MA (Gerontology) , 2009
According to Employment and Social Development Canada, seniors are not only one of Canada's fastest growing populations, but are also one at the greatest risk of being socially excluded from the communities they live in. Anthony Kupferschmidt is working to fix that.
Kupferschmidt is the Executive Director of the West End Seniors’ Network (WESN). He also sits on the Board of Directors for the British Columbia Psychogeriatric Association. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association on Gerontology and the Caregivers Association of BC. He completed a Master's Degree in Gerontology at SFU in 2009.
In his role with WESN, Kupferschmidt helps provide educational and recreational programs that enable older adults residents to participate in the economic, political and social life of Vancouver's West End neighbourhood—now and over the long-term.
“The affordability of housing in this area is a big concern for the older adult population. Many people have lived here all their lives so we help them navigate the housing system and ensure they remain in the neighbourhood they love,” he says.
In addition, Kupferschmidt is working to strengthen the city's ability to engage this growing population by bringing service providers together to collaborate and communicate on common issues. “Services for seniors in Vancouver are very disjointed. I’m trying to bring them together so we can speak with one voice,” he says.
Prior to his current focus, Kupferschmidt helped bring together mental health service providers across BC to create new solutions for serving older adults in the province.
Having first gotten interested in supporting the inclusion of older adults after spending time as a teen in care facilities, Kupferschmidt has been passionate about this field for most of his life. He explains, that it was his graduate degree experience that enabled him turn that passion into a career.
“The Gerontology Master's program at SFU helped me define where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there. The course work directly applied to my jobs, such as evaluating programs which support older adults,” says Kupferschmidt.
- Written by Jackie Amsden and the Office of Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Fellows.
Published in 2015