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Healthy Aging in a Northern Métis Community with Mrs Liris Smith, Dr. Sarah Oosman, Dr. Sylvia Abonyi, Ms Liz Durocher, and Mr. TJ Roy

Healthy Aging in a Northern Métis Community with Mrs Liris Smith, Dr. Sarah Oosman, Dr. Sylvia Abonyi, Ms Liz Durocher, and Mr. TJ Roy

Healthy Aging in a Northern Métis Community with Mrs Liris Smith, Dr. Sarah Oosman, Dr. Sylvia Abonyi, Ms Liz Durocher, and Mr. TJ Roy

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Healthy Aging in a Northern Métis Community: How Cultural Understanding Can Inform Physiotherapy Health Promotion Interventions and Program Implementation

Relevance

Trends toward aging exist in Canada, and these trends also exist among Indigenous populations. Indigenous older adults experience greater health disparities across the lifespan than non-Indigenous older adults, and present with more chronic and complex conditions later in life. Indigenous older adults face unique challenges to healthy aging, while little is known about what a healthy aging trajectory looks like from an Indigenous perspective, within a Western- based care system. It is incumbent on clinicians, researchers and health care providers to seek new ways to engage and partner with Indigenous people and to learn new ways to understand healthy aging and wellness. This presentation will focus on the "how" of respectively engaging with a Métis community to support healthy aging, applying a pragmatic approach to implementing health promoting interventions guided by an Indigenous framework and using a "two-eyed seeing" perspective.

Content

This presentation highlights innovative ways to support healthy aging in partnership with Indigenous populations. During this interactive session we will: feature key components of a collaborative intervention research project entitled "Wuskiwiy-tan! (Let’s Move!): Aging Well in a northern Saskatchewan Métis community"; identify community engagement strategies for implementing effective health promoting interventions relevant to physical therapy practise, including strengths and challenges of applying a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach; clarify the importance of applying the 4 R’s (respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility) and cultural humility.

Target Population

This presentation is intended for clinicians, researchers and key stakeholders working with Indigenous populations and interested in learning ways to support healthy aging using culturally relevant services and programs. This presentation will also appeal to health practitioners interested in engaging Indigenous communities to co-create meaningful research questions and outcomes.

Supporting Evidence

Most Canadians believe that Indigenous populations are generally younger. However, Indigenous peoples are aging at a quicker rate than non-Indigenous populations. In 2006, 4.8% of the Indigenous population in Canada was aged 65 years or older; by 2016, this nearly doubled to 7.3%. Health disparities track throughout the lifespan and by the time Indigenous adults are 75 years or older they report living with 3 or more chronic conditions (while only 23% of non-Indigenous age-matched adults report the same). Presently there is a dearth of research in healthy aging among Métis populations and more needs to be done.

Format

The session includes a presentation on project findings and small group discussions in workshop style. The interactive workshop component will allow participants to share experiences and ideas related to practising cultural humility; responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action in ways that are relevant to physical therapy and healthy aging; and actively engaging in respectful and meaningful partnerships with Indigenous older adults.

Conclusions

Physical therapy practice is informed and dominated by a western worldview. In order to address inequities that exist among Indigenous populations and to better meet the health needs of Indigenous older adults, physical therapists must seek innovative and diverse approaches to care.

Summary

This interactive session will highlight the research project entitled "Wuskiwiy-tan! (Let’s Move!): Aging Well in a northern Saskatchewan Métis community"; identify community engagement strategies for implementing effective health promoting interventions relevant to physical therapy practise through applying a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach; clarify the importance of applying the 4 R’s (respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility) and cultural humility.

Please note that this course was recorded at the Canadian Physiotherapy Association 2019 Forum in Charlottetown, PEI.

About the Instructors

Mrs Liris Smith

Liris Smith is trained as a physiotherapist, and works as the Director of Care and Community with the Yukon Government. She has been working, in the community based continuing care programs in the Yukon for 20 years, with a great passion for homecare.

Liris led the home care team in the implementation of the RAI-HC tool and integrating the tool into the practice of the staff. The Yukon team is very proud of the fact that they were the first jurisdiction in Canada to submit data and get quality reports from CIHI’s Home Care Reporting System.

The ultimate goal of the program is to ensure that we have a high quality and standardized approach to assessment and care provision that is also practical and flexible in meeting the specific needs of our clients.

The instructors
Canadian Physiotherapy Association

As the vital partner for the profession, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) leads, advocates, and inspires excellence and innovation to promote health. CPA’s goal is to provide exceptional service, valuable information and connections to the profession of physiotherapy, across Canada and around the world.

Sarah Oosman
BSc, MSc, PhD, BScPT
Dr. Sarah Oosman is deeply committed to Indigenous community driven action research that leads to the development and implementation of culture-based, meaningful health promoting interventions across the lifespan. Dr. Oosman brings a team science approach to her research focusing on community perspectives of healthy aging within, between, and across generations, connecting seniors to youth in ways that are strongly grounded in Indigenous worldview. Her core research team is a partnership with 2 Métis community members (L. Durocher, T.J. Roy) and a medical anthropologist (Dr. S. Abonyi), applying reconciliation into research practice. She explores unique experiential learning opportunities within Indigenous contexts to enhance the development of cultural humility among physical therapy students as a way to positively influence cultural safety in our Canadian health system.

Dr. Sylvia Abonyi
Ph.D.
Dr. Abonyi is an anthropologist working primarily in the area of Aboriginal health. She explores the role of culture in health with a number of research projects located in northern and remote Saskatchewan and across the Prairie provinces. She is an associate professor with the University of Saskatchewan’s Community Health and Epidemiology Department. From 2005-2014, she held a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Health.
Course Material included in this course
  • Segments
  • Story of Mr. TJ Roy
  • Story of Ms. Liz Durocher
  • Story of Mrs. Liris Smith
  • Story of Dr. Sarah Oosmanem
  • Participatory Research Approach
  • Concepts of Healing
  • Self-Reflection
  • Questions
  • Feedback
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