News and Events



  • McMaster University launches the French version of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal – a unique website that supports healthy aging with evidence-based information

    by Lori Mosca
    Feb 07, 2017

    Hamilton, ON – February 7, 2017 - As a leading Canadian authority on the study of aging, McMaster University created the highly acclaimed McMaster Optimal Aging Portal in 2014 as a unique online health resource that supports the healthy aging goals of Canada’s growing senior population. The research team behind the Portal is now announcing the launch of French version of the Portal which can be found at www.mcmastervieillissementoptimal.org.

    “We’ve seen great success with the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal thus far, including an expanding global audience as well as powerful endorsements from government officials and healthcare professionals who are encouraging older adults and their caregivers to visit this useful resource,” says Parminder Raina, scientific director of the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging. “We are proud to bring this invaluable health content to Francophone audiences in Canada and beyond.”

    Provincial Minister of Seniors Affairs Dipika Damerla notes: “The French-language version of the Optimal Aging Portal is an invaluable health resource for Francophones in Ontario and across the country. Congratulations to McMaster University for your thought leadership in connecting aging research with the critical health concerns of Canadian seniors.”

    Elizabeth Allard, President of the The Ontario Federation of Francophone Seniors and Retirees (known as Fédération des aînés et des retraités francophones de l'Ontario (FARFO) in French) adds: “We congratulate and thank McMaster University for its research on optimal aging and for creating a Portal on this theme. The French version of the Portal is appreciated two-fold, as Francophones will be able to make informed decisions about their health and will also be made aware of the various social aspects of aging.”

    As the Internet is overflowing with health-related websites, what sets the Portal apart is its emphasis on providing the best available research evidence in a relatable way, so visitors can make informed health decisions and important lifestyle changes that influence optimal aging.

    The Portal content includes Blog Posts, which are short articles written by trusted experts to support healthy aging; Web Resource Ratings, which evaluate free online health resources based on a five-star rating scale; and Evidence Summaries which summarize – in plain language – the key messages from recent high-quality scientific evidence. The Portal also features a weekly ‘Hitting the Headlines’ column that connects aging news headlines with related research evidence.

    Three world-class McMaster research databases and consultations with aging experts from across the country inform all of the Portal’s health content. In 2017, the Portal will be expanding the topic coverage beyond health considerations to include additional evidence-based content about the social aspects of aging.

    “With the continual growth in the number of older adults in Canada, one of our most pressing health and social policy issues is the support and care of our aging population,” says Raina. “Our goal with the Portal is to reach as many people as possible.”

    He said the Portal team would like to thank the Quebec Network for Research on Aging, a thematic Network funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec –Santé for French translation support, as well as the CHUM (Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal) where the network’s director, Pierette Gaudreau is based.

    For more information, or to book an interview, please contact:
    Jillian D’Archi, Lead, Marketing & Public Relations - McMaster Optimal Aging Portal
    darchij@mcmaster.ca | 416.458.0645
  • Going for Gold As We Age

    by Lori Mosca
    Dec 01, 2016

    Event: Public Talk
    Date of Recording: Tuesday, October 4, 2016
    Sponsors: Funded by McMaster University's Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative.

    It's time to look at aging from a new perspective. What's your podium going to be?

    On Tuesday, October 4th, Olympic Champion, Mark Tewksbury, Debbie Muir, one of Canada's greatest coaches, and Dr. Jennifer Heisz from McMaster University delivered an engaging talk about the benefits of exercise and social engagement for optimal aging and tips for setting goals and creating a winning mindset to help us achieve gold as we age!

     
  • McMaster Optimal Aging Portal and the YMCA team up to promote healthy aging

    by The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal Communications Team
    Aug 04, 2016

    (June 30, 2016) - Hamilton, ON - The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal and the YMCA of Hamilton/ Burlington/Brantford have partnered to help Canadians stay healthy, active and engaged as they grow older. The partnership marks an important alliance inspired by a shared commitment to ensuring Canadians have access to the highest-quality health information to foster healthy communities.

    The partnership is an extension of the LiveWell Community Health Partnership between Hamilton Health Sciences, the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford and McMaster University. Livewell designs, delivers and evaluates chronic disease self-management programs and has had over 2500 participants to date.

    “The YMCA works with members across a wide range of ages with various health concerns. Our partnership with the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal will focus on connecting older adults to resources that will help them independently manage their conditions beyond our on-site programs,” says Genevieve Hladysh, Senior Manager at the YMCA Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford. “We encourage our members to visit the Portal for credible information to help them age well.”

    The Portal:

    • Puts the research into context:  Blog Posts include commentary on what the scientific research on a topic actually means and why good science matters.
    • Makes sense of the science:  Experts identify key messages from scientific research that’s relevant and ready to be acted on.
    • Provides information you can trust:  There are many free online health resources out there, but it’s hard to know which are worth a closer look based on evidence. The Portal uses explicit criteria to assess and rate other free online seniors’ health resources – as well as in the development of its own featured content.

    “Community partnerships with like-minded organizations are a key component to raising awareness about this critical resource throughout Canada,” says Dr. John Lavis, Director of the McMaster Health Forum and one of the Portal Leads. “We look forward to working with the YMCA’s staff and members to support our aging population.”

  • Mental Health Matters: Depression and Anxiety in Older Adults

    by McMaster Health Forum
    May 27, 2016

     

    Mental health issues impose an enormous disease burden on societies across the world with depression alone affecting 350 million people globally.  It is estimated that one in ten Canadian adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives. For older adults living in institutions, the rate of anxiety and depression increases significantly. The social stigma around mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.  

    Michael Landsberg, host of TSN’s Off The Record and well-known mental health advocate, and Dr. Doug Oliver, a family physician with a passion for supporting the physical and mental health of older adults, engaged in an open discussion on depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges facing older adults on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

    Click here to watch other past events.

  • The science of Alzheimer’s: where are we going?

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Aug 10, 2015


    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: September 22, 2015
    • Sponsors: Funded by McMaster University’s Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative.
    • Partners: This public talk was organized by the McMaster Health Forum in collaboration with the Alzheimer Society of Canada, Alzheimer’s Disease International and the MedicAlert Foundation Canada.
    • Details: Alzheimer's disease is estimated to account for 60–70% of the 47.5 million cases of dementia worldwide. It is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people and has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a public health priority. Despite the increased focus on this disease, many questions remain unanswered. Jay Ingram, one of Canada’s best-known and most popular science personalities, and Dr. Christopher Patterson, an expert on the diagnosis and treatment of dementia, delivered an engaging and informative talk examining the latest research into risks, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. 
    • Follow the discussion on Twitter via
       Follow @Mac_AgingNews and @MacHealthForum
  • Wearable Technologies and Optimal Aging

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Apr 23, 2015

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: May 21, 2015
    • Sponsors: Funded by McMaster University’s Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative.
    • Details: The popularity of wearable technologies has grown rapidly over the past few years, but the impact of these devices on health and healthcare remain uncertain. Join Nora Young and Dr. Anthony Levinson as they discuss the impact of wearable technologies on optimal aging and their potential for the future. Follow the discussion on Twitter at #MacAging.
    •  Follow @Mac_AgingNews and @MacHealthForum.
  • Active Living: How to Form Healthy Habits for Optimal Aging

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Apr 23, 2015

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date: June 3, 2015.
    • Sponsors: Funded by McMaster University’s Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative.
    • Details: Physical activity at all ages is essential to healthy aging. Despite the growing awareness of the health dangers of our modern sedentary lifestyles, keeping active can be a challenge. Join BodyBreak’s Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod as they discuss the benefits of, and simple strategies to form habits for healthy, active aging. All are welcome to attend this free public event, which will include an opportunity for audience questions. Follow the discussion on Twitter at #MacAging.
    •  Follow @Mac_AgingNews and @MacHealthForum.
  • Breast cancer screening: making sense of the evidence

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Mar 19, 2015

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: March 25, 2015
    • Sponsors: Funded by McMaster University’s Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative.
    • Details: We know that breast cancer screening (mammography) can identify breast cancer early, but at what cost? Join us on March 25 as Dr. Jonathan Sussman and Dr. Cathy Risdon discuss the latest evidence on breast cancer screening and reflect on the impact this evidence has on their interactions with patients. All are welcome to attend this free public event, which will include an opportunity for audience questions. Follow the discussion on Twitter at #MacAging. Follow @Mac_AgingNews and @MacHealthForum.
  • What we eat: Nutrition as the foundation to healthy aging

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Jan 22, 2015

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: Thursday, January 22, 2015
    • Sponsors: Funded by McMaster University’s Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative.
    • Details: Good nutrition is essential to aging well. Much of the malnutrition that occurs in long-term care is preventable, attributed to the eating environment, food quality and the ability to access food. Join Heather Keller, a leader in research on nutrition and aging, as she shares her views on these issues and how we can provide a better foundation to healthy aging.

      

  • Alzheimer’s disease caregiving: Health effects and treatment strategies

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Dec 09, 2014

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
    • Sponsors: McMaster University’s Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative; Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres; Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging
    • Details: Supporting caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease is imperative given that they face significant challenges, including high emotional stress, severe fatigue, depression, and/or experience social isolation. Join Richard Schulz, a leader in research about the health effects of caregiving, as he shares his views on how we can better support caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Who cares? Preparing the system and the caregiver for what lies ahead

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Dec 08, 2014

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: Monday, December 8, 2014, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
    • Sponsors: McMaster University’s Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative; Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres; Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging
    • Details: With the number of people over the age of 65 expected to double in the next 20 years and family and friends providing 80% of home care in Canada, it is critical to prepare both our system and caregivers to meet the challenges ahead. Join Janice Keefe, a leader in research about caregiving policy and practice, continuing care policy and projecting the needs of older Canadians in the future, as she shares her views and insights about how to address these and other challenges related to preparing for what’s needed to care for older Canadians.
  • There is no place like home: Providing alternatives to hospital care

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Nov 25, 2014

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
    • Sponsors: McMaster University's Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative; Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres
    • Details: Dr. Graham Ellis, a geriatrician from Scotland, describes the successful 'hospital-at-home' service that he's been leading for the past three years. The service has been successful in allowing more patients to be cared for at home rather than in hospital, with services provided by a team of nurses, doctors, social care staff and other health providers.
  • Sod 70: Using research evidence to push the problems of aging to our 90s

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Nov 11, 2014

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
    • Sponsors: McMaster University's Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative; MedicAlert Foundation of Canada
    • Details: How do we make the right health decisions today to improve the quality of our lives as we age? Sir Muir Gray, a leading authority from the United Kingdom on how we can use research evidence to push the problems of aging to our 90s, will share insights to empower us to make informed decisions about our health. In this talk he draws upon more than 40 years of working in the medical field including his work on the The 70 Plus programme which is designed to support people who are 70 or older to maintain and improve their health.
  • Disruption, peer to peer healthcare, creativity and YouTube: How to fail well in patient engagement

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Oct 27, 2014

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: Monday, October 27, 2014, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
    • Sponsors: McMaster's Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative; MedicAlert Foundation of Canada
    • Details: Mike Evans, a Toronto family physician whose YouTube videos about health have been viewed more than 10 million times, talks about the changing landscape in how patients and healthcare professionals interact, and the impact technology has made on the way consumers seek out health information.
  • Knowing what's best: Discover how the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal does your homework

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Oct 21, 2014

    • Event: Webinar
    • Date of recording: Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 3:00 - 4:00 PM
    • Details: This public webinar was conducted by McMaster professor Maureen Dobbins, who explains the Web Resource Ratings feature of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal. This feature involves finding and evaluating hundreds of online resources about health and aging, to help you determine which ones are based on scientific evidence and useful to you.

     

  • No home care priority without appropriate financing: Canada has to move

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Oct 20, 2014

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of recording: Monday, October 20, 2014, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
    • Sponsors: McMaster University's Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative; Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres
    • Details: Réjean Hébert, a former minister of health and social services for Quebec and founding scientific director of the Institute of Aging at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, will draw on insights from his extensive research and recent political experience to discuss the need for governments to find a way to finance home care and to ensure older adults have access to a variety of options for appropriate types of care, when they need it.

     

  • Healthy aging: Learn how to use the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Oct 15, 2014

    • Event: Webinar
    • Date of recording: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 3:00 - 4:00 PM
    • Details: The newly launched McMaster Optimal Aging Portal provides trusted information on how to stay healthy, active and engaged as we grow older. A public webinar by Anthony Levinson, a McMaster associate professor who led the design of this new website, will demonstrate how to efficiently use the Portal to find scientific-based evidence, written in consumer-friendly language, that can be helpful to your personal situation.
  • Thinking Ahead: Do celebrities do more good than harm with their medical advice?

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Apr 03, 2014

    • Event: Panel discussion
    • Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
    • Partners: McMaster University's Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative
    • Sponsors: Labarge Charitable Foundation
    • Details: Celebrities often use their status to support or refute health advice. Those claims can be either beneficial or harmful, depending on whether they are based on quality research evidence. This panel discussion was moderated by Julia Belluz a journalist who previously wrote for Maclean's and the Medical Post. The panel was made up of medical professionals and journalists, discussing whether celebrity health claims do more good than hard. Full details available here.
  • Thinking Ahead: Will extended and second careers become the norm?

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Apr 02, 2014

    • Event: Panel discussion
    • Date of event/recording: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
    • Partners: McMaster University's Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative
    • Sponsors: Labarge Charitable Foundation
    • Details: This public panel discussion moderated by Steve Paikin, anchor and senior editor of TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin, included five panellists: Sherry Cooper, former chief economist and executive vice-president of Bank of Montreal; Parminder Raina, McMaster researcher leading the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging; Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital and Provincial Lead of the Ontario’s Seniors Strategy; Ian Thomas, singer, songwriter, actor and author; and Brian Williams, sports broadcaster for CTV and TSN.

     

  • Neuroculture, memory and the aging brain: Sociological reflections on cognitive health

    by McMaster Health Forum
    Jan 14, 2014

    • Event: Public talk
    • Date of talk/recording: Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 5:30 - 7:00 PM
    • Sponsors: Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative at McMaster University
    • Details: Stephen Katz is Professor of Sociology at Trent University. He is author of Disciplining Old Age and Cultural Aging: Life Course, Lifestyle and Senior Worlds, along with numerous book chapters and articles on the sociology of aging. His current research is on the cultural aspects of memory and will be part of a new book on Age, Mind and Self in Later Life. In 2009 he received the prestigious Trent University Distinguished Research Award for his work in critical aging studies.
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