News – Page 2 – AGE

Ontario’s Personal Support Worker (PSW) Standard recommends GPA Best Practice Strategies & Person-Centred Approaches

Go directly to the Press Release.

Quick Overview:

2022 Ontario Personal Support Worker (PSW) Standard recommends GPA Best Practice Strategies and Person-Centred Approaches to mitigate and/or deescalate
responsive behaviours in dementia care.

HAMILTON, ONTARIO, February 2022 — Advanced Gerontological Education (AGE) Inc. is a national not-for-profit non-funded social enterprise based in Hamilton, Ontario. Its mission is to enhance the care of older adults living with dementia. Our main product is the Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) in Dementia Care curriculum for care providers and healthcare students. In the Government of Ontario, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities 2022 Personal Support Worker (PSW) Standard (41469) GPA’s Best Practice Strategies and Person-Centred Approaches are recommended for use by PSWs in the care setting to mitigate and/or deescalate responsive behaviours, as directed by the plan of care and in accordance with all legislation in the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and Retirement Homes Act, 2010.

All PSW programs in Ontario are required to follow these education standards set out by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities.

PUBLISHED! Implementing GPA Dementia Education for Staff on In-patient Medicine Units: A Program Evaluation in “Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice.”

Go directly to abstract at SAGE Journals.

Quick Overview:

Don’t miss the powerful qualitative comments pre- and post-GPA education from healthcare students who participated in this evaluation of GPA eLearning. They talk about the incredible difference GPA has made to their knowledge, skills and confidence when working with persons exhibiting responsive behaviours.

Up to 45% of older adults living with dementia admitted to hospital exhibit responsive behaviours (Dewing & Dijk, 2016Keenan et al., 2011Nayton et al., 2014), risking injury for both patients and caregivers. Staff struggle to manage responsive behaviours without specific education. Between 2016 and 2017, GPA eLearning was disseminated to interdisciplinary staff on five medicine units at London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario, Canada, as part of a broader dementia-care quality improvement project at the hospital.

GPA eLearning participants were asked to complete online quantitative and qualitative questionnaires on self-efficacy, competence and dementia care knowledge at three points: before, immediately after and 6 to 8 weeks after their GPA eLearning. Focus groups were conducted to further explore participants’ experiences with GPA elearning.

What were the findings?

In January 2022, the findings from the evaluation were published in SAGE Journals. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. Read the abstract here. Open access pending.


Special Mention: AGE Inc. extends its sincere thanks to Jacqueline Crandall, Nurse Practitioner and Laurie McKellar, Nurse Practitioner (retired) at London Health Sciences Centre for their role in making this important GPA research possible.

Citation: Crandall, J., Coatsworth-Puspoky, R., Schlegel, K., Beker, L., McLelland, V. C., & Schindel Martin, L. (2022). Implementing Gentle Persuasive Approaches dementia education for staff on in-patient medicine units: A program evaluation. Dementia, 1-27.

CELEBRATING! 10th anniversary of our dementia education partnership with Sheridan College

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Quick Overview:

Advanced Gerontological Education (AGE) Inc. is extremely proud to announce the 10th year in its important dementia education partnership with Sheridan College. The first GPA Certified Coaches (CC) at Sheridan were certified in 2012. Every year since, on-site Coaches who are typically staff at the College deliver the Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) dementia-care curriculum to each new student cohort. Learn about GPA at Sheridan in our Press Release.

PUBLISHED! “Reliability of Nurses’ Use of a Direct Behavioural Observation Tool in the Dementia Context” in Perspectives, Journal of the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association (CGNA)

Go directly to the published research.

Brief Overview

AGE Inc. recently published collaborative research in Perspectives, the Journal of the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association (CGNA).

Four nurse researchers independently reviewed de-identified video segments of three patients living with dementia. Each reviewer watched the segments twice, and each time they documented the behaviours observed during one-minute intervals using numerical ratings from the Dementia Observation System (DOS). Test-retest and inter-rater reliability were assessed to establish the utility of the DOS for comparison with the multi-sensor predictive system.

Results indicated that the DOS has substantial test-retest reliability and moderate inter-rater reliability. Both types of reliability were higher for ratings of behaviour type and intensity than ratings associated with contextual variables. A system that predicts responsive behaviours will help caregivers develop a plan of care for people living with dementia, which may reduce the burden of caregivers. 

Learn more: Reliability of Nurses’ Use of a Direct Behavioural Observation Tool in the Dementia Context: Implications for Development of Predictive System of Behavioural Assessment. Newman, K., Schindel Martin, L., McLelland, V., Wang, A., Au Duong, J., Khan, S.S., Ye, B., Spasojevic, S., Iaboni, A., Mihailidis, A.,  (2021).  Perspectives. Journal of the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association (CGNA). Vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 13-21. View the PDF.

AGE is honoured to be a finalist for Best Youth Engagement Organization (under 20 staff) in the 2021 CharityVillage Conference & Awards.

AGE is a not-for-profit social enterprise in dementia care education. We are being recognized for our work engaging students in co-op and summer placements; in particular, helping them better understand dementia and its responsive behaviours through meaningful, collaborative work. 

Engagement is critically important to our work with these students. Over 747,000 Canadians live with dementia. By 2030, that number will reach 912,000 and that is only the number of diagnosed cases. Not all persons living with dementia or their families come forward because of the stigma that remains stubbornly attached to this disease. Young people are the future. They can change this narrative.

Our involvement with students includes past and current engagements through the Canada Summer Jobs program, the Mohawk College Administrative Office Program and various co-op programs.

Our main product is Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) in Dementia Care. At the outset, every student who works with us participates in GPA eLearning — person-centred dementia care education which hundreds of post-secondary students across Canada participate in every term. It is made up of key content from the full-day GPA Basics Dementia Care Curriculum designed for those who work at the point of care. During their time with us, students are involved in many aspects of our business. We are grateful to provide them with valuable work experience, including learning how a company’s mission, values and principles are realized through its day-to-day work. We support students in developing new hard and soft skills; learning and practising the art of collaboration; and becoming more confident and creative in sharing their own unique talents in the work they do with AGE and its partners and stakeholders. We work hard to provide them with as many unique opportunities as possible to contribute to innovative projects in dementia-care communities across the country. In return, we are the lucky recipients of their contagious enthusiasm, innovation and fresh new ideas. Over the years, we have been privileged to work with many talented young Canadians and we’re happy to report that a great many remain in touch with us! 

By creating awareness in young people about careers in the field of gerontology, though specific education that fosters skilled, confident, compassionate health care teams, we are doing our part to ensure healthcare for older adults is a vibrant, innovative, respectful person-centred space that ensures all Canadians have an opportunity to age well.

There were over 500+ submissions for these awards and finalists represent some of the very best across the non-profit sector in Canada. We are honoured to be among those finalists and we sincerely thank Charity Village for this recognition. Our congratulations go out to all finalists.

We look forward to attending the Charity Village Virtual Conference & Awards Night on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

View the list of Finalists by clicking here.


Advanced Gerontological Education (AGE) Inc.

AGE is a national not-for-profit social enterprise that develops and delivers dementia care education. Our practical, evidence-informed Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) curriculum has given more than 500,000 Canadian care providers the knowledge, skills and confidence they need for working with older Canadians living with dementia and responsive behaviours.


Read our latest Annual Report here.


The latest AGE Annual Report is out … our theme is dementia care education for a virtual world

Our latest Annual Report is hot off the digital press. Learn more about GPA’s new virtual formats; see what’s happening with operations and logistics; read about our research; learn about our coach support and see the all the amazing photos of GPA from across the country this  year.

There’s also a special tribute to Dr. Lori Schindel Martin and Barb McCoy who recently retired from AGE’s Board of Directors  — although they haven’t stopped helping us spread the word about GPA. From the earliest days of discussing curriculum development around a kitchen table in 2005, to more recent plans for expansion into South China, Lori Schindel Martin and Barb McCoy have been helping AGE Inc. achieve its mission every step of the way.

Read our latest Annual Report here.


Niagara College adds GPA eLearning to curriculum for RPN program and Mental Health Programs

Advanced Gerontological Education (AGE) Inc. is extremely pleased to announce that Niagara College Canada has added GPA eLearning to its curriculum for students in the both the Practical Nursing program and its Community Mental Health Programs. GPA Basics was already part of the curriculum for the Personal Support Workers (PSW) program and the Gerontology Grad-Certification program at the college. Niagara College has been offering GPA to students since 2012.

 Read the Press Release to learn more.


AGE AGM 2021 … Dr. Jennifer Dobbelsteyn presents “Practicing Reconciliation: Conducting Culturally Safe Research and Program Development with Indigenous Peoples.”

Sharing a thought-provoking and motivating presentation by Dr. Jennifer Dobblesteyn who spoke at our AGE Inc. AGM on Tuesday evening, September 28th, 2021. Her presentation is titled “Practicing Reconciliation: Conducting Culturally Safe Research and Program Development with Indigenous Peoples.”
We thank Dr. Dobbelsteyn, her team and members of the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, Canada for enhancing our understanding of Indigenous peoples & the special needs of their elders.
Perhaps one of the greatest takeaways from this presentation on conducting culturally safe research and programs is the critical reminder to all of us from First Nations people: “Nothing about us, without us.”

Watch the presentation here.

Dr. Jennifer Dobbelsteyn, RN, BN, MBA, PhD
Dobbelsteyn Consulting Group International Inc. (DCGI)

Jennifer is the President of DCGI, a consulting company of work environment specialists. She is also a Registered Nurse, with more than 30 years of progressive experience in the healthcare system in Canada. Her experience includes working in acute care, long-term care, community care in First Nation Health Centres and accreditation surveying across Canada. Jenn’s research for her PhD was focused on developing healthy work environments in healthcare settings.


Read our updates on AGE Research

If you haven’t had time to review our new updated Research page on the website, you can download the AGE Research Flyer (English & French) for a synopsis of what we’ve been up to!

Download AGE Research Flyer in English.

Download AGE Research Flyer in French.

AGE is committed to regular, rigorous formal review and quantitative and qualitative evaluations of the GPA curriculum. This has resulted in an impactful education intervention that promotes sustainable organizational culture change, grounded in best practice and theoretical dementia care principles. Collaboration in research is incredibly important to success and we are most grateful to all who contribute. Have you heard about the AGE Research and Evaluation Service? If not, you can learn more here. Or in French, here.