Brock students conduct age-friendly assessment in the Niagara community

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Brock students conduct age-friendly assessment in the Niagara community

Published on April 09 2014


Healthy communities encompass all age groups.

Working together on an intergenerational research study, 45 Brock students were matched with 20 seniors in the Niagara community to better understand what makes an age-friendly community.

The intergenerational study “Through Their Eyes”, examined the age-friendliness of the neighbourhood surrounding the Niagara Regional Housing Seniors Residence located at 14 Centre Street in downtown St. Catharines.

“Getting students out into community was a key component to enhance the learning experience,” says Paula Gardner, course instructor and assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Brock University.

“Through this community-based intergenerational project we will not only understand what makes a healthy community - we will start to build one.”

With older residents serving as guides, students adopted the “go along” interview (a qualitative method that combines in-depth interviewing with participant observation), and worked collaboratively with seniors to assess their neighbourhood.

“This project has been a wonderful learning experience.” explained Elisa Brown, a third year Medical Sciences student at Brock.

“I have learned a lot, not only about the processes and how to formulate change within communities, but also how to practically conduct research that has social impact.”

Community Partners for this project included Niagara Regional Housing, Niagara Region Public Health, the 14 Centre Street Seniors Residence, Niagara Age Friendly Community Network, and Niagara Connects.

In addition, the Service Learning Resource Centre at Brock University provided a $1500 Service-Learning Course Incentive grant that helped enhance the service-learning components of the course.

For media inquiries about this study, please contact:

Michael T. Armstrong, Communications Officer, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5342; mtarmstrong@brocku.ca

Brock University, Niagara, Age Friendly, Paula Gardner
In the picture above: Elisa Brown, Brock Medical Sciences student and Sharon, a senior resident who participated in the study

Working together on an intergenerational project, 45 Brock students were matched with 20 seniors in the Niagara community to better understand what makes an age-friendly community.