Cancer and aging research engagement: Identifying priorities to enhance research and care of older adults with cancer and their caregivers

Cancer is most common amongst older adults. Older adults with cancer have distinct needs due to underlying health conditions and social situations, which may include a lack of social and financial supports. These factors often affect their ability to manage treatments, cope with treatment side effects, and make health care decisions. For older adults who do not speak English, have limited knowledge about the health care system, or have poor understanding of health or illness; navigating the cancer system is even harder. Older adults are often cared for by informal caregivers, such as family members, due to limited resources or services available to support older adults with cancer in the community. Caregivers face challenges trying to balance their caregiver role, not only for the older adult, but also for their younger dependents; work; and their own health needs.

Through virtual meetings and priority setting work, we will achieve the following goals: establish partnerships between older adults, caregivers, and diverse seniors’ groups; identify key research priorities to improve cancer care for older adults and their caregivers in BC; and develop a five-year research agenda to improve care for older adults with cancer.

Team members: Caroline Mariano (BC Cancer); Bonnie Leung (BC Cancer); Lorelei Newton (University of Victoria, and Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology); Daniel Renouf (BC Cancer); Sabrina Wong (UBC); Lisa Quay (Jewish Community Centre); Keiko Funahashi (Tonari Gumi); Anthony Kuperschmidt (West End Seniors Network)