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Improving the health of Indigenous seniors

Indigenous populations in Canada are rapidly aging and facing a rise in multiple chronic diseases and disabilities. Recent data indicate that more than half of Indigenous people aged 65 and older report limitations in their ability to live an independent lifestyle. The Government has made it a priority to address the health needs of Indigenous people of all ages.

Today, Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, on behalf of Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announced 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.

Dr. Janet McElhaney and her team at the the Health Sciences North Research Institute (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.

“CIHR applauds Dr. McElhaney’s research efforts and genuine compassion that have led her to work in partnership with Indigenous communities to ensure Indigenous peoples have access to the same quality of care and support that other Canadians enjoy. CIHR is delighted to support research that will have a real, tangible impact on improving the health of aging Indigenous peoples. We wish the team success and look forward to seeing their progress,” says Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health.

Project Grants are designed to support researchers at any career stage build and conduct health research and knowledge translation projects covering a range of areas, from discovery science and clinical research to strengthening the health care system and examining the social determinants of health.


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