Christine Mills, RD, MPH, PhD Candidate Aging and Health

School of Rehabilitation Therapy
Queen's University

Christine (Chris) Mills is a registered dietitian and PhD candidate in Aging and Health at Queen's University, Kingston. Her dissertation research focuses on nutrition risk in community-dwelling older adults and innovative models for aging-in-place in naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs). Using mixed methods, Chris is examining the experiences of older adults living in NORCs and their nutrition risk status. She is also examining correlates and predictors of nutrition risk and changes in nutrition risk using data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Chris completed her master's of public health and dietetic internship at the University of Toronto, where she researched added sugars in the Canadian food supply, and her bachelor's in applied human nutrition at the University of Guelph where she examined attitudes towards obesity among dietetic students and consumer perceptions of low-sodium cheese. Prior to studying dietetics Chris worked as a federal public servant at the Public Health Agency of Canada. She also worked as a dietitian in primary care before returning to university to pursue doctoral studies. Other interests include interprofessional primary care, and nutrition knowledge and status of military and veteran families.

Nutritional risk in naturally occurring retirement communities in Ontario, Canada

Older adults are the fastest-growing demographic group in Canada. Most older adults want to age-in-place within their communities. One-third of these community-dwelling older adults in Canada are at nutrition risk, the risk of poor dietary intake and nutritional status, with consequences including increased frailty, decreased quality of life, increased hospitalization, and higher mortality rates. This presentation will discuss nutritional risk in seven naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) in Ontario, Canada. The objectives of the study were to examine correlates of nutritional risk among residents in these NORCs prior to the implementation of an innovative aging-in-place program. Participants were screened for nutritional risk using Seniors in the Community: Risk Evaluation for Eating & Nutrition (SCREEN)-14. Descriptive statistics were calculated for SCREEN-14 score and for demographic variables. Spearman’s rho and Pearson’s correlation coefficient were calculated where appropriate. Results of these statistical analyses will be presented, along with a brief description of the novel aging-in-place program being implemented.