Navigating the Healthcare System: Diversity, Accessibility, and Health Equity in Seniors Care

An older woman's hands are held.

CABHI’s Community of Innovation podcast is proud to continue our series of episodes featuring conversations from the CABHI Summit 2022. This episode is the series’ second installment.

The experience of being an older adult, a caregiver, or a person living with dementia comes with unique challenges no matter one’s identity – but we’ve known for a long time those challenges are magnified for people of colour, Indigenous peoples, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community, among others. The panel draws on their professional and personal experiences to explore some of the challenges members of diverse populations – including those with intersecting identities – face as they age, and how we might work toward a future of health equity for all.

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Learn more about our guests

Laura Tamblyn Watts is the Founder and CEO of CanAge, Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization. Laura is a passionate advocate for a variety of urgent issues affecting older Canadians, including long-term care and home care, financial security, elder abuse, health care, ageism, and inclusion of marginalized communities. Laura previously served as Chief Public Policy Officer at the Canadian Association of Retired Persons before establishing CanAge at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, CanAge has emerged as a go-to media commentator and trusted voice for Canadian seniors, underscored by Laura’s more than 20 years of experience defending the rights and dignity of older people as a lawyer and thought leader.

Jason Resendez is the President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), where he leads research, policy, and innovation initiatives to build health, wealth, and equity for America’s 53 million family caregivers. Prior to joining NAC, Jason was the founding Executive Director of the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Center for Brain Health Equity and was the principal investigator of a $1.5 million Healthy Brain Initiative cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While at UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, Jason pioneered the concept of “Brain Health Equity” through peer-reviewed research, public health partnerships, and public policy.

Aisha Adkins, MPA, CNP is the Constituency Organizer for Caring Across Generations, former Executive Director of Our Turn 2 Care, and a full-time caregiver to her parents. She is a storyteller and advocate, passionate about building an equitable, inclusive, and comprehensive public health and care infrastructure using media, storytelling, culture, and policy change. Her versatility has enabled her to publish works both in academic journals and popular publications. When she is not trying to affect positive systemic change, she enjoys classic film, orchestral music, and the great outdoors, and is an aspiring tea connoisseur.

Elder Dr. Mary Wilson is a Spiritual Director and Healer, known as a World Wisdom Keeper. She is affiliated with Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre as resident Elder; Rehabilitation Children’s Centre as their Resident Wisdom Keeper; CIHR Wisdom Keeper; Can-SOLVE Wisdom Keeper; and the International Spiritual Directors. She is well respected by universities across North America and abroad, as a Healer and researcher. Mary has provided healing with Residential School abuse and trauma survivors, also lecturing on the wisdom of natural healing and mindfulness in nature. Mary has dedicated her life to bringing healing and peace to families, individuals, and community. With her friendships and contacts internationally, her quest for peace becomes a reachable goal.

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