AGE Inc. is a national non-funded not-for-profit social enterprise committed to enhancing the care of older adults through dementia 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 in dementia education 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 very 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 is a leader in accessible, affordable dementia education products and services.
Around the world, the need for innovative, compassionate ways to care for older adults — grounded in a culture of person-centred care — is urgent.
- Dementia is the most common type of neurodegenerative disorder.1
- The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 47.5 million and is projected to increase to 75.6 million by 2030* 2
Canada’s Aging Population
According to all selected scenarios3
- In Canada, by 2036, the number of seniors would 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 or over should surpass the number of children aged less than 14 ears or under.
This shift, a first in the history of the Canadian population, is already occurring.3 It is bringing with it dramatic new challenges in healthcare.
The Dementia Landscape in Canada
- 1.1 million. The number of Canadians aﬀected directly or indirectly by Alzheimer’s disease.4
- By 2031, 937,000 Canadians will be living with dementia.4
- $10.4 billion. The annual cost to Canadians to care for those living with dementia.4
Is your organization prepared? AGE can help your organization prepare for the future and that includes meeting Occupational Health & Safety legislative requirements. Learn more
Why Has AGE Inc. Focused on Dementia Care?
As you can see, the need is great! We examine the literature on many evidence-based aspects of aging, but our niche is dementia care. 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 Unique?
There are many wonderful dementia care programs available in Canada and each plays a much-needed role. AGE collaborates with many of them. What makes us unique is our multidisciplinary cross-sector program approach. We train all staﬀ across a healthcare organization — registered staﬀ, personal support workers, housekeeping, volunteers, students, etc. Everyone who works with older adults is a candidate.
After completing our 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.
Are you doing all you can to support and protect your care providers?
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 respectful self-protection techniques we teach for use in instances of elevated behaviour. Based on our fundamental belief that learning is best brought to life through applied practice, we not only demonstrate these techniques, participants practice them alone and in teams during their time in our programs.
All of 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.
What do we mean by learning together?
Just like the more than 420,000+ Canadian care providers and students who have completed our GPA dementia care curriculum, the 2,200+ GPA Certified Coaches who teach our program, the organizations we align ourselves with and the many volunteers on our boards and committees, AGE is collaborative.
We learn from each other’s experiences. We learn from those living with dementia, their families and friends. We learn from continuously evaluating and refining our products and programs over time through our AGE Research and Evaluation service. We learn from reaching out to Canadians coast to coast to understand the evolving needs of our aging demographic. And we learn from the world beyond our borders, preparing us for what’s to come.
Is your organization ready for the future? Are you a healthcare care provider who would like to learn more?
AGE can help your organization prepare for the future
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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