Research Institute for Aging
Research Institute for Aging


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Leaders gather in Ottawa to change the culture of aging

Apr 30, 2024 | Media

Ottawa, ON – There is a stigma associated with aging that portrays older adults as incapable, frail and less independent. These perceptions influence societal behaviors, health systems, and how older adults navigate aging. 

From May 1-3, 2024, educators, leaders, policymakers, researchers, students, and older adults, will gather at Walk with Me in Ottawa, ON, to challenge the stigma associated with aging. In it’s 5th year, Walk with Me is a national conference focused on changing the culture of aging through education and knowledge sharing.

“We are excited to welcome attendees from across Canada to Walk with Me,” said Tina Mah, executive director at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA). “By 2037, Canada’s aging population – 65 and older – is expected to grow by nearly 70%, it is important we shift the conversation and culture around aging to create more inclusive, welcoming spaces for all. And that’s what happens at Walk with Me. The conference is a chance for changemakers to come together and share their experiences, create connections, build partnerships, and gain practical supports and strategies that gives every older adult the opportunity to live life to the fullest.” 

The three-day program offers multiple opportunities for like-minded people to connect, learn and share. Sessions focus on person-centered care, mental health, innovation, inclusive communities, advocacy, and how residents can shape the place they call home. 

“The conversations at Walk With Me encourage innovation and promote change in the culture of aging to create care focused on the unique needs of each resident and client,” says Aileen Wong, COO of CapitalCare Edmonton. “Everyday at our centres I see the direct effects of these conversations from the previous conferences.  I can’t wait to see the evolution of the innovative ideas that this conference will generate and the impact it will have on quality of life for our residents and our staff’s work environment the coming years.”

Other notable event highlights include:

  • Sandy Hazelip and Ellie Hamby, “Around the World at 81 and still on the run”, will join us as closing keynote speakers on May 3. In 2023, the pair became famous for traveling the world (7 continents and 18 countries in 80 days) and flipping the script on what people expect aging to be. Join us as they share their adventures, how aging is just a number, and what’s next.
  • Dr. Allen Power, internist, geriatrician, and Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), joins the conference as a Keynote and session speaker to discuss creating inclusive communities for people living with dementia, and the global efforts to curb the unnecessary use of antipsychotic drugs in people living with dementia. 
  • 2024 Trailblazer Awards presentation, which recognizes and acknowledges the efforts of people and organizations across Canada driving transformative change in the culture of aging through innovative initiatives, programs, and everyday practices. This year, six individuals will be celebrated. Join us to learn more about and amplify their successes. 

Event details: 

A special thank you to our event sponsors: Marquise Hospitality, Schlegel Villages, mediSystem, CareRX, CAD Staffing Inc., Centre for Learning Innovation and Quality, ProRESP, The Good Samaritan Society, Java Group, Bruyere, LTC, and CapitalCare Foundation. 


For further information, please contact:
Jennifer Judges
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA)

About the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging

The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and care of older adults. The RIA tackles some of the biggest issues facing an aging population by driving research and innovation to improve education and practice. The RIA develops and shares solutions that make a difference to benefit older adults everywhere. Learn more at

About Walk with Me

Walk with Me is a national conference aimed at changing the culture of aging in Canada. Older adults/residents, care partners, educators, policymakers, students and researchers from all over the country come together to learn with and from each other about how to enhance the journey of aging across the continuum of care and community living.

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