The Gilbrea Centre brings together researchers from many disciplines to pursue leading edge research in critically important areas of aging.  Research, scholarship and knowledge exchange are carried out in five thematic areas that respond to contemporary and future issues facing older people in Canada.

To learn more about program areas and themes click on each title in the graphic below.
Gilbrea Research Programs and Cross Cutting Themes Model

Research Projects and Networks

The Centre provides a wide range of support for member led research-related activities. These activities include, but are not limited to: financial management of awards, monitoring project timelines and deliverables, facilitating institutional transfer agreements, hiring project specific staff, assiting with knowledge mobilization events, and academic reporting to funders.

Please contact our Research Manager to learn more about how we can support you as a member of the Centre and your funded research activities (gilbrea@mcmaster.ca or 905-525-9140 ext. 24449).

Current Centre Projects

Physical activity for Any-Body: Body positivity and inclusivity within physical culture(s)

Meridith Griffin Associate Professor, Gilbrea Centre Associate Director, Health, Aging and Society, Social Sciences

This collaborative ethnographic study aims to unpack the relationship between health and/or wellness imperatives, the body positivity movement, sport and physical activity participation, and the non-normative body. Specifically, this research seeks to understand, strengthen, and build up the facets of physical cultures that make them inclusive of all community members regardless of ability, age, body size, gender, income, race, and/or sexuality.

Aging in Place with Public Libraries: Mobilizing Social Infrastructures for Social Inclusion

Nicole Dalmer, PhD Associate Professor, Gilbrea Centre Associate Director, Health, Aging & Society, Social Sciences

Socially isolated older adults have poorer health outcomes and more complex support needs and therefore often require access to a complement of community-based supports to age well. Public libraries “provide a sense of place, a refuge, and a still point; they are a vital part of the public sphere and an incubator of ideas” . They are well-poised to provide inclusive support to older adults, given their distribution in high- and low-income neighbourhoods, their long history of social inclusion in their values and mandates their range of materials, programs, and services, and their spaces that can be used without expectation of payment . However, public libraries are consistently excluded from lists of social infrastructures such as health clinics, religious organizations, seniors’ centres, and shopping centres that engage with and cultivate social inclusion among older adults. What remains unknown is the Canadian landscape of public library spaces, services, and materials for older adults and how these collectively impact older adults’ experiences of social inclusion. This project seeks to examine the relationship between older, community-dwelling library patrons and Hamilton Public Library (HPL) branches in Hamilton, Ontario. Specifically, this development project will engage with older library patrons, public library staff, and community agencies to bring attention to the overlooked role public libraries, as social infrastructures, play in bolstering social inclusion for community-dwelling older adults.

Past Research Projects

View past research projects

Research Outputs

Please find below a list of the research outputs created during past research projects.

Hamilton Seniors' Isolation Impact Plan (Amanda Grenier (2016-2019) Reducing Senior’s Social Isolation: Linking Community in a Participatory Research Initiative. Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging — $267,338 Government of Canada's Pan-Canadian Projects: New Horizons for Seniors Funding Program)

INFO SHEET #1: What is Social Isolation?
INFO SHEET #2: Who is at Risk for Social Isolation?
INFO SHEET #3: About the HSIIP
INFO SHEET #4: What is the HSIIP Connector Program?
INFO SHEET #5: How Does Social Isolation Affect Health?
INFO SHEET #6: Sharing Research Knowledge
INFO SHEET #7: Conducting Research with Vunerable Groups

HSIIP Success Story #1: Mr. Smith*
HSIIP Success Story #2: Mr. Diaz*
HSIIP Success Story #3: Mrs. Williams*
HSIIP Success Story #4: Mrs. Lee*
HSIIP Success Story #6: Mr. Park*
HSIIP Success Story #7: Ms. M*
HSIIP Success Story #8 - Mrs. Will*
HSIIP Success Story #9 - Mrs. Doyle*

Blog Post - Social Isolation in Late Life
Blog Post - CareDove
Blog Post - Resilient Aging in Community
Blog Post - Social Isolation in Hamilton: Indicators as a Local Call to Action
Blog Post - The New Horizon's Program: Using Collective Impact to Reduce Social Isolation Among Seniors

Policy Recommendation - Insights from Seniors on Social Isolation
Policy Recommendation - Insights from Community Stakeholders on Social Isolation
Policy Recommendation - Reducing Seniors' Isolation: Linking Community in the HSIIP Participatory Research Initiative

Report - HSIIP Knowledge Mobilization Summary: Year 1
Report - Indicators of Social Isolation Among Hamilton Seniors 
Report - Results of the Peer-Reviewed Literature
Report - Results of the Grey Literature
Report - HSIIP Knowlege Mobilization Summary: Year 2
Report - HSIIP Knowlege Mobilization Summary: Year 3

Social Isolation Training Session


Meanings of (Im)mobilities: A 'New Mobilities' Perspective. (2017-2018) McMaster Institute for Research on Aging/Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging Catalyst Grant, McMaster University. $39,913)

MIRA Research Results


Agewell KMB (Amanda Grenier (2017-2019) Understanding and Enacting KMb in Large Teams and Across AGE-WELL: An Interactive Action-Oriented Project. AGE-WELL. $170,727)

Coming Soon