Aging, quality of life in old age, living with dementia, provisions of care, older adult missing persons

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LARISSA KOWALSKI, MA

Biography:

Larissa Kowalski is a social gerontologist with a research and policy focus on aging, quality of life in old age, and home and community-based care for older adults. She has over ten years of experience working in the healthcare and non-profit sector and previously worked as a research associate for the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing where she developed and contributed to emerging research on older individuals who are reported missing. An accompaniment to this work was her identification of risk factors that lead vulnerable, at-risk older adults to go repeatedly missing. She is an advisory committee member for the International Consortium of Dementia and Wayfinding and has presented her research for the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada and the Canadian Association on Gerontology, among others. She has liaised with Ontario’s Police College to improve police officers working knowledge of dementia and going missing, and she has worked with BC’s Centre for Missing Persons to discuss challenges in police responses to missing persons. She recently completed her MA in Sociology at the University of Western Ontario, where she used police data and employed a mixed-methods research design to develop a typology for older adults who are reported missing in Canada. Her master’s research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and her work has been published in Policing: An International Journal. She is presently employed at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Community Health and Social Innovation Hub as the Lead Researcher on Individual and Institutional Experiences of Aging and Living with Dementia.