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Message from the Director


The Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging entered a new chapter in July 2021, after ten years of support from a generous donor. We are now funded by the Faculty of Social Sciences, and I was delighted to take on the role of Director of the Centre around the same time.

The Centre has grown, both in terms of the projects we have been working on, and with many new members joining our research community. It is the staff, students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty members and Share Group Network who make the Centre such an exciting and enjoyable place to work. Together we are passionate about achieving our mission: to improve all aspects of the lives of older adults in the community and in long-term care by linking research, education, policy and practice with local, national and global initiatives.

As Gilbrea Chair in Aging and Mental Health, I lead the Dementia and Social Inclusion theme, reflecting my 25+ years of conducting social research on dementia. Other themes led by Faculty members in the Department of Health, Aging and Society, are; Dr. Nicole Dalmer, Associate Director of the Centre who leads the Connecting in Later Life Theme; Dr. Meridith Griffin, Associate Director of the Centre who leads the theme Embodiment, Wellbeing and Aging; and Dr. Gavin Andrews who leads the theme – Space, Place and Aging. Our work intersects in different ways, and we are all interested in creative methods and methodological approaches to ensure our work is theoretically informed and that our outputs have real world impact and relevance.

One of the best parts of leading the Centre is the development of the SHARE Network. Volunteer older adults from the community give of their time, energy, expertise and skills to support the Centre through membership of different groups, these include the Dementia Advisory group, the Research and Knowledge Translation Group, and our Intergenerational Advisory Council.

We work in collaboration and partnership with many people, our associate members and community partners enable us to work together towards our mission. We have had fun while learning so much by consulting with various local community groups throughout the 2022-23 academic year, something we will continue to do to ensure our research is of value to older adults.

Head shot image of Anthea Innes, Director of Gilbrea
Anthea Innes, Director, Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging, Professor, Health, Aging and Society

Our research collaborations, internal and external, enable us to conduct high quality impactful research. A new three year study beginning this year focuses on Residential Care Facilities in Hamilton, working in partnership with the Centre for Integrated Care and the Greater Hamilton Health Network and funded by the Juravinski Institute. This is an example of research driven with the intention of improving access to health and social care for some of our communities most vulnerable groups.

The Gilbrea Centre is a fantastic place to work, collaborate and learn with the aim of making a difference together. If you are interested in learning more please do get in touch or come along to one of our many events throughout the year. I look forward to meeting you and learning more about your interest in improving the lives of older adults.

Centre Objectives

In addition to the above stated mission, the Gilbrea Centre coordinates research and knowledge exchange according to the following objectives:

Objective 1

Foster inter- and trans-disciplinary research on aging that supports the education and service mission of the University

Objective 2

Leverage success and attract financial support for research and knowledge exchange from the public and private sectors

Objective 3

Ensure that our research is grounded in the community and responsive to real needs and concerns of individuals, families and societies

Objective 4

Support and promote the University’s strategic plan by building on the study of aging as an area of excellence at McMaster University

Objective 5

To support and promote research on three broad programs: Aging and Independence; Aging and Social Inclusion; and Aging and Mental Health

Objective 6

Support and promote innovative research on three broad programs: Aging and Independence; Aging and Social Inclusion; and Aging and Mental Health