Sudbury researcher, Dr. Janet McElhaney, is tackling age-related diseases in First Nations communities in northern Ontario and Saskatchewan.
Indigenous populations in Canada are aging and facing a rapid rise in multiple chronic diseases and disabilities. Recent data indicate that more than half of Indigenous people aged 65 and over report limitations in their ability to live an independent lifestyle. The Federal Government has made it a priority to address the health needs of Indigenous people of all ages.
On December 4th, Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, announced on behalf of Canada's Minister of Health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, an investment of more than $1.4 million to support a research project focused on improving the health of Indigenous seniors. Specifically, the project will study the issue of dementia and how this condition affects Indigenous communities, including families and caregivers.
This funding will support a project titled Aging in Place: Promoting Healthy Aging for Indigenous People with Multiple Chronic Conditions also known as "Kitimakinaw Nokatohke" Lovingly Care For People, led by the Health Sciences North Research Institute's (HSNRI) Dr. Janet McElhaney, Vice President of Research & Scientific Director, and Dr. Jennifer Walker, Indigenous Health – Canada Research Chair, Laurentian University.
Dr. Janet McElhaney and her team at the HSNRI in Sudbury will partner with First Nations communities in northern Ontario and Saskatchewan to:
- identify the needs of Indigenous seniors living with multiple conditions;
- develop and adapt interventions to address the health issues and barriers to care for seniors; and
- evaluate the effectiveness of community-specific interventions.
The new investment from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) will help support innovative research that will ensure healthier aging among Indigenous communities.