Our mission statement: Enhancing the care of older adults by learning together.
AGE Inc. is a national non-funded not-for-profit social enterprise committed to enhancing the care of older adults through dementia-care education products and services, with profits reinvested to further advance our social mission.
We are an inclusive organization where dignity, diversity, individuality and equity are valued and promoted within a culture of trust, transparency and mutual respect.
We have come a long way from our beginnings in 1997 as a small team known as the Continuing Gerontological Education Cooperative (CGEC). In 2010, we incorporated as Advanced Gerontological Education Inc., a national non-profit social enterprise with the appropriate acronym, AGE. We have continuously evolved to not only meet, but to enrich the changing educational needs of the gerontological community in Canada. Today, AGE Inc. is a leader in accessible, affordable, evidence-informed dementia-care education.
- Dementia is the most common type of neurodegenerative disorder.1
- The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 55 million, with more than 10 million more people diagnosed with the disease every year.
Canada’s Aging Population
According to all selected scenarios3
- In Canada, by 2036, the number of seniors will be more than double the number observed in 2009 and would vary between 9.9 and 10.9 million persons. By 2061, their number would vary between 11.9 and 15.0 million.
- The number of people aged 65 years now surpasses the number of children aged less than 14 years.
This shift, a first in the history of the Canadian population, is already occurring3 and bringing with it dramatic new challenges in healthcare.
The Dementia Landscape in Canada
- 596,600 The number of Canadians living with dementia in 2020.4
- 955,900 The number of Canadians who will be living with dementia in 2030.4
- 61.8% of those living with dementia are women.4
- 1 in 5 Canadians have experience caring for someone living with dementia.4
- The cost of dementia to the Canadian economy and healthcare system is 10.4+ billion.
Why does AGE Inc. focus on Dementia-Care Education?
One of the biggest challenges in the dementia context is a care provider’s ability to cope respectfully, eﬀectively and safely with dementia’s responsive behaviours. After an incident, staﬀ in all departments report feeling unprepared, helpless, vulnerable and at risk of injury. We believe there should be no tension between care provider safety and patient-centred care. The organizations we partner with feel the same.
What makes AGE Inc. Unique?
Our programs are based on evidence and modelled on best practice. They strive to give care providers the knowledge and skills they need for lasting confidence in their ability to provide person-centred care.
There are many wonderful dementia-care programs available in Canada and each plays a much-needed role. AGE collaborates with many of these organizations. What makes us particularly unique, however, is our multidisciplinary cross-sector program approach. We train all staﬀ — registered staﬀ, personal support workers, housekeepers, volunteers, students, etc. Everyone who works with older adults is a candidate for GPA.
After completing the Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) in Dementia Care curriculum, staff understand that a person with dementia is a unique human being, capable of interacting with the world. We explain the relationship between the disease process and behavioural responses. Participants learn to apply emotional, environmental and interpersonal communication strategies that are immediately useful back in the care setting.
Are you doing all you can to support and protect your staff and healthcare students?
Studies show that point-of-care workers experienced physical violence and 43% reported physical violence on a daily basis (Banerjee et al. 2012). Care provider distress is 5 times greater among individuals caring for seniors with moderate to severe cognitive impairment (CIHI 2010).
One of the most unique elements of the GPA curriculum are the self-protection techniques we teach for use in instances of elevated (responsive/protective) behaviour by those living with dementia. Based on our fundamental belief that learning is best brought to life through applied practice, we not only demonstrate these techniques, we ensure participants practice them during their time in our programs.
What do we mean in our mission statement when we speak of learning together?
AGE Inc. is collaborative. Just like the more than 550,000 Canadian care providers and students who have completed our GPA dementia care curriculum, the 1,700+ GPA Certified Coaches who teach our programs, our volunteer board members, the organizations we align ourselves with and the committees we participate on, we are all committed to enhancing the care of persons living with dementia.
We learn from each other’s experiences. We learn from those with lived experience of dementia, their families and friends. We learn from continuously evaluating and refining our products and programs on a regular cycle to incorporate new research, new ways of doing things and the evolving language in our sector. We learn from Canadians, coast to coast to coast, who are acutely aware of our aging demographic. And we learn from the world beyond our borders. All of it helping to prepare us us for what’s to come.
Is your organization ready for the future? Are you a healthcare care providers prepared with the specific knowledge and skills they need for dementia care?
AGE can help you prepare for the future
Download the AGE Media Kit (Choose English or French)
Media Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in Canada http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2016005/article/14613-eng.htm
2 World Health Organization http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/dementia/en/
3 Age Structure of the Canadian population http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-520-x/2010001/aftertoc-aprestdm1-eng.htm
4 Dementia numbers in Canada. Alzheimer Society Canada http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/About-dementia/What-is-dementia/Dementia-numbers