Joanie Sims-Gould receives the CIHR New Investigator and MSFHR 2014 Scholar Awards

Joanie Sims-Gould receives the CIHR New Investigator and MSFHR 2014 Scholar Awards
Joanie Sims-Gould receives the CIHR New Investigator and MSFHR 2014 Scholar Awards

Her research aims improve the quality and utility of evidence for policy and practice change that will enable older adults to age in place. This work is key given that in 2011, an estimated 5.0 million Canadians were 65 years of age or older, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years to reach 10.4 million seniors by 2036. The majority of older adults prefer to stay at home for as long as possible. However, for many, receipt of home care services is the only option that enables them to remain independently and safely in their home. At present, more than 1.4 million Canadians receive publicly funded home care services annually.

As the Canadian population ages and with earlier discharges from hospital, the need for home care and associated costs continue to escalate. To 'age in place' older people also require community and built environments that facilitate their health and mobility. As health and function decline with aging, older adults' ability to engage with challenging physical environments (e.g. poor street lighting or long distances to amenities) diminishes. Advancing knowledge in this emerging field is key to planning and developing effective strategies that allow older adults to grow old at home.

The overarching goal of her program of research is "adding life to later years" so that older adults can live independently in their homes for as long as possible. Thus, her research focuses on enhancing the health and mobility of older adults across two settings: 1. delivery and receipt of home care services and, 2. the neighbourhood built environment.