Ageism consultation toolkit

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Consultation toolkit

Ageism is “the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.”

World Health Organization, 2020

Purpose of this toolkit

The Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum will be holding consultations regarding ageism in the Fall of 2022. These consultations will provide an opportunity for Canadians to share their understanding of ageism and their ideas for addressing it. Discussions will focus on 5 themes:

  • employment
  • health and health care
  • social inclusion
  • safety and security
  • media and social media

Groups are encouraged to organize their own events (either in-person or via a video-conferencing platform like Zoom) to discuss key questions about ageism. Input from the sessions will be included in a what we heard report and will inform a policy options report for FPT Ministers. This report will propose approaches, initiatives, and strategies to address ageism in Canada.

This toolkit supports consultation events by providing planning guidance, templates, and tips, as well as instructions for evaluating and reporting sessions. The toolkit provides participating organizations consistent discussion questions, facilitation principles, and reporting expectations.

More information is available on the project website.

Planning your consultation event

Different kinds of groups are welcome to host a consultation event. Sessions will vary, depending on the types of organizations leading them, and the number and nature of participants. Most consultation events will be small stand-alone sessions, organized specifically for purposes of the consultation. Some groups may want to extend a regular meeting to include the consultation or have the consultation in place of their meeting. Other groups that are already planning events might organize their program so that a consultation becomes a part of it. Consultations may also take place virtually. This can promote increased accessibility by participants in rural or remote areas, or in response to COVID-19 pandemic protocols, concerns, or preferences. If you are a representative of a community organization and are interested in hosting a session, please submit a statement of interest.

The following guidelines and tools will help the hosting group ensure that participants have suitable opportunities to contribute to this important conversation.

See Appendix A for a checklist for planning your consultation event and Appendix B for tips on holding virtual consultations. Make sure to read the discussion guide prior to planning your consultation event. The discussion guide provides a summary and overview of the recent research done on ageism, and will support and inform the Consultation conversations.

Identifying and inviting participants

Consultations will benefit from the participation of the following types of audiences:

  • older adults
  • anyone affected by ageism or who has witnessed ageism against older adults
  • individuals involved in providing direct care to older adults in their own home, a group living setting (for example, long-term care home, assisted living facility), or other health care or residential care living settings
  • organizations representing and supporting older adults (for example, advocacy organizations, senior centres, community services)
  • professionals from fields such as academia, health, finance, law, and/or all levels of governments (federal, provincial/ territorial, municipal, and Indigenous)

Consultation sessions may focus on any of these groups, or they may include a mix of audiences. They could focus on general populations of older adults, or they may focus on engaging specific groups of older adults. Examples of specific groups include new immigrants, Indigenous peoples, 2SLGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, or people living in rural or remote areas. Note that the number of participants may vary. Make sure to set a maximum number of participants, and have invitees RSVP to the organizer of the session. See appendices C, D, and E for sample invitation, confirmation, and thank you email templates.

Be mindful of the needs of participants, and eliminate barriers to participation as much as possible. For example, consider how you can:

  • provide transportation
  • provide translation (if appropriate and possible)
  • ensure the site selected has accessible entrances and washrooms
  • address special visual and audio needs
  • consult with the attendees you plan to invite to identify and address barriers to participate (accessibility, visual, audio etc.)
  • prepare table facilitators to support participants who face particular challenges (See Section E: Tips on creating safe environments and fostering discussion)

Tips for venue selection and hosting

Make the consultation event as inclusive and accessible as possible. Give attention to location, physical space, refreshments and materials. These can contribute to attendees feeling welcome and safe. This can also empower individuals to fully participate in the discussions.

  • Determine the number of people you would like to participate (or the capacity of your venue if choosing to host an in-person event). And remember – keep it to a size that is manageable for your group to organize and host!
  • Be aware of current COVID-19 protocols and any limitations on public indoor gatherings
  • If your organization does not have suitable space, arrange in-kind space in a community facility, such as a library, seniors’ centre, or community centre. As much as possible, venues should have WiFi and suitable AV equipment (screen, speakers, mic). In addition, facilities should be barrier free, and include access to public transportation and free or low-cost parking. Many seniors’ centres are suitable in this regard
  • Ensure that tables are spaced far enough apart so that conversations can take place without noise interference from other tables. Ask participants whether they can all hear the speaker. Consider using a microphone for larger groups (if available)
  • Ensure suitable places for sign-in/registration, and for refreshments, if provided. Organizers should welcome all participants as they arrive, provide a nametag and consultation materials, and provide assistance if needed
  • Ensure the number of participants at each table is manageable. Ensure that everyone can hear each other and has sufficient opportunity to respond in the time available
  • For large sessions, consider having 1 or 2 tables for each theme. Make sure to have enough table facilitators and recorders for each table. Alternatively, if there are very few participants, consider having fewer table groups and moving people through all 5 themes together without changing tables
  • Provide suitable and sufficient refreshments, such as beverages and snacks, for lengthier events if your budget permits
  • For longer sessions, ensure brief “stretch breaks”
  • Aim for an environmentally friendly event – avoid waste, and recycle as much as possible. For example, provide water in jugs, rather than disposable water bottles. Post the agenda outline and discussion questions on a flipchart (or a Power Point slide, if using audio visual) at the front of the room, rather than providing as handouts

Event formats and agendas

Consultation events will typically require 2 to 2.5 hours. This includes time for registration and sign-in, introductions, facilitated discussions, reporting back, and event evaluation and conclusion. Additional time may be factored in for translation, networking, lunch, or other activities.

All consultation sessions will include several key parts: introduction, facilitated conversations, and conclusion. This toolkit outlines the specific topics to be included in each part. Some additional options or variations that facilitators may incorporate, depending on participant needs, timing, or access to equipment and supplies, are also included. See a sample Consultation Session Agenda - Appendix F. Following the session, collect all discussion notes from facilitators and recorders. Hosting organizations should compile session feedback forms, and submit as outlined in Section G.

  1. Welcome and introduction to consultation (allow 15 to 30 minutes)
    1. Indigenous land acknowledgment
    2. Housekeeping: washrooms’ location, timing of breaks, etc.
    3. Project overview: background, goals, website (see Script – Appendix G)
    4. Privacy statement: Ensure participants are aware of the Privacy Notice Statement (Appendix H). By participating, they are consenting to the Privacy Notice Statement
    5. Welcome slide (Appendix I) to be shared on video conferencing screen (via the share your screen button) during meeting setup (for virtual sessions) or printed and placed on tables (for in-person sessions)
    6. Consultation overview infographic (Appendix J) to be distributed in chat (for virtual sessions) or printed and placed on tables (for in-person) as a reference for participants throughout the session
    7. Process for the session: instructions and timing for conversations
    8. Introductions: depending on size of group and time available, have participants introduce themselves and state their interest in attending
  2. Engagement activities (optional - see Appendix K)
    1. As part of the introductory remarks, introduce the topic with a short video
    2. The Ageism Attitude quiz, or “Ageism Story” activities can be ice-breakers while people are arriving and getting settled
  3. Facilitated conversations (allow 1.5 hours for discussions, including a 15 minute break)
    1. The event facilitator should outline to the group the format of the facilitated conversations and note basic ground rules for the discussions, for example:
      1. keep comments brief and on topic
      2. actively listen to others when they speak and do not interrupt
      3. treat everyone with respect
      4. stay on task
      5. be non-judgmental
      6. avoid assumptions
      7. recognize unconscious biases (attitudes or beliefs that, without being aware of them, affects the way one feels and thinks about others, for example, assuming that older people can’t adapt to technology)
    2. Seat 5 to 8 participants at each table. Request that the participants at each table appoint a table facilitator and/or recorder to guide the conversation and record key points. The discussion group size and format can be flexible, depending on factors such as the facility, number of participants, and nature of organization. Options to structure the discussions might include:
      • option 1: Participants, Table Facilitator, and Table Recorder at each table remain together as they move through all 5 themes, spending 15 minutes on each theme
      • option 2: Assign each table a discussion theme. Participants rotate tables every 15 minutes OR Facilitator and Recorder change tables every 15 minutes for convenience of participants
      • option 3: For events with a small number of participants, all 5 themes could be discussed consecutively as a plenary group
    3. Allow sufficient time for translation as well as suitable space for translators and ASL interpreters, if required. If numbers permit, include non-English or non-French speakers in the same group. If possible, arrange for a facilitator and recorder who are fluent in their language. In such cases, the facilitator and recorder would stay with the table group to cover conversations on all 5 themes
  4. Report back (allow 5 to 10 minutes, depending on number of groups)
    Have each group report a highlight or “Aha! Moment” from their conversations. If there are a small number of participants overall, have each person state 1 or 2 words to sum up their experience of the day
  5. Conclusion and event evaluation (allow 10 minutes)
    1. Thank participants for their time and contributions
    2. Thank facilitators, recorders, and other volunteers
    3. Note the next steps in the consultation process. Explain that facilitators will submit the information to the FPT Seniors’ Forum. Explain that this information will inform a “what we heard report” and a “policy options report” (see Consultation Introduction Script - Appendix G)
    4. Note project website and opportunity to share stories (see script)
    5. Have participants complete Consultation Evaluation Form (Appendix L)
Discussion questions:
  1. What are the most significant ageism issues related to each of the themes?
  2. What impacts has the COVID-19 pandemic had on ageism in each of the themes?
  3. What efforts are currently working to address ageism related to each of the themes?
  4. What more could be done (for example, new strategies, initiatives or programs) to best address ageism related to each of the themes, and who should be involved?

Materials and supplies

  • Discussion guide and consultation toolkit (available for download from project website)
  • Agenda
  • Welcome slide and infographic
  • Registration list/sign-in sheet and nametags
  • Face masks and hand sanitizer – required or optional dependent on current COVID-19 protocols
  • Notetaking templates for each table and theme (refer to Section F below)
  • Consultation Evaluation Forms
  • Notepaper and pens at each table
  • Speaker/mic system; projector and screen; electrical cords - as needed
  • Refreshments (for example, water, tea, coffee, juice, snacks) – optional

Tips on creating safe environments and supporting discussion

The facilitator at each table will create a safe space for the discussion, encourage everyone’s participation, and guide the conversation. They will do this by:

  • sitting near the centre of the table so they can see and hear all participants
  • introducing themselves and asking participants to briefly introduce themselves
  • clarifying instructions and providing guidance on the process (if not done during the general introduction)
  • ensuring gender neutral and inclusive language and terminology. For example, during introductions, include preferred pronouns. This is where people say whether they'd like others to refer to them as she, he, they, or another personal pronoun
  • keeping participants focused on the questions, and probing more deeply when responses are unclear or not forthcoming
  • recognizing when a participant is reacting to an emotional trigger, and ensuring an appropriate response. For instance, facilitators can pause and respond gently to validate the participant’s feelings. They should then determine if the participant wants to continue in the group and with the topic
  • supporting respectful dialogue that engages all participants. For example:
    1. tactfully address situations where 1 or 2 participants are dominating the conversation
    2. ensure everyone at the table has an opportunity to contribute
    3. proactively direct questions to participants who have not contributed questions
  • keeping track of time to allow sufficient time for discussing each question, and being sure to cover all questions in the time available
  • ensuring the recorder is keeping up and able to capture all key points

For specific groups of older adults, additional steps may be required to support full participation. Specific groups could include: new immigrants, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+ peoples, people with disabilities, people living in rural or remote communities, etc.:

  • recognize and address barriers to participation. For example, pay particular attention to the needs of those with language limitations or disability. Make sure to reach out to invite their contribution, rather than wait for it
  • avoid use of jargon, colloquialisms, or metaphors that may be confusing or misunderstood
  • give people a bit more time to gather their thoughts and to respond to the questions, if needed
  • if sensitive issues arise, and participant(s) become emotional, pause and give them time to continue. If needed, ask them if they want to continue. For those who are hearing impaired, ensure they are seated where they can more easily hear others speak. For those with vision impairment, ensure suitable print materials, such as larger size fonts
  • recognize, validate, and discuss ideas to address the unique challenges often faced by sub-populations of older adults. For example:
    • those living in rural and/or remote areas may have limited access to health care and employment options
    • newcomers may face cultural and language barriers that could prevent social inclusion
    • 2SLGBTQ+ individuals may experience discrimination

For additional information on creating a safe environment that encourages trust with vulnerability in the space, see Appendix M: Psychological Safety Guidelines.

Notetaking

Recorders at each table will capture key points on the notetaking templates – (downloadable from project website, or mailed in advance, if requested):

  • include the date and location of the session
  • number the pages
  • listen attentively to the discussion and focus on what participants say in response to the questions
  • notes need not be verbatim, but should capture key points, in point form
  • do not attribute comments to a particular speaker. However, capture remarks that are particularly compelling or insightful as verbatim quotes
  • do not hesitate to interrupt and ask the speaker to repeat themselves if you miss something important
  • notes can be taken on a tablet or laptop or handwritten (if handwritten, please make sure they are legible)
  • have the table facilitator review the notes and add any key points that may not have been captured by the table recorder
  • proofread for accuracy, clarity, typos, etc. prior to submitting

Reporting on your event

An important component of the sessions will be gathering feedback on the consultation event. Facilitators can hand out the Consultation Evaluation Form - Participant (Appendix L) following the table conversations, or include the forms with the materials provided upon arrival.

After the facilitated discussions, draw participants’ attention back to the front of the room for closing remarks. See Section 5 – Conclusion and Event Evaluation. Remind participants to complete the Consultation Evaluation Form - Participant. The session organizer should also prepare a Consultation Evaluation Form - Organizer (Appendix N). For virtual consultations, the form, in Appendix L, should be sent to participants as a link (to be provided by contractor) shortly after the consultation event. Their responses will be collected and collated by the contractor and then shared with the FPT Seniors Forum.

The session organizer should collect all the notes from table recorders and Consultation Evaluation Forms from participants. The session organizer will then submit these documents and the completed Consultation Evaluation Form - Organizer to the project team by either mail or email at:

Mailing address:

FPT Seniors Secretariat
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV
Gatineau QC K1A 0J9

Email address: esdc.na.agisme.consultations-consultations.ageism.na.edsc@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Appendix A: Consultation planning checklist

Date Activity Who Comments
2 to 6 weeks before the event Confirm date and location    
Check current COVID protocols, requirements    
Prepare invitation list    
Send Save the Date message    
2 to 5 weeks prior Set up event registration (for example, Eventbrite)    
Prepare and send invitations    
Draft agenda    
1 to 3 weeks prior   Finalize roles and responsibilities: registration/ welcome table; emcee; table facilitators; recorders    
Finalize agenda    
Confirm COVID protocols, requirements    
Plan room set-up (tables, seating, etc.); arrange equipment (mic, speakers, projector, screen)    
1 to 2 weeks prior Send reminder of event; include Agenda and Discussion Guide    
1 week prior Confirm attendance    
Arrange catering (if needed)    
Prepare handouts, including: discussion themes and questions; list of relevant community / mental health supports and contact information available for those who may need it    
Copy notetaking templates for recorders    
Download video or link (if using)    
Confirm Indigenous land acknowledgement (where appropriate)    
Purchase supplies not on hand    
Day before Purchase refreshments (if not catered)    
Day of event Set up room: - participant tables and chairs - notepaper, pens, and ice-breaker activities (if using) at each table - registration table: nametags; participant list; handouts; hand sanitizer; masks - refreshments table (if providing refreshments)    
AV set-up and check    
Handouts: Agenda, Discussion Guide, Event Feedback Form    
Following event Submit session notes and evaluation/feedback summary    
Send follow-up email to participants to thank them, outline next steps, and remind of opportunity to share stories on project website.    
De-brief session with colleagues, including event feedback forms.    

Appendix B: Information, procedures, and tips for organizing virtual consultation sessions

Groups organizing their own events to discuss key questions about ageism may choose to conduct a virtual session in addition to, or in place of, an in-person event. In such cases, Toolkit materials, including the Consultation Planning Checklist and Agenda, and the Sample Invitation, Confirmation of Participation, Thank You Email, Notetaking, and Evaluation templates will still be relevant, although some may require minor adaptation.

In addition, information and procedures specific to planning and conducting virtual consultation events should be considered to ensure the session runs smoothly and supports effective participation and contributions:

Before the session

Select a video conference platform that your organization has access to and is familiar with, and that will be easy for participants to use.

Appoint a video conference coordinator who is familiar with the video conferencing platform to manage and run the tech aspects of the session. In addition, a back-up person should also be appointed to assist the coordinator and/or fill in should this person become unavailable.

Ensure presenter(s) are familiar with features and functions that will be used, such as Share Screen, Polling, Chat, Raise Hand, etc.

Prepare participants by sending a “Reference Sheet” for the video conference platform you will be using when you send the Confirmation of Participation (see example below). Ensure they have contact information for someone who can support them if they are having difficulty accessing, or drop off the meeting. Include dial-in options for those who may not have computer/internet access.

Prepare group facilitators by having a practice session to ensure they are:

  • clear about the agenda and their facilitation role (see Tips on creating safe environments and supporting discussion)
  • prepared to sensitively support participants who face particular challenges (See Section E: Tips on creating safe environments and fostering discussion)
  • comfortable with the video conference platform and meeting room functions

Prepare Group Recorders by sending the agenda, recording instructions (Section F: Notetaking) and notetaking templates in advance to ensure they are clear about the session format and their role in notetaking.

Prepare the video conference platform in advance as much as possible by enabling all required functions, such as registration, reminders/notifications, waiting rooms, break-out room assignments, close-captioning, polls, and other features that will contribute to a smooth and efficiently run event. Ensure security features are applied so that only registered participants can access the session.

During the session

Tech Check - Include basic tech instructions regarding video conferencing features in the introduction to the consultation session. This can include things such as: mute/unmute; chat; break-out rooms; raising hands; and contact information for tech support.

Note: Please clarify for participants if chat is to be used in the session. If the organizer chooses to use the chat, any resources shared through the chat should be included in the package that you send back to the Secretariat, to inform the final report

Video - Encourage participants to have their cameras on to help create a sense of warmth and welcome and to encourage engagement.

Audio – Have participants muted, except when they are speaking.

Introductions - Depending on the size of group and time available, have participants unmute to introduce themselves and state their interest in attending. If there isn’t sufficient time for this, invite participants to introduce themselves in the chat with their name, where they are joining from, and their interest in the consultation.

Engagement - Use the “poll” function to engage participants by asking multiple choice or yes/no questions such as whether they have ever experienced ageism, whether they have been ageist towards themselves, or their age range. Encourage questions, comments, and sharing information in the chat box, and make sure to monitor the chat throughout the session.

Break-outs – Factor in sufficient time in the agenda for breakout groups to be ready to start and to return to the main meeting. Set timing to let break-out rooms know when there are only a few minutes remaining. Consider that there may be “stragglers” – those who will need additional support to enter meeting rooms.

Record the session to assist with clarifying small group discussion notes if needed. If you record the session, make sure to let the participants know it will be recorded.

Sample participant reference sheet for virtual consultation video conferencing platform

Entering the Zoom meeting

Your meeting host will provide the URL to the Zoom room. Simply click the URL or paste into your browser of choice to open the meeting.

Once the meeting has started you will see the Zoom menu bar at the bottom of the screen. If you do not see the menu bar, move your mouse slightly and the menu will appear. The menu bar may disappear in full screen mode.

  • Mute/Unmute – simply click on the cursor labeled Mute to do this
  • Video on/off – click on the “Stop Video” icon, to turn the video off or on
  • Participants – allows you to see who is in the meeting
  • Chat – allows you to type a question or comment during the meeting. You can decide if you want everyone to see your question/comment or only the meeting organizer

Editing your displayed name

During a meeting, your name is always shown below your video for others to see. To change your name, move your cursor to your video. A mute icon will appear along with 3 dots, in the top right-hand corner of your video.

Click the 3 dots button and scroll down and click “Rename”.

Enter the name you would like to appear in the Zoom meeting. Click the “Rename” button.

How to raise your hand

During a meeting, click on the icon labeled "Participants" at the bottom center of your screen. At the bottom of the window on the right side of the screen, click the button labeled "Raise Hand." Your digital hand is now raised. Click the raise hand icon again to remove it.

Different views

In the top right hand corner you will see an icon to switch how you view the participants and/or speaker.

Speaker view – in this view, the speaker is in one large box, with a number of small boxes in a row above it showing other participants. You can scroll left or right to see more participants. This is a good choice when there is one person speaking.

Gallery view – in this view, all participants are shown the same size in a grid of rectangles. If there are more people than can be seen in one screen, Zoom puts an arrow on the right side that lets you see a second grid with additional people in it. Gallery View is a good choice if there are a lot of people talking back and forth and the speaker is changing frequently.

Participating in breakout rooms

Breakout rooms are sessions that are split off from the main Zoom meeting. They allow participants to meet in smaller groups and are completely isolated in terms of audio and video from the main session.

When you are assigned to a breakout room, you will see a display like:

While the participants are in the breakout room, you can ask for help. Click the Ask for Help button in the bottom toolbar. You will be given the option to invite the host to your breakout room.

Appendix C: Sample invitation (please adapt to your needs)

National Consultation on Ageism: Be part of the conversation!

Ageism is “the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.”

World Health Organization, 2020

Unlike other forms of discrimination, ageism often goes unchallenged, even though it can have significant negative economic, social, and psychological impacts, on older adults, communities, countries, and economies.

Join us to share your perceptions and experiences of ageism and its impacts, as well as your ideas to address it. Information gathered at this event will contribute to a National Consultation on Addressing the Social and Economic Impacts of Ageism in Canada, undertaken by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum.

Date:

Time:

Location:

Registration: (link)

For more information, please contact:

Appendix D: Sample participation confirmation (please adapt to your needs)

National Consultation on Ageism: Be part of the conversation!

Thank you for registering to participate in the National Consultation on Ageism in Canada. The session will take place on (date) from (time) to (time) at (location). (include link to map)

We appreciate your interest in sharing your perceptions and experiences of ageism and its impacts, and your ideas to address it. Information gathered at this event will contribute to a National Consultation on Addressing the Social and Economic Impacts of Ageism, undertaken by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum.

To ensure the comfort and safety of participants, current COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place, including: (insert appropriate details)

For more information, please contact:

Appendix E: Thank you e-mail template (please adapt to your needs)

National Consultation on Ageism: Thank you for being part of the conversation!

Thank you for participating in the National Consultation on Addressing the Social and Economic Impacts of Ageism in Canada by attending the session on (date).

The results of the series of consultations, along with an online questionnaire, will be summarized in a “What We Heard Report” that will be made available online in 2023. This Report will inform a Policy Options Report for the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum that will propose approaches, initiatives, and strategies to address ageism in Canada.

If you are interested in further contributing your experiences of how ageism has affected you or a loved one, or learning about others’ experiences, you can share your personal story or read other people’s stories.

Appendix F: Sample agenda (please adapt to your needs)

Addressing the social and economic impacts of ageism in Canada

Consultation session

Silver Harbour Seniors’ Centre
1234 Main Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia
September 20th, 2022, 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Agenda

Consultation session goals:

  1. Gather insights and perceptions on the impacts of ageism
  2. Hear of individual experiences with ageism
  3. Gather ideas for solutions

1:00 Welcome and introduction to consultation

1:30 Facilitated conversations (15 minutes each theme, plus break)

  1. Employment
  2. Health and health care
  3. Social inclusion
  4. Safety and security
  5. Media and social media

3:00 Conclusion: Report back, next steps, and event evaluation

3:30 End of session

Consultation discussion questions:

  1. What are the most significant ageism issues related to each of the themes?
  2. What impacts has the COVID-19 pandemic had on ageism in each of the themes?
  3. What efforts are currently working to address ageism related to each of the themes?
  4. What more could be done (for example, new strategies, initiatives or programs) to best address ageism related to each of the themes, and who should be involved?

Appendix G: Consultation introduction script

The introduction to the consultation should set the stage for a successful event by:

  • welcoming participants and creating a friendly and comfortable atmosphere
  • acknowledging the Indigenous land where the event is taking place
  • informing participants of housekeeping details such as washroom locations, timing of breaks, refreshment availability, and WiFi password
  • reading the Privacy Notice Statement to the participants. Note that reading the Privacy Notice Statement is not optional; it must be done before starting the consultation activity
  • introducing the purpose of the session, reviewing the agenda (including process, discussion questions, and timing), and responding to any questions regarding housekeeping and the session itself
  • having participants introduce themselves and state their interest in attending. Depending on size of group and time available, this can be modified to briefer introductions, such as participants introducing themselves to the people beside them; and
  • incorporating an activity to engage participants in the topic, such as showing a short video on ageism, or conducting an ageism “pop quiz” (See Appendix I)

The introduction should be scheduled for approximately 15 to 30 minutes, depending on time allocated for participant introductions and engagement activities. Ensuring participants are clear about the consultation purpose and process will help them to respond appropriately to the discussion questions and to contribute effectively. It should also be clear, that the session is part of a national initiative to give voice to their knowledge and ideas about ageism.

Here is a sample script for the introduction to the purpose and process of the consultation and the agenda for the session:

Good morning/afternoon. My name is (name) and I am (position/organization).

I am pleased to welcome you to this Ageism Consultation session that is part of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Seniors Forum efforts to better understand the impacts of ageism at the individual level, and at the community level.

I would like to acknowledge that we are gathering on the (appropriate land acknowledgement).

Before we proceed, I would like to let you know (housekeeping details).

And now I’d like to outline the consultation itself, and share some background information that will be helpful for our discussions today.

The World Health Organization defines Ageism as “the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.” There is considerable research that describes the negative health, social, societal, and economic impacts of ageism. A summary of this ageism research is included in the Discussion Guide that has been provided to support and inform the consultation conversations.

So today’s event and other sessions taking place during Fall 2022 have been designed to provide an opportunity for Canadians to share their understanding of ageism, and their ideas for addressing it. [If the questionnaire is still open…] In addition, an online questionnaire provides another opportunity for Canadians to provide input and to share their stories of ageism. You are encouraged to complete the online questionnaire in addition to today’s participation.

Input from these sessions and the questionnaire will be included in a What We Heard Report. It will also inform a Policy Options Report for FPT Ministers’ consideration as jurisdictions work to address ageism in Canada.

Our discussions will focus on 5 themes: Employment; Health and Health Care; Social Inclusion; Safety and Security; and Media and Social Media. The following questions will guide the discussions for each theme:

  1. What are the most significant ageism issues related to each of the themes?
  2. What impacts has the COVID-19 pandemic had on ageism in each of the themes?
  3. What efforts are currently working to address ageism related to each of the themes?
  4. What more could be done (for example, new strategies, initiatives or programs) to best address ageism related to each of the themes, and who should be involved?

Each table of participants is asked to identify a facilitator to guide your discussions, along with a recorder who will capture the key points. You will have 15 minutes on each of the themes. (Provide instructions for Option 1 – participants remaining at their table for all 5 theme discussions or provide instructions for Option 2 – rotating among tables for each theme. For events with a small number of participants, all 5 themes could be discussed consecutively as a plenary group.)

Following the discussions, we will re-convene all together, and each group will report a highlight or Aha! Moment from their conversations.

And lastly, before you get started with your table conversations, I would like to draw your attention to the Privacy Notice Statement that is on each table and was displayed at the registration table. We need to point out that by participating, you are consenting to the Privacy Notice Statement.

And now I will turn it over to the table facilitators to get your conversations started…

Appendix H: Privacy notice statement

Purpose of the collection of information - Consultation and engagement is defined as a process where Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) invites organizations and/or individuals to provide their views on a variety of topics. Consultation and engagement helps to develop better, more informed and more effective policies, programs and services. Activities include, but are not limited to:

  • in-person meetings or events (roundtable meetings or meetings with stakeholders, town halls, public meetings, forums, workshops, advisory committees)
  • online consultations (surveys, discussion forums, social media, contests)
  • oral or written submissions (telephone, email, fax or mail)

Participation is voluntary - Participation in all ESDC consultation and engagement activities is voluntary. Acceptance or refusal to participate will in no way affect your relationships with ESDC or the Government of Canada.

ESDC’s authority to collect information - Your personal information is collected under the authority of the Financial Administration Act (FAA). Your personal information will be managed and administered in accordance with Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA), the Privacy Act and other applicable laws.

Uses and disclosures of your personal information - Uses and/or disclosures of your personal information will never result in an administrative decision being made about you. Your personal information will be used by ESDC, other Government of Canada departments or other levels of government for policy analysis, research, program operations and/or communications.

Handling of your personal information - Information provided for ESDC consultation and engagement activities should not include any identifying personal information about you or anyone else—other than your name, organization and contact information. If your feedback includes unsolicited personal information for the purpose of attribution, ESDC may choose to include this information in publicly available reports on the consultation and elsewhere. If personal information is provided by an individual member of the general public (who is not participating on behalf of an organization), ESDC will remove it prior to including the individual’s responses in the data analysis, unless otherwise noted.

Your rights - You have the right to the protection of, access to and correction of your personal information, which is described in Personal Information Bank ESDC PSU 914 (Public Communications) or ESDC PSU 938 (Outreach Activities). Instructions for obtaining this information are outlined in Information about Programs and Information Holdings. Information about Programs and Information Holdings may also be accessed online at any Service Canada Centre. You have the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding ESDC's handling of your personal information.

Open government - Your submission, or portions thereof, may be published on Canada.ca or included in publicly available reports on the consultation. It may also be compiled with other responses to the consultation in an open-data submission on Open.Canada.ca, or shared throughout the Government of Canada or with other levels of government. Please note that only aggregated data would be published and no response linked to any identifiable individual will be published.

Appendix I: Welcome slide

Figure 1: Welcome slide
Figure 1
Figure 1 – Text description

Welcome to the FPT Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum consultations on ageism. Your participation is voluntary and anonymous. You will not be identified during the session or in the report. Please avoid sharing personal identifying information. Please respect the privacy of other participants. We also invite you to complete our questionnaire and share your story.

Appendix J: Consultation overview infographic

Figure 2: Consultation overview infographic
Figure 2
Figure 2 – Text description

Addressing the social and economic impacts of ageism in Canada consultations.

Discussion questions:

  1. What are the most significant ageism issues related to each of the theme areas?
  2. What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on ageism in each of the themes?
  3. What efforts are currently working to address ageism in each of the themes?
  4. What more could be done (for example, new strategies, initiatives or programs) to best address ageism related to each of the themes, and who should be involved?

Theme areas: employment, health and healthcare, social inclusion , safety and security, and media and social media.

To ensure a safe and welcoming space where everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the discussion, please be mindful of these ground rules:

  • keep comments brief and on topic
  • treat everyone with respect
  • be non-judgemental
  • avoid assumptions
  • actively listen to others when they speak and do not interrupt
  • stay on task
  • recognize unconscious biases

Appendix K: Engagement activities

  1. Videos – Show 1 or 2 short videos during the introduction of the session to highlight ageism concepts or examples and visually engage participants. (Closed captioning in French available on You-Tube videos.)
  2. Ageism Quizzes – Print the questions and answers from these quizzes for use as ice-breakers at tables. Alternatively, set up tablets for participants to take the on-line quiz.

Access EveryAGE Counts Quiz.

Access Are You Age Aware?

  1. Ageism Stories - Provide notecards on each table and the following questions. These can be used as conversation starters or responded to individually. Participants can share their responses at the end of the session, if time permits:

“Can you think of a time when you experienced ageism? What were the circumstances? How did it make you feel? How did you respond?”

Figure 3: Logo Federal, Provincial, Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors
Figure 3
Figure 3 – Text description

Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers responsible for seniors Logo

Appendix L: Consultation evaluation form - participant

Addressing the social and economic impacts of ageism in Canada

Consultation Evaluation (Participant Form)

Date:

Organization:

Venue (if applicable):

City:

Province:

Please indicate how much you agree with the following statements

  1. The purpose and goals of the meeting were clear.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  2. The background information provided was helpful.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  3. The way the session took place (format) worked well to achieve the purpose.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  4. I found the activities useful.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  5. I was supported to participate and express my views.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  6. The discussion stayed focused and the timelines were respected.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  7. I now know more about ageism.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  8. What did you like about this event?
  9. How could this event be improved?
  10. Other comments:

Appendix M: Psychological safety guidelines

The following guidelines are for psychological support that may be necessary to provide in the consultations. Discussion of experiences of ageism and of COVID-19 may trigger strong emotional reactions. These measures will help to create a safe environment that encourages trust with vulnerability in the space.

In the introduction to the session, provide participants with information about psychological supports that have been created for the event. Supports can include:

  • remind participants they can leave for a break during the session at any time to a designated space, for example, a quiet hallway or an outside courtyard
  • have a designated person within the hosting team who checks in with individuals who go to the area. This should be done after several minutes, so as to not call too much attention to the person leaving, and to ensure they have had some space to themselves
  • when checking on a person who has been triggered, ask them how they are feeling, and how they can be supported at this time. Sometimes providing options to rejoin or opt out of the session reminds them they have the power to choose what they emotionally need at the time
  • if someone is severely triggered and cannot return to the group, ask them if there is someone who they want the host team to contact. Ask them how the host team can support them at this time
  • if the person decides to return, then support them however they need. They may want accompaniment back to the group, or they may want to find their own way back. During the return, it is important to not make it a big deal, so as to not draw attention in the group

At the end of the session, the facilitator can acknowledge that the topics discussed can be emotional. Participants should be reminded that if anyone needs support, information can be provided on where they can find it (this will depend on the community and available mental health supports). A list of resources can be available that participants can pick up as needed on the way out of the consultation.

Appendix N: Consultation evaluation form - organizer

Addressing the social and economic impacts of ageism in Canada

Consultation Event Evaluation (Organizer form)

Date:

Host Organization:

Number of Attendees:

Number of Returned Participant Forms:

Venue:

City:

Province:

What best describes the majority of participants at the event:

  • older adults
  • individuals involved in providing direct care to older adults in the home, a group living setting (for example, long-term care home, assisted living facility), or other health care settings
  • organizations representing and/or supporting older adults (for example, advocacy organizations, senior centres, community services)
  • expert stakeholders from fields such as academia, health, finance, law, and/or all levels of governments (federal, provincial/ territorial, municipal, and Indigenous)

If this event was aimed at a specific sub-population, for example, new immigrants, Indigenous, 2+LGBTQ peoples, people with disabilities, people living in rural or remote communities, please describe:

Please respond to the following statements:

  1. The purpose and goals of the meeting were clear.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  2. The background information provided was helpful.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  3. The Toolkit materials were helpful for planning and running the event.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  4. The event format was suitable for the purpose.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  5. The time allocated was suitable for the purpose.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  6. The instructions for submitting consultation notes and evaluations were clear.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  7. Accessing the Consultation information, Guide, Toolkit, Questionnaire, and other relevant materials was easy and convenient.
    (1 = strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree or disagree; 4=agree; 5 = strongly agree)
  8. What aspects of this event were particularly valuable to you as an organizer?
  9. How could this event be improved?
  10. Other comments:
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