Lauren Bates has almost 30 years of experience in law reform, public policy and community engagement in the areas of aging, disability, and caregiving. Trained as a lawyer, she brings to her work a strong commitment to access to justice, substantive equality, and community voice.
Lauren is passionate about understanding the experiences of older adults and advancing systems change to meet their needs. For the Ontario Human Rights Commission, she worked to end mandatory retirement, understand ageism and age-related discrimination, advance the rights of family caregivers, and support accessibility initiatives for older persons and persons with disabilities. For the Law Commission of Ontario, she led major law reform projects on the law as it affects older adults; the law related to capacity, decision-making and guardianship; and on the last stages of life. As Director of Policy at Wellesley Institute, she played a key role in initiatives to integrate the needs of diverse seniors into the health and long-term care systems, and on thriving retirement. Currently, Lauren works as an independent consultant to support organizations that are working to make systemic change through research, policy development, community engagement or knowledge mobilization. She is also an in-demand public speaker, and the Co-Chair of the Ontario Caregiver Coalition.