Aging

Aging, Sex and Gender

By 2025, more than 25 per cent of our population will make up the 65+ demographic, making Canada a super-aging society. As this society continues to grow and diversify, so too, will their healthcare needs. Research can help enhance the aging experience by providing the tools needed to improve health and wellness. Women make up the majority of the older population and face unique challenges throughout the aging process that are singular to their sex. As a result, a sex and gender lens in research must be included to ensure better quality and more well-rounded evidence that takes into account how older women’s health experiences differ from those of men’s.

Researchers at Women's College Research Institute (WCRI) are incorporating sex and gender differences to better understand the unique healthcare needs of older adults, particularly women, at a population level. From loneliness, to prescribing techniques and caregiving, the research team at WCRI is investigating societal issues associated with aging to explore solutions for improving the health and wellness of older adults.

Senior scientist Dr. Paula Rochon explores medication safety, and more specifically, how to optimize prescribing and drug therapy for older adults. This includes when to best start and stop specific medications. For older women, medications are a key healthcare focus and area of concern. Women are more likely to have an adverse drug event as a result of a medication and are also more likely to be prescribed an inappropriate drug therapy. Much of Dr. Rochon’s clinical work as a geriatrician coupled with her extensive research in the field of aging has laid the foundation of her expertise on older adults. 

To learn more about the aging research team, click here


Retired Teachers of Ontario

In addition to her role as Senior Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, Dr. Paula Rochon was awarded the Retired Teachers of Ontario Chair in Geriatric Medicine. She recognizes the opportunity to be part of a larger national conversation about aging and communicate existing and ongoing research with the general public. Dr. Rochon is leveraging the community of RTO/ERO members by working with them to understand the leading challenges associated with aging from a public health perspective. Her priority is improving the health and wellness of older adults through research and she shares the RTO/ERO’s vision of achieving healthy aging for all Canadians. 

WCRI Trainees in Aging Research

Dr. Rochon is committed to the development of trainees and new investigators in the field of aging. Her diverse team is identifying factors associated with the health and wellness of older adults, while simultaneously identifying potential challenges, such as loneliness and caregiving. Recently, there has been a brighter spotlight placed on the impact of loneliness among older adults, as it can negatively affect both physical and mental health. In addition to loneliness, caregiving remains one our country’s most pressing healthcare and societal issues. It can have a detrimental impact to one’s physical, mental, social and economic outcomes. Research conducted by WCRI trainees is exploring the impact of caregiving to inform strategies to reduce its potential burden. Through their research, Dr. Rochon and her team of trainees are working to provide older adults with the tools they need to shape the life they want.

Recent Peer-Reviewed Aging Publications

Dr. Rochon and her team have published more than 250 articles in medical journals. Read the latest publications below to learn more about our aging population and the important research that Dr. Rochon and her team are conducting.

Assessing the Scope and Appropriateness of Prescribing Cascades – McCarthy LM, Visentin JD, Rochon PA.

Cognitive effects of adjuvant endocrine therapy in older women treated for early-stage breast cancer: a 1-year longitudinal study - Underwood EA, Jerzak KJ, Lebovic G, Rochon PA, Elser C, Pritchard KI, Tierney MC.

Neighborhood Walkability of Retirement Homes: A Cross-Sectional Cohort Study - Brath H, Kim SJ, Savage RD, Bronskill SE, Rochon PA, Stall NM.

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