2015: 24th Annual John K. Friesen Conference
"Harnessing Technology for Aging-in-Place"
May 14-15, 2015
Segal Centre, SFU Vancouver Campus, 515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada



This conference will explore the range of technologies available or under development for adults 55+ in British Columbia looking to age in place. These include “smart” homes and "smart"cars, wearable sensors, websites, smart phone and tablet applications for use by seniors, caregivers or family living at a distance who want to stay in touch, electronic health records and more. Keynote speakers and expert panels will discuss the pros and cons of each option and the type of senior for whom it is best suited. To the extent possible research findings and consumers’ first hand reactions to current and emerging aging-in-place technologies will be presented. The objective of the conference is to provide information that will enable people aged 55+ to plan ahead and make informed choices about whether to stay put in their current home or move to alternative accommodation. As well, it will provide a forum for developers (private & non-profit) to learn what adults aged 55+ are looking for in the way of housing and supports for their later years.

Host organization: Simon Fraser University Gerontology Research Centre in collaboration with the AGE-WELL Network NCE, North American chapter of the International Society for Gerontechnology and SFU's Lifelong Learning Adult 55+ Program



Andrew Sixsmith, Director, SFU-GRC; Scientific Co-director, AGE-WELL NCE;

William Kearns, President North American Chapter International Society for Gerontechnology;

Rosalyn Kaplan, Director, Liberal Arts and Adults 55+ Program, Lifelong Learning, SFU


Setting the Stage for Discussion

Chair: Gloria Gutman,
Professor/Director Emerita SFU Gerontology

“Congregate Housing (Assisted Living) in Canada: Findings from CMHC’s 2014 Seniors Housing Survey”
Aida Niavarani, Market Analyst, CMHC;

“Where Seniors Get Their Housing Information: Findings from CMHC Focus Groups and Other Research”
Elizabeth Tang, Knowledge Transfer Consultant, Knowledge Transfer and Outreach Division, BC Business Centre, CMHC;

“A 30,000 foot look at technologies to support seniors in the community”
Alex Mihailidis, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Scientific Director, AGE-WELL NCE

Gloria Gutman powerpoint

Alex Mihailidis powerpoint

Aida Niavarani powerpoint

Elizabeth Tang powerpoint


Panel 1 – Technologies for Managing Health

Chair: Kendall Ho,
Director, e-Health Strategy Office, UBC

“MHealth for medication adherence for chronic disease: The case of HIV+”
Sue Levkoff, Director, SmartSTATE© SeniorSMART© Center of Economic Excellence, University of South Carolina;

“A Virtual Heart Failure Clinic and other Recent Developments in e-Health and m-Health for Management of Chronic Conditions”
Annemarie Kaan, Heart Centre, St. Paul’s Hospital

“Remote Management and Rehabilitation of COPD Patients”
Pat Camp, Centre for Heart Lung Innovation UBC and St. Paul’s Hospital;

“What If We Had a Care-pathway Navigation App?”
Stephen Wilcox, Design Science, Philadelphia, PA

Pat Camp, powerpoint

Annemarie Kaan powerpoint

Sue Levkoff powerpoint

Stephen Wilcox powerpoint


Panel 2 -Technologies in Aid of Mobility

Chair: Steven Robinovitch,
Professor, SFU School of Engineeing Science & Canada Research Chair

“Advances in Wheeled Mobility: From Manual Wheelchairs to Intelligent Systems”
Ben Mortenson & Emma Smith, Department of Occupational Therapy UBC and
Jaimie Borisoff, Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering BCIT

Mark Blandford, Deputy Seniors Advocate, Province of BC – Discussant

Ben Mortenson, Emma Smith & Jaimie Borisoff powerpoint

Mark Blandford powerpoint


Panel 3 – Technologies for Managing Your Home and Making it/you Safer

“Smart Living Environments and Assistive Robotics”
Shahram Payandeh, Experimental Robotics & Imaging Laboratory, School of Enginerring Science, SFU

“Extending Smart Home Technology for Persons with Cognitive Impairment”
William Kearns, Department of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counselling, University of South Florida

“The People and Planet Friendly Home: Sustainable, Affordable and Adaptive Housing”
Ian Mitchell, Department of Computer Science, UBC

“No More Baggy Underpants: Will Stick-on Hip Protectors Improve Patient Compliance”
Emily O’Hearn, Injury Prevention and Mobility Lab, Biomedical Physiology & Kinesiology, SFU

William Kearns powerpoint

Ian Mitchell powerpoint

Emily O’Hearn powerpoint

Shahram Payandeh powerpoint


Panel 4 – Technologies for Fun, Socializing and Building Community

Chair: William Kearns,
President, North American Chapter International Society for Gerontechnology

“Seniors and Electronic Gaming”
David Kaufman, Faculty of Education, SFU 
video excerpt of Dr. Kaufman's presentation - LINK

“You’re Never Too Old to Rock and Roll: Developing a Simple Music Player for People with Dementia”
Andrew Sixsmith, Director, Gerontology Research Centre, SFU

“Using a Web-based Platform to Foster Community and Advanced Care Planning Among LGBT Older Adults”
Gloria Gutman, SFU Gerontology and Robert Beringer, Royal Roads University

Andrew Sixsmith powerpoint

Gloria Gutman / Robert Beringer powerpoint


Panel 5 – Technologies in Support of Caregivers

Chair: Barbara MacLean,
Executive Director, BC Family Caregivers’ Network

“A Self-directed, On-line Training Program for Latino and Chinese Family Dementia Caregivers”
Sue Levkoff, Director, SmartSTATE© SeniorSMART© Center of Economic Excellence, University of South Carolina

“The Claris Companion, a Communication and Monitoring System for Caregivers and Seniors Living on Their Own”
Paul Sharman, Co-founder, Claris Healthcare

Sue Levkoff powerpoint

Paul Sharman powerpoint


DISRUPTION AHEAD: Transforming Technology for Aging and Healthcare

Alex Mihailidis, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Scientific Director, AGE-WELL NCE

Alex Mihailidis powerpoint 



Panel 6 - The Internet: Blessing or Curse?

Chair: Darryl Plecase,
Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the BC Minister of Health

“Online Frauds and Scams Targeting Seniors”
Kevin Smith, BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support and Det/Cst. Stephen Wilson, Economic/Technical Crime Unit, Delta Police

“Online Resources and Computerized Tools for Screening and Diagnosis of Dementia: Aging, Technology and Ethics”
Julie Robillard, National Core for Neuroethics & Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, UBC

Kevin Smith / Steve Wilson powerpoint

Julie Robillard powerpoint


Panel 7 – Surveillance and Monitoring

Chair: Martha Jane Lewis,
Executive Director, BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support

Wendy Johnstone, BC Caregivers Network  powerpoint
Micheal Vonn, BC Civil Liberties Association
Al Jina, President, Park Place Seniors Living  powerpoint


Panel 8 – Person-Technology Fit: How Do I Decide What Technology is Right for Me/My Organization?

Chair: Gloria Gutman,
Professor/Director Emerita SFU Gerontology

Coreena Robertson, Fraserview Care Lodge  powerpoint
Jennifer Cairns, eGurus Technology Tutors  powerpoint
Rowena Rizzotti, Retirement Concepts  powerpoint


Wrap Up

Andrew Sixsmith and William Kearns