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ABLE Village – A digital village for older adults to enhance social connectivity

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The ABLE Village Study
Artful Aging: A digital village for older adults to enhance social connectivity

Call for Participants for Online Co-Design Research Project

We have developed a virtual platform that allows older people to connect, play games, make art, and engage in movement activities with others, including family members in different locations, through computer video at the same time (or “live”). We would like feedback on the design and the interaction (or “game design”) of this platform and the social, physical, mental, and artistic activities included on the platform.

Information about the study:

  • We are inviting participants in this study to complete a brief survey and then participate in 5 to 20, one- to two-hour long focus groups using Zoom. Participants can participate in as many or as few focus groups as they desire.
  • Each focus group will consist of 1-8 participants and 2-6 research team members. Participants can participate in a focus group size of their preference.
  • Participants can invite their own friends and family to participate in the focus group with them or they choose to participate with fellow community members.
  • Focus groups will take place online between September 2023 and March 2025.
  • With everyone’s permission, these focus groups will be recorded.

During these focus groups, we will show you the ABLE platform and ask you for your feedback on the design.

  • You have the option of observing the platform or testing the platform by using your computer (touch pad or mouse) or tablet, or, if you wish, we can loan you (free of charge) a tablet and an internet connection, and teach you to use them, so that you can participate in the ABLE Village research.
  • We also can meet with you individually before the research meeting to help you to use your computer or tablet to access the ABLE Village platform.

You are eligible to participate in this study if you are aged 65 or older, who:

  1. Has access to a computer and/or internet connection (or would be willing to borrow a tablet from the Pulse Lab); and
  2. Can communicate in English (or in the case of the Montréal site, French).

Note: Your participation in this study is voluntary. You may withdraw at any time without consequences and you may also refuse to answer any questions you do not want to answer and still remain in the study. You will receive a $50 gift card (a $200 cheque if you are a participant lead) for each year for your participation in this two-year study. If you withdraw from the study, you will still be eligible to receive an honorarium; however, the amount you receive will be proportionate to the time in which you participated in the study (e.g., if you withdraw after 6-months of participating in the study, you will receive half of a one-year honorarium, which is $25).

For more information, please read the letter of information. For questions, or if you are interested in participating in this study, please contact a member of our research team via email at or phone at 905-525-9140 ext. 27959.

This project has been approved by the McMaster University Research Ethics Board (#6511).

Project Organization and Partners

Hamilton Node

Dr. Paula Gardner – Director

McMaster University

Bahar Karimi – Partner Lead

Thrive Group

Dr. Rong Zheng

Dr. Brenda Vrkljan

Dr. Nicole Dalmer

Dr. Sheila Boamah

McMaster University Logo

Thrive Group Logo

Montreal Node

Dr. Kim Sawchuk – Co-Director

University of Manitoba

Anne Caines – Partner Lead

RECAA, Montreal

Dr. Sheila Hebblethwaite

Dr. Julie Henderson

Concordia University Logo

ACT Lab Logo


Halifax Node

Dr. Derek Reilly – Academic Lead

Dalhousie University

Rachel Shepherd – Partner Lead

Chebucto Links

Dr. Parisa Ghanouni

Dr. Caitlin McArthur

Dalhousie University Logo

Chebucto Links Logo

Graphics and Experiential Media (GEM) Lab Logo

Winnipeg Node

Dr. Celine Latulipe – Academic Lead

University of Manitoba

Dr. Michelle Porter – Partner Lead

Centre on Aging, Winnipeg

Dr. Andrea Bunt

University of Manitoba Logo

University of Manitoba Centre on Aging Logo

Fredericton Node

Dr. Scott Bateman – Academic Lead

University of New Brunswick

Cindy Donovan – Partner Lead

Loch Lomond Villa

Dr. Pam Durepos

Danielle Kent

Dr. Rose McCloskey

University of New Brunswick Logo

Loch Lomond Villa Logo


ABLE Village is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Social Sciences and HumanitiesResearch Council of Canada


ABLE Village is also supported by the following organizations:

The Asper FoundationMcMaster Collaborative for Healthy AgingMcMaster Institute for Research on Aging

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