Factors influencing emotional support among community residing older adults & emotional well-being among Designated Supportive Living home residents in Alberta

University of Alberta


Supporting older adults emotionally is key to maintaining their health and well-being. Multiple factors such as age, sex, marital status, caregiver support characteristics are thought to influence older persons emotional support and their emotional well-being. However, these factors are poorly examined – despite increasing policy emphasis on improving support for older adults in Canada and around the globe. Identifying and understanding factors that determine older adults’ emotional support and their emotional well-being is a prerequisite to improve emotional support provision for older adults, and to help to prevent associated adverse outcomes, including loneliness, anxiety, and low quality of life.

This research project will provide important knowledge that can be used to develop tailored interventions and inform policies to improve the emotional supports provided, identify disadvantaged older populations experiencing low emotional support and poor emotional well-being, and to minimize older adults’ unmet emotional support needs, and related adverse health outcomes.

This research project actively engages patients (citizens) as partners to identify important factors that influence older adults’ emotional support and their emotional well-being. In this project, we will (study 1) summarize all the available studies to identify factors that influence community residing older adults’ emotional support, (study 2) identify ethnic disparities in emotional support among community residing Canadian older adults, and (study 3) assess if caregiver distress and their involvement in providing emotional support impacts emotional well-being among older adults in Designated Supportive Living (DSL) homes in Alberta.

Roles and Responsibilities

Patient research partners will be involved as advisory group members. They will be involved in online discussions via Zoom. We will conduct three 1-hour Zoom-based group discussions (approximately three hours in total) after obtaining the findings from study 1, 2 and 3. This project is looking for:

For study 1 and 2 we will need (4) patient partners who meet all of the following criteria:
-who are Canadian older adult (65+ years of age) residing in community and of  Black, Chinese, South Asian, and White ethnic background
-who are receiving support from either family/friend caregivers or formal caregivers
-who are comfortable participating in discussions (in English) via Zoom

For study 3 we will need (2) patient partners who meet all of the following criteria:
-Canadian older adults (65+ years of age) residing in Designated Supportive Living (DSL) in Alberta
-who are comfortable participating in discussions (in English) via Zoom

Time Commitment

The expected timeframe for patient partner involvement in this project is from March 2023 to December 2023. We will conduct three Zoom based discussion each one anticipated to be one-hour long.


Patient partners will be offered an honorarium of $50 per person for each discussion group in recognition of time and essential collaboration to this project.

Rashmi Devkota

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Land Acknowledgment

The Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit operates on and acknowledges the lands that are the traditional and ancestral territory of many peoples, presently subject to Treaties 6, 7, and 8. Namely: the Blackfoot Confederacy – Kainai, Piikani, and Siksika – the Cree, Dene, Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, Stoney Nakoda, and the Tsuu T’ina Nation and the Métis People of Alberta. This includes the Métis Settlements and the Métis Nation of Alberta. We acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit who have lived in and cared for these lands for generations. We make this acknowledgment as a reaffirmation of our shared commitment towards reconciliation, and as part of AbSPORU’s mandate towards fostering health system transformation.