Community-level data is needed to assess and track the health and well-being of older adults and to design and develop policies and programs that support aging well in communities. When community supports are in place, older adults can live safely at home, enjoy life in familiar surroundings, and find the resources they need. To do this, we need to know:
· what resources are available locally,
· how easily resources are to access,
· how well the available resources meet the needs of older adults, and
· what resources are missing in the community.
The ACTing Collectively proof of concept project is piloting the Age Care Technologies™ (ACT™) tool to assess the needs of community-living older Nova Scotians and help connect them to resources in their communities. The study is taking place in three Cape Breton communities: the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Richmond County, and Victoria County.
Using the ACT™ tool, the project team will assess the needs of 480 older adults and provide them with Individual Action Plans, which link available community resources to their needs. Community Profile Reports will then document community needs and resource gaps specific to each community to inform local policymakers and planners. Finally, the Research Team will conduct interviews with older adults and key stakeholders, including community representatives, to assess the tool’s relevance and usefulness in Nova Scotia.
What are the key concerns and desired resources of older adults in each community?
Does the ACT™ tool and associated Individual Action Plans help older adults access community resources and age well in their communities?
What information from the Community Profile Reports best informs the local communities and provincial policymaking?
Can the ACT™ tool be merged with existing processes in NS?
The project has three phases:
Phase 1: Select three demonstration sites and establish Local Advisory Committees.
Phase 2: Trial the ACT™ tool in the three communities.
Phase 3: Evaluate the usefulness and feasibility of implementing the ACT™ tool.