Age-Friendly in Focus

Age Friendly in Focus: Understanding access and inclusion for older adults in the built environment.

Older adults 65+ in Nova Scotia are invited to take part in a research study conducted in collaboration between Community Links Nova Scotia and the PEACH Research Unit at Dalhousie University.

Ways to get involved

Researchers invite older adults in Nova Scotia to participate in a photovoice study to show accessibility in their communities.

Project History

Phase 1 of Age Friendly in Focus originated as an individual research project called Spaces that Work for Me. Conducted by Master of Planning student Katie Vaughan and the PEACH (Planning for Equity, Accessibility, and Community Health) Research Unit, Spaces that Work for Me was a partnership with Community Links. To learn more about this phase of the project, please watch the following videos:

Spaces that Work for Me: Project Overview – YouTube

Spaces that Work for Me: Project Results – YouTube

The Spaces that Work for Me project recruited 12 older adults across Nova Scotia in 2020. Inspired by the results, we knew there was so much more to learn and again in partnership with PEACH and Katie Vaughan, Community Links applied for the Age Friendly Communities Grant from the Department of Seniors to conduct a phase two of the research while also including expanded community outreach and engagement.

After receiving full support for the proposal, Age Friendly in Focus: Understanding access and inclusion for older adults in the built environment was born. 

Age Friendly in Focus aims to engage with more older adults from across the province. We’re using photovoice research, community engagement sessions and graphic recording to publish a photobook that will share the images, stories and what we learn. We want to shine a light on the experiences of older adults moving through day-to-day life.

Photovoice Activity

The purpose of the photovoice activity is to better understand the accessible design needs of older adults in the neighborhood-built environment by soliciting their perspectives from lived experience. Accessibility in our neighborhood-built environments is important as it supports or hinders independent living, participation in social activities, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In this study ‘accessible design’ means spaces that people can enter, travel through, and use easily, safely, and comfortably. The ‘neighborhood-built environment’ means buildings, streets, outdoor spaces that are within an individual’s neighborhood.

For more information or to get involved with this study, see the Invitation to Participate and Participant Consent Form above, or contact researcher Katie Vaughan at agefriendlyinfocus@gmail.com or call (902) 233-6061.

Engagement Sessions

In November, 4 or 5 engagement sessions will take place in communities across Nova Scotia. These engagement sessions will give community members who are aged 65 and older the opportunity to look at photographs and share their experiences and stories. A graphic recorder will turn the conversation into visuals and these powerful graphic recordings will be highlighted in the photobook!

To learn more about graphic recording, go to: Graphic Facilitation – Mind’s Eye Creative Consulting (mindseyecreative.ca)

More information on the engagement sessions is coming soon. Please check back to see when we will be in your community!

Photobook

The photovoice activity (photographs and stories), community engagement sessions, and graphic recordings will be used to create a photobook. The photobook will also include original illustrations and graphic designs to shine a light on the experiences of older adults moving through day-to-day life.

The photobook will be published in April 2022! Hard copies will be available in public libraries, recreation centres, community centres and more. Check back here to access the digital copy!