The overall goal of the EMBOLDEN research program is to promote physical and community mobility of older adults who experience difficulties participating in community programs and reside in communities of high health inequity. Building on existing best practices and local evidence, researchers together with local older adults and community service providers will co-design an innovative community-based program to promote mobility amongst community-dwelling older adults.
Community programs designed to support these activities may be highly effective, but many older adults face barriers accessing them. Co-design is an approach that engages target populations and other stakeholders with researchers. The aim is to co-design new programs that align with and leverage existing community programs, address service gaps, and meet community needs that will be evaluated through research. Experiences of older adults and community service providers are critical partners in this work.
We have completed the co-design phase and are currently in the second phase of implementing and evaluating the intervention. The study (a pragmatic mixed methods randomized controlled trial) will evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the EMBOLDEN program. Evidence of feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of the program will provide a foundation to assess the potential to sustain the program and test it in other communities. The EMBOLDEN research program is an interdisciplinary research initiative of the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging and draws on the expertise of several Faculties and academic units.
- ENGAGE citizens and health and social service providers to explore existing assets, needs, enablers and barriers faced by older adults, and explore optimal properties of a community- based intervention to promote mobility amongst older adults facing health inequities.
- BUILD on existing best practices to co-design an innovative evidence-informed community-based program to promote exercise, healthy nutrition, social participation, and system navigation.
- CONDUCT a randomized controlled trial to evaluate implementation and effectiveness of the program.