Research Partnerships

The Saskatoon Council on Aging partners with academic institutions, groups and health professionals to provide support for research projects to improve quality of life for older adults. 

Addressing Loneliness and Social Isolation: Building Bridges in Seniors’ Housing

This project is led by Dr. Donna Goodridge from the College of Medicine and Dr. Jennifer Briere from St. Thomas More College. Because of the increase in one-person households and the geographic dispersion of families, loneliness and social isolation may be more common for older adults now than in the past. Loneliness refers to having fewer or less close relationships than a person would like, whereas social isolation means not having many relationships with other people.The aim is to co-design, implement and evaluate patient-oriented strategies to address loneliness and social isolation in two seniors’ social housing units. In partnership with members of SCOA and patient partners from the community, we will use a variety of research methods and guided by Age-Friendly and Positive Aging approaches to develop a sustainable program addressing loneliness and social isolation.
This research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
PARTICIPANTS 55 PLUS NEEDED FOR A STUDY ON RELATIONSHIPS AND AGINGComplete the survey online or by phone 306.966.8319. Participants will be entered into a draw for a cash prize.

Health Literacy, Deferred and Virtual Health Care Visits and Health Concerns of Tenants in Social Housing during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to multiple changes in the ways both patients and the health care system respond to routine health concerns that require attention. Reports in the media have documented that the public had been avoiding seeking treatment in both Emergency Departments and primary care since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, 2020.the overall objective of this study (led by Dr. Donna Goodridge) is to better understand if, how, and why, utilization of primary care and Emergency services by tenants of social housing has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will interview 40 tenants residing in social housing to achieve our objectives. 
This research is funded by the Rapid Response Research Initiative, College of Medicine.

No Patient Left Behind: Electronic Health Record [EHR] Use in Saskatchewan

Dr. Tracie Risling from the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan partnered with SCOA on a research project, No Patient Left Behind: EHR Use in Saskatchewan. This study is about supporting patients across the province to uptake and use their electronic health records. Information sessions were held to hear from participants; how they wanted to learn about EHRs, to identify some of the challenges when it comes to using EHRs and types of supports that could be developed to support EHR users. 
This research is funded by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research.

Pain Knowledge Needs of Family Caregivers and Persons with Dementia

Dr. Susan Tupper and the Pain Dementia Virtual Reality Research Team proposed to create an innovative training program on pain management for family caregivers and people with cognitive impairments related to dementia. Incorporating virtual reality videos into the training materials is an exciting new way to teach family members and people with dementia about pain. The training materials will be developed based on family member input, and their perspectives on the new virtual reality video will help shape the training program in ways that truly support older adults in Saskatchewan. This education will help our families to better cope with pain and prevent suffering and the many negative consequences of living with pain. READ MORE

The research is funded by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation Advancement Inc.

Study: Towards improving the quality of life for long term care residents: Exploring the current factors affecting healthcare provision and health outcomes

This project is led by Dr. Roslyn Compton, PhD RN, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan. SCOA has collaborated with Dr. Compton since 2013, in two previous studies related to older adults living with complex health care needs in the community.) The purpose of the current study was to collect descriptive data relevant to Long Term Care practices to inform future innovative models of care for older adult (65+) residents who experience an acute medical condition and/or acute exacerbation of a chronic illness. The data collection for this project has been interrupted by the Covid19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown of all Long Term Care facilities. A revised project has been proposed, and is under review by the funders, to study the experiences of the participants in the previous research project during the Covid19 response. 
This research is funded by a SPROUT grant through the SK Health Research Foundation and CIHR. 

The Lived Experience of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan Project

Led by Natasha Hubbard Murdoch, Heather Nelson and Lindsey Boechler, research chairs within the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Centre for Health Research, Improvement and Scholarship (CHRIS), the project included multiple studies seeking the experience of front line health care workers, seniors isolating at home, clinical educators and nursing students. We can learn from shared experiences to better support patients, caregivers and health care workers. Since a major concern for seniors in Saskatchewan is social isolation, especially during the physical distancing in response to the pandemic, SCOA is encouraged by research projects that prioritize that concern and the collection of recommendations from seniors. Research that also collects the experiences of nurses, paramedics and police and law enforcement, working with seniors across settings and in the community, ensures multiple aspects of the lives of older adults are understood. The translation of these results to seniors, caregivers and health care team members ensures a coordinated consideration of dignity for seniors in pandemic planning.  READ MORE 

This research is funded by a Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation grant 

Under Reporting of Abuse

The goal of of the tri-province [Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan] study was to explore the reasons for, and context of under reporting, in cases of neglect and abuse ofolder adults. The study would address knowledge gap in individuals, community, services and seek to understand help-seeking behaviours of older adults. The project consisted of an environmental and media scan, literature review, qualitative interviews and annual reports. Findings will be used to develop recommendations to improve disclosure opportunities and services. READ MORE
This research is funded by the Prairie Action Foundation.

Virtual Socialization Hubs: Connecting Older Adults 

SCOA partners with the University of Saskatchewan to undertake a pilotproject with researcher Megan E. O’Connell, a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University ofSaskatchewan. One project involves showing older adults how to use Zoom to enhance social contact. For those who do not know how to use Zoom, clinical psychology graduate students under Dr. O ’Connell ’s supervision will phone older adults and assist them to use the application. Some participants will receive a personalized tutorial, but those who are having more difficulty wil lreceive individual therapy – cognitive rehabilitation – to train them to use new technology. A second project is to create groups that meet via Zoom for entertainment, socialization, and for educational programming on a variety of topics of interest to older adults including health and mental health.
READ MOREThis research is funded by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation.