issues and experts

SFU experts available on WHO’s Decade of Ageing (2020-2030) declaration

May 13, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) plans to officially declare 2020-2030 as the Decade of Healthy Ageing at an event to be held in Geneva, Switzerland on May 17.

Adults aged 60 years and above have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to remain vulnerable amid the rapid pace of global ageing.

With this announcement, the WHO aims to propel governments and civil society, among others, to come together to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.

In a funding announcement made yesterday, AGE-WELL NCE Inc. (Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life), has been awarded $21.9 million and a three-year extension by the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program.

AGE-WELL Co-Scientific Director Andrew Sixsmith, a professor in Simon Fraser University’s Department of Gerontology is available to speak to how the funding will be used to address the ongoing needs and challenges of an aging population, as well as the aspects of social isolation, technologies to connect people, technology policy and the digital divide. He can be reached at

Other experts at Simon Fraser University are also available to comment on a wide range of ageing issues:

Habib Chaudhury, Gerontology,

  • Environmental gerontology
  • Physical environment for people with dementia in long-term care facilities
  • Person-centred care, community planning and urban design for active aging
  • Dementia-friendly communities

Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Political Science & Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies,

  • Economic recovery
  • Labour issues and B.C.’s part-time and care workers
  • Privatization of long-term care, funding and over-crowding in facilities

Parin Dossa, Sociology and Anthropology,

  • Social relationship between aging and gender
  • Ethnographic storytelling and social justice

Gloria Gutman, Gerontology,

  • Senior’s housing, long-term care, health promotion, elder abuse, and gerontechnology
  • LGBT aging, age-friendly hospitals and communities, and seniors and emergency preparedness
  • Increasing advance care planning in marginalized groups and ethnic minorities

David Kaufman, Education, Health Sciences and Gerontology,

  • Enhancing social connectedness and lifelong learning in older adults through digital storytelling courses and digital games

Dan Levitt, Gerontology,

  • Seniors care, assisted living and long-term care
  • COVID-19, leadership and ageism

Barbara Mitchell, Sociology and Gerontology,

  • Aging families and intergeneration relations
  • Related health-related issues in terms of cultivating and maintaining positive social connections during uncertain and stressful times

Kendra Strauss, Labour Studies,, available by phone Thursday/Friday

  • Paid and unpaid care work in the seniors’ care sector in B.C.
  • Precarious employment, labour migration and unfree labour
  • Restructuring seniors’ care in Vancouver and Shanghai
  • Implications for workers and their communities

Andrew Wister, Gerontology,

  • Seniors vulnerability to viral diseases, such as COVID-19


A complete list of SFU experts on the varied impacts of COVID-19 can be accessed here.

To get in touch with experts, please contact:

Shradhha Sharma; Communications and Marketing, 604.202.2504,