Dr Jennifer Baumbusch, CIHR Sex & Gender Science Chair

Jennifer Baumbusch - CIHR Chair (2020-2024)

16 Apr 2020

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Sex & Gender Science Chair – Dynamics of Caregiving in an Aging Society

Negotiating Care and Navigating Health Services: The Experiences of Community-dwelling People Living with Dementia and their Family Caregivers

The UBC School of Nursing is proud to announce its newest CIHR Chair. Dr. Jennifer Baumbusch is an Associate Professor, PhD Program Coordinator, Program Director of the Master of Health Leadership and Policy program, co-director of the Gerontological Education, Research and Outreach or GERO unit, and now, CIHR Chair in Sex and Gender Science. Dr. Baumbusch is well known for leading an applied research program aimed at examining the quality of care and quality of life of older Canadians and their family caregivers. She currently administers a 3-year Project Grant examining adult day care centres: Extended Hours Adult Day Centres: Promoting Community-based Health and Social Care for People with Dementia and their Family Caregivers The new Chair will be concerned with examining the factors that contribute to women being disproportionately more likely to be diagnosed with dementia.

Sex and gender shape the landscape of dementia care. In 2013, over 44 million people were living with dementia worldwide and this number will continue to grow with our global aging population. Life expectancy and factors such as hormone changes over the life-course contribute to the sex and gender-based difference expressed in diagnoses of dementia. Gender also has a significant role in shaping the experience of living with dementia and caring for a family member with dementia.

Growing evidence shows that men, women, and gender diverse individuals living with dementia experience differences in the provision of health and social care. For instance, a study in the United Kingdom found that women with dementia are less likely to have routine health monitoring or see a primary care provider, but more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medications. Similarly, gender shapes the experience of being a family caregiver for a person with dementia. For example, women who are socialized to view caregiving as integral to their familial role, may avoid seeking out formal supports and services for their relative with dementia. Given our aging population and the need to support people living with dementia in the community, there is an urgent need to conduct gender-based research that examines the complexities of care giving in this context.

Over four years, this Research Chair will extend gender science with a focus on

  1. advancing knowledge that optimizes supports to ensure the highest quality of life for community-dwelling people living with moderate to advanced dementia (PMAD) and their family caregivers
  2. developing inclusive and meaningful gender-based research methods and
  3. building capacity among the next generation of health researchers in Canada.

For the latest GERO news follow Dr. Baumbusch on twitter ‎@GERONursing