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Promoting the health of older adults: The Canadian experience

This resource is available in English only.

Aligned with the 35th Anniversary of the release of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, this book explores the health of older adults from a holistic perspective of physical, mental and socio-emotional wellbeing and its applications to primary care, public health and health promotion.

A seven-part structure

Part I of the book presents an overview of theories, concepts, research, and demographics of older adults in Canada.

The following five sections of the book are framed around the components of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion:

  • Part II, Building Healthy Public Policy, explores policy and program options for a healthy aging society.
  • Part III, Creating Supportive Environments, looks at essential physical, social, and infrastructure characteristics of age-friendly communities.
  • Part IV, Strengthening Community Action, presents themes around community engagement, activism, gender and sexual diversity, immigrant status and Indigenous older adults.
  • Part V, Developing Personal Skills, explores healthy eating, education, health literacy, mental health, physical activity, disability and the arts.
  • Part VI, Reorienting Health Services, attends to healthcare including social services, primary care, caregiving, substance use, mental health services and end-of-life care.

Part VII concludes the book by discussing aging and the COVID-19 pandemic as well as future directions in health promotion for older adults.

Personal reflections and supporting materials

The book contains several chapters that represent personal reflections from older adults on health and aging, including experiences of discrimination, human rights, relationships, racism, healthcare and end-of-life care.

Each chapter includes thought-provoking questions to stimulate thinking around application of concepts to health promotion practice.

The book also includes numerous further readings, links to organizations in this area and a solid evidence base with references to be consulted. Those who purchase the book also receive an instructor’s manual of learning activities for multiple levels of academic instruction to facilitate the book’s uptake into the practice of future health professionals.

Use this resource to:

  • facilitate discussion about how themes in this book apply to public health action on promoting health equity among older adults;
  • identify partners within public health, health promotion, gerontology and other sectors to collaborate on an intersectoral plan to address the health of older adults in your community; and
  • develop strategies for engaging older adults in the development of policy and program options to address health inequities.


Rootman, I., Edwards, P., Levasseur, M., and Grunberg, F. (Eds.). (2021). Promoting the health of older adults: The Canadian experience. Canadian Scholars.

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Tags: Healthy public policy, Older Adults, Participate in policy development, Book