Peer Volunteer Coaches Support Healthy Aging in the Community

Supporting Healthy Aging by Peer Education and Support (SHAPES)



Seniors who hope to stay in their own homes and communities as they age need to stay healthy. Focused efforts, promoting healthy lifestyle and health behaviours, could significantly improve quality of life for seniors. This project will assess the impact of trained peer volunteer health coaches recruited from seniors centres on increasing health literacy in seniors and promoting healthy lifestyles.


Lead: Dr. Adrian Wagg, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Alberta in collaboration with Edmonton seniors centres.


Through the use of peer educators, the project plans to focus on healthy brain, healthy heart and healthy bones through information, discussion, and increased awareness of self-managed care practice and related techniques. It is anticipated that increased use, promotion of, and coaching in self-managed care for common medical problems will positively affect the ability of older people to ‘age in place.’

Emerging impact

The project is developing a recruitment package and three health education modules for use by peer volunteer health coaches. Once available, these resources can be adapted for use in other seniors’ centres.