Aging in Place: What are the Issues?


May 29, 2014 :: Austin Mardon
Moderated by Bob Campbell

Aging-in-place is a concept that supports the choice of older adults to remain living in their preferred environment for as long as possible even if circumstances change. Physical environment, social and psychological support, and community resources affect aging-in-place. The concept is starting to gain attention and services and support to assist older adults to age-in-place continue to grow.

Typically, a high percentage of a city’s seniors (65 and older) own and live in their own homes. Approximately four out of five have paid off the mortgage. These older seniors may be reaching the point of having to decide whether to move into a care facility or stay in their homes. It can be assumed that most would prefer to do the latter, and research shows that may be the least costly alternative. However, elderly seniors may not be able to live independently in their own homes and remain healthy without considerable help.

The speaker will highlight two residences that are designed to be barrier free for aging-in-place and also outline several challenges that have to be overcome before it truly can be a desirable option for many seniors. What are the costs and who will bear the financial responsibility?

Speaker: Dr. Austin Mardon

Austin Mardon was born in Edmonton but raised in Lethbridge where he finished his degree at the University of Lethbridge. While an undergraduate geography student, he was accepted as a field scientist on the ASMET NSF/NASA sponsored Antarctic meteorite recovery expedition. His descent into mental illness slowly started after he returned from Antarctica suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was able to complete two additional graduate degrees in the USA before suffering a complete breakdown, and was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The first thing Austin was told after being diagnosed was that his life was over. However it was not, as he continued on to finish a distance PhD and then established Prosper Place Clubhouse in Edmonton, a place where adults with mental illness can safely learn to live with their illness. He has also served on numerous committees and boards. Currently he serves on the Premier’s Council on the status of persons with disabilities and the Alberta College of social workers.

Dr. Mardon received the order of Canada in 2007 and has received high awards from SSC and CMHA. This year he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta and the Medal of Honor, highest award for a non-physician, from the CMA. Austin Mardon and his father Ernest have collaborated in writing several books on Alberta's history. He lives in Edmonton with his wife Catherine and his Bassett hound Gandy.

Moderator: Robert Campbell
Date: Thursday, May 29, 2014
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch)


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