Many faces of Elder Abuse: Insights into Loneliness, Mobility Challenges, Dementia and Representational Inequity in Black Older Adults

February 28, 2024
1:00 – 2:00 PM

Understanding the many faces of elder abuse and addressing it is a fundamental need of all seniors and a significant way of upholding the older adults’ aspects of being human. Evidence abounds that links elder abuse to loneliness, mobility limitations and cognitive vulnerability such as dementia. However, little is known about how these impact Black older adults.

Join Dr Michael Kalu, Dr Blessing Ojembe and Oluwagbemiga Oyinlola as they discuss insights from their individual research with Black older adults on mobility limitations, loneliness and dementia, respectively.

Webinar provided with an ASL Interpreter


blessing O
Blessing Ojembe (Ph.D., MSW, RSW),

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Health, Aging and Society, McMaster University

Blessing Ojembe, PhD, is a Post-doctoral Fellow at McMaster University, Ontario Canada, a Commonwealth scholar and a gerontological social worker whose research interest focuses on: 1) understanding the experiences of aging, loneliness, inequalities, social exclusion, cumulative disadvantages of Black older adults, compounded by their specific social locations such as race, age, gender, immigration status, employment, and; 2) addressing the representational intersectionality of Black older adults in policy, research and practice. Her current research agenda which uses a community-based model and builds on findings from her PhD research, specifically focuses on exploring the aging experience of Canadian-born and immigrant Black older adults on a broader context and understanding how it constructs ideas about their lives and social context. Her research work with Black older adults in Canada in Africa has produced over 12 research articles.

Blessing holds a Bachelor of science in Social Work from the University of Nigeria, two Masters in Gerontology and Social Work both from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom and York University, Canada and a PhD in Social Gerontology from McMaster University. Blessing is a Faculty at Fanshawe College, Toronto Campus and will be joining the Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba in the summer as an Assistant Professor. Blessing is also a co-founder of the Emerging Researchers and Professionals on Aging – African Network (ERPAAN). ERPAAN is an organization that focuses on capacity building and mentoring of African students interested in aging research. Blessing believes that the future of gerontology lies in getting the younger generation to be involved aging activism.

micheal khan
Dr. Michael Kalu

Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Therapy: Clinical Treatment & Clinical Care, at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. Faculty of Health, York University

Michael is an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Therapy: Clinical Treatment & Clinical Care, at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto.  He gained interdisciplinary expertise by training as a physiotherapist (Bachelor of Medical Rehabilitation – Physiotherapy from the University of Nigeria), a social gerontologist (MSc in Gerontology from the University of Southampton), and a rehabilitation scientist (MSc in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University & Ph.D in Rehabilitation Science from McMaster University), and furthered his research as a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University.

He is currently the Scientific Director of the Emerging Researchers & Professionals in Ageing – African Network, and continues to conduct aging research in the SubSaharan region of Africa.

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Oluwagbemiga Oyinlola

Doctoral Candidate, under Dr. Tamara Sussman at McGill University School of Social Work

Oluwagbemiga Oyinlola is a doctoral candidate under Dr. Tamara Sussman at McGill University School of Social Work and a Vanier Scholar. Prior starting his doctoral studies, he was a Medical Social Worker at the University College Hospital, Nigeria. He had his undergraduate and Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He was an alumnus of the Mental Health leadership and Advocacy Program (MhLAP) at the WHO Collaborating Centre on Mental health, neurological sciences and substances use, University of Ibadan and the Global Ageing and Policy of the University of Southampton.

Drawing on over ten years of experience working with adults and their families by managing chronic health-related issues in both hospital and community settings, Oluwagbemiga’ s research focuses on Afrocentric dementia caregiving practice, advance directives, end-of-life planning and how health services, and systems impact older adults and their families in Africa. His research includes experiences of spouses of older adults with dementia, and other chronic health conditions, the sociocultural implications of transitioning into long-term care settings in Africa and addressing the intersectionality of policy issues affecting older adults and their families in the African region. Oluwagbemiga is interested in conducting research and intervention services that could improve health policies, processes, and practices through a partnership with community actors, interpretation of results, and translating and disseminating result findings to government agencies. He was the National Assistant General Secretary of the Association of Medical Social Workers of Nigeria (AMSWON) and one of the founding members of the Emerging Researchers & Professionals in Ageing- African Network (ERPAAN). He is a member of the Black Access Committee of McGill School of Social Work, Montreal, Canada.

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