On Wednesday, October 18th, OA-INVOLVE will take part in a Lunch ‘n’ Learn presentation that will showcase all the projects within Workpackage 1 entitled “From Principle to Action: Older Adults as Experts”. In preparation for this presentation, the research team and the three OARPG members attending the AGE-WELL conference held three video conference meetings to discuss the presentation. These discussions included deciding what information we want to convey and figuring out who would present this information.
The process for working on this presentation was definitely a collaborative process. During our first planning meeting with the three OARPG members, as a team we decided that the presentation will focus on the experiences and perspectives of the OARPG regarding their involvement in the OA-INVOLVE project. We also decided that the OARPG members themselves would speak to these experiences, as opposed to one of the researchers presenting these experiences on their behalf. The three OARPG members seemed very pleased to be making such a meaningful contribution to the conference presentation. At the request of the OARPG members, I created a rough draft of PowerPoint slides to give the presentation some structure. During our next two planning meetings, and with email correspondence in between meetings, we all worked together to create and revise the content of the slides and speaking notes.
During our meetings, we also talked about the other ways in which the OARPG members could be engaged in the AGE-WELL conference. They were very interested in attending conference sessions to get a chance to learn more about AGE-WELL and its projects and meet the researchers and the scientific directors. In order to support this, the research team has created an itinerary of events based on what the OARPG members would like to attend, and offered tutorials on how to use the AGE-WELL conference app. The itinerary also includes social events, such as two team dinners and a visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Finally, we will be taking on a Photovoice project as a way for the OARPG members who are not able to make the trip to Winnipeg to experience the conference. This is a qualitative, participatory research method that allows its participants to document an experience via photography and narrative.
From the very beginning, it was important to find out the ways in which the older adults would like to be involved, and the benefits can be seen in how deeply they have all been engaged throughout the entire planning process. This collaboration has been such a great experience and we look forward to finally arriving in Winnipeg for AGE-WELL’s 3rd Annual Conference!
by Romeo Colobong