July 18, 2019
Baycrest is thrilled to welcome a new social gerontology researcher, Dr. Amanda Grenier, as the Norman and Honey Schipper Chair in Gerontological Social Work and a senior scientist with Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute.
Dr. Grenier, who will be a part of the Ben & Hilda Katz Inter-Professional Research Program in Geriatric and Dementia Care, is one of a select few international researchers who has adopted an interdisciplinary approach to examine social policies in care and people’s experiences with aging.
“Often times we talk about aging and some of the experiences of disadvantaged groups of older people may be overlooked,” says Dr. Grenier. “A focus on aging and inequality helps us to understand that not everyone has a healthy aging experience and some individuals may require more support. My work helps us to understand what needs are not being met and how our system can support these older people.”
Through her work at Baycrest, Dr. Grenier plans to connect with health and social care staff across the organization to uncover ways to improve public policies and care practices for older adults. For example, she will explore experiences in long-term care and the disadvantages and inequality older adults are faced with, which can lead to unhealthy aging later in life.
“My work gets behind the numbers,” says Dr. Grenier. “My research team reaches out to hear about older people’s experiences and day-to-day encounters in care. We’re interested in learning their interpretations of what doesn’t work and to better understand their experience across various sites of care. With Baycrest’s long-established history of adopting a multidisciplinary approach to caring for an aging population, this position offers a fantastic opportunity to expand beyond existing approaches to the study of aging.”
Prior to her role at Baycrest, Dr. Grenier was the Director of the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging and the Gilbrea Chair in Aging and Mental Health at McMaster University. She was also a professor at McMaster University’s Department of Health Aging and Society and at the McGill School of Social Work.
Dr. Grenier has led and participated in a number of provincial, national and international teams on aging. Through her research, she has gathered perspectives from older adults on life course transitions, frailty, aging with a disability, homelessness, social isolation and precarious aging, among other topics. Her past work also explored dementia, vulnerability and agency. She has published a book called Transitions and the LifeCourse: Challenging the Constructions of Growing Old
and has two forthcoming books, Precarious Aging
and Homelessness in Later Life
”Dr. Grenier’s unique line of research will help us gain a better understanding of aging in vulnerable populations, which is crucial for ensuring brain health is optimized in all older adults,” says Dr. Allison Sekuler, Vice-President, Research and the Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience at Baycrest. “We thank the Rotman family and the legacy of Ben & Hilda Katz for generously supporting this position. Dr. Grenier’s involvement in our inter-professional research program will lead to even greater collaboration among our scientists, clinicians and frontline staff to engage in foundational and translational research, and to improve care for older adults at Baycrest, throughout Ontario, across Canada and globally.”
Dr. Grenier began her role at Baycrest on July 1, 2019. She will also hold a cross appointment at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.
Baycrest is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals and one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti – a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory. Founded in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. Baycrest is helping create a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment. For more information please visit: www.baycrest.org
About Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute
Now in its 30th year, the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest is a premier international centre for the study of human brain function. Through generous support from private donors and funding agencies, the institute is helping to illuminate the causes of cognitive decline in seniors, identify promising approaches to treatment and lifestyle practices that will protect brain health longer in the lifespan.
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