaelic, and French Acadian communities.

Project Lead: Cape Breton University’s Centre of Excellence for Healthy Aging

Project status: ongoing, 2023 - 2027

Project location: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia  

Project team members:

  • Lydia Kerr, Project Manager, Communities and Healthy Aging, Cape Breton University
  • Dr. Tanya Brann-Barrett, Associate Vice President, Academic and Research, Cape Breton University
  • Dr. Erna MacLeod, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Cape Breton University
  • Dr. Chandell Gosse, Research Administration Officer of Major Initiatives, Cape Breton University

Get in touch:

Centre of Excellence for Healthy Aging

Project story

Background:

The “Engaging Communities for Healthy Aging” project aims to develop and implement early intervention dementia risk reduction programming in rural and semi-rural communities across Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The project will provide evidence-based, culturally relevant social and physical activities, such as exercise and musical programming, for people at risk of or living with dementia, including care partners. The project aims to reach diverse populations, including Mi’kmaq, African Nova Scotian, Gaelic, and French Acadian communities. By using intergenerational and mobile approaches, the program will deliver these activities in rural communities, while also building community capacity to sustain the programming beyond the project funding.

The expected outcomes include increased access to exercise, music, and social programs, improved knowledge of dementia and risk factors, enhanced intergenerational interaction, improved functional status, and overall improved well-being among participants.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Programs will be tailored to the cultural diversity of the communities it serves.
  2. Mobile in-community programming is important to reach aging and rural populations.
  3. This project will provide communities with the skills and resources needed to continue the programs after the project has ended.

This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

 

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