Judith’s PhD research looked at place-making among unemployed people, questioning how the meaning of home shifts in relation to one’s employment status. These questions about place-making and how we understand home resurface in two projects produced in collaboration with SFU’s Gerontology Research Centre. The first project funded by the Vancouver Foundation looks at the impact of displacement of the elderly in the case of the current Kiwanis Towers Project, Richmond, BC, asking how are individuals recreating their homes in the context of displacement. The second project, funded by Baptist Housing, evaluates health and wellbeing issues as seniors transition from two out-dated, long-term care facilities into a newly designed facility where design principles have been articulated specifically around health and wellbeing. Judith notes that much of her research concerns a critical investigation of ‘ageing-in-place’ an academic concept and important policy-driver which has serious implications for the quality of life as well as the costs of care for seniors across Canada.
Building on her work with seniors, Judith also recently completed a research and development project which designed and tested a ‘Smart Distress Monitor’ for in-home passive monitoring of older frail and disabled people. The project developed infra-red sensors to “detect the activity or inactivity of older people in their home in order to raise alerts concerning developing health care needs.”