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 different areas that respond to contemporary and future issues facing older people in Canada.

Gilbrea has 5 thematic research areas:

Our Director, Anthea Innes takes forward the theme of social inclusion, with a particular focus on dementia and care partners. Gilbrea’s Associate Director Meridith Griffin leads the theme on embodiment, wellbeing and aging through a focus on lived experience. Associate Director Nicole Dalmer leads the exploration of connecting in later life with a critical examination of aging in place, the social organization of care work, and the implications of gerontechnological optimism. Gavin Andrews pushes forward research related to spatialities and aging, as well as dynamics between aging, space and place. James Gillett leads in an area many scholars in the Centre work within, where theory is applied to real world concerns.

To learn more about program areas and themes click on each title in the graphic below.


Gilbrea Research Programs and Cross Cutting Themes Model

Gilbrea Research Programs and Cross Cutting Themes Model

  • Dementia, Aging and Social Inclusion
  • Spatialities and Aging
  • Theoretical Applications in Aging Research
  • Embodiment, Well-Being, and Aging
  • Connecting in Later Life

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.

Intergenerational Café: A pilot study

Anthea Innes Professor, Director of the Gilbrea Centre, Gilbrea Chair in Aging and Mental Health, Health, Aging and Society, Social Sciences

This study will explore the impacts of an intergenerational cafe pilot project (4 sessions) on both graduate/undergraduate level students and community dwelling older adults from the Hamilton community who will be invited to join and participate in the café. We will explore the pre and post views of older adults attending to evaluate the influence it has (if any) on their social health and wellbeing, as well as the experiences of students who participate in the project.

We are looking for volunteers for our intergenerational cafe: Older adults (55+) and McMaster Students (any level). Participation includes the opportunity to attend 4 intergenerational café sessions which will last 2 hours in duration and a focus group lasting up to 1 hour which will explore questions about your views and perceptions about aging and wellbeing.

Intergenerational café activities include: music, viewing art, creating art and food.

Your participation would involve the completion of a pre/post café questionnaire (conducted during the café event) and a focus group for up to 1 hour. Focus groups will take place at either the University or online via zoom.

This research will:

i. explore the effect of intergenerational based activities and workshops on the wellbeing of participants and to explore if this kind of programming encourages feelings of inclusion and positive views on aging.

If you are an older adult (55+) or know someone 55+ who might want to participate in this research, or if you have any questions about the project, please contact Mason McLeod (mcleom14@mcmaster.ca)

If you are a student at McMaster or know a student at McMaster who would like to participate in this research, or if you have any questions about the project, please contact Belen Miguel (miguem2@mcmaster.ca)

This study has been reviewed by the McMaster University Research Ethics Board and received ethics clearance.

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