The current lengthening of the human lifespan is unprecedented in the history of humanity. The transformations that go along with this phenomenon have multiple impacts in terms of living conditions, health and care.
The ageing of the population comes with the emergence of new strengths and new strains. The health advances achieved to date have allowed people to live longer and in better health. Life prospects have expanded tremendously, as has the potential for interpersonal exchange.
Living longer means that seniors may have to deal with new situations and various sorts of problems:
In the private sphere as in the professional sphere, our relationship to ageing raises questions that are at once personal and collective, health- and policy-related, and professional and societal. The Aging and Health Laboratory (AH LAB) addresses these different dimensions in its curricula and through its field research and partnerships with professional practice settings.
Elder care involves interventions that are based on multiple competencies and that are provided over an extended period of time. The AH LAB approaches these issues from two angles:
1) knowledge and knowhow transfer to care practices and assistance in geriatric and psychogeriatric settings;
2) updating of knowledge and knowhow in undergraduate and post-graduate nursing curricula.
The following topics constitute the areas of expertise of the researchers and teachers at the AH LAB:
Researchers at the AH LAB contribute to scientific and professional journals and to non-profit community publications, and can be seen and heard regularly in audio-visual media. Articles generated by research conducted at the LAB are featured in journals focusing on specific topics such as maltreatment, geriatrics and mental health, and in journals focusing on specific disciplines such as nursing, human and social sciences, and gerontology.
A team of teachers who exercise their pedagogical competencies with a view to connecting theory and practice
Researchers trained in applied academic research possessing competencies in a variety of disciplines, including nursing, psychology, anthropology, sociology, education, ethics and public health
Our field partners include geriatricians, clinical nurses, long-term care providers (nursing homes, home care agencies), healthcare managers, technicians, instructors and ethicists operating in geriatric and psychogeriatric settings.
The undergraduate modules taught by AH LAB members cover nursing care for seniors from multiples angles. They prepare students to address and take responsibilities regarding complex situations related to ageing. Students are guided to think about nursing practice in a reflective manner and to refer to studies based on the latest measures in order to propose the best possible care offer that takes account of each senior’s particularities. Completing the curricula are practicums offered in geriatric settings. These give students the chance to exercise their learning in a present-day, real-world professional context.
The collaboration between the La Source School of Nursing and geriatric nursing care settings in the Canton of Vaud goes back many, many decades. The members of the LAB respond to specific requests from educational and care institutions. The services provided afford the opportunity to transfer expertise in the management of seniors no longer autonomous and to share knowledge and know-how with practitioners in the field. The LAB may also be solicited as a partner in institutional projects that make use of elder health resources.
To fulfill its education and research missions as best possible, the LAB counts on local and regional partners from the clinical, non-profit and university spheres: