Helping to create an age-friendly environment in the city of Trois-Rivières
About the Project
Societies around the world are aging rapidly, including those in Canada. However, as life expectancy increases, many develop frailty, reduced quality of life, and functional impairments that require the support of formal and informal caregivers. Health promotion and prevention among older people offer great potential for impact, as the burden of disease in this population is often associated with preventable conditions or modifiable factors. Interventions to address specific risk factors can prevent or delay decline in function and, for people with disabilities, help delay the need for health care services. Therefore, to limit the risk of functional decline, older adults may consider lifestyle changes, with several options available to them.
However, the uptake of lifestyle changes for healthy aging is generally low. The city and communities where older people live have a major influence on the adoption of healthy lifestyles in old age. An age-friendly urban environment enables residents to maintain function, participate in meaningful activities, and sustain their quality of life to the end of their days. We will therefore help Trois-Rivières create an age-friendly environment by involving key stakeholders (city representatives, community organizations, pharmacies, health authorities, seniors) in the implementation of a primary prevention public health program named “AVOID Frailty”.
Through our partner organizations that provide care or services to older adults (city officials, community organizations, pharmacies, health authorities), we will recruit individuals over the age of 65 who reside in Trois-Rivières. After enrollment, we will create a detailed profile of participants, including their goals, to create a personalized lifestyle change plan. We will also ask them questions to identify the factors that influence their ability to make lifestyle changes.
To optimize AVOID to Trois-Rivières, we will conduct interviews, focus groups and community forums with key stakeholders. These consultations will allow us to map existing services that can be used to support implementation of AVOID, as well as identify gaps in services and barriers and enablers to implementation. Based on the identified needs and barriers, we will identify solutions to improve existing programs and/or co-design new programs. Once AVOID Frailty is optimized, it will be offered to participating older adults.
Together with the findings from Kingston, where implementation has already begun, this project will help develop a methodology for optimizing AVOID and its implementation plan in other cities.
Anik Giguere, PhD — Université Laval
In addition to the above, we will then examine the context and outcomes of implementation, barriers and enablers, adoption of lifestyle changes, and direct health outcomes for participants. To this end, older adults will complete a questionnaire twice a year to assess quality of life, life satisfaction, and frailty status. We will also conduct interviews or focus groups with older adults, key stakeholders, team members, and implementers (e.g., partner organizations, coaches, community connectors) to assess acceptability and adoption of AVOID.
Codesigning the urban environment of Trois-Rivières with key stakeholders to promote the AVOID program will allow it to better meet the needs of older people and provide more equitable and accessible services to support healthy aging.
- Tailor the implementation of AVOID to the circumstances of older adults in Trois-Rivières, using an iterative approach that includes the creation and adaptation of five decision aids, one for each component of AVOID.
- Examine what works, for whom, and under what circumstances in implementing AVOID in Trois-Rivières to prevent frailty in older adults over 65.