Realize engages in a multitude of endeavours related to HIV, disability, and rehabilitation. Our programs focus on the following three strategic directions: healthy aging, optimal health and well-being, and meaningful social inclusion.
HIV and Aging
Realize promotes healthy aging with episodic disabilities, including HIV, and other chronic conditions by leading coordinated efforts in bridging new and strengthening existing partnerships, across clinical, research, community, and policy domains in chronic disease, aging and rehabilitation.
- Connecting the aging, HIV and rehabilitation sectors to foster a coordinated response to HIV and aging.
- Responding to new and emerging issues in HIV, aging and comorbidities.
- Considering the multi‐dimensional nature of disability including the physical, cognitive, mental, emotional, and social health challenges experienced by people aging with HIV across the lifespan.
- Developing and disseminating knowledge on the health‐related challenges associated with HIV and aging, and living strategies and interventions that will address disability and enhance the health of people aging with HIV.
- Engaging in policy and health systems change that will enhance healthy aging among people living with HIV.
- Supporting the use of evidence‐informed palliative and end‐of‐life care approaches for people living with HIV and related conditions.
Optimal Health and Well-Being
Realize plays a leadership role in promoting positive changes in policy and practice to enhance timely and appropriate access to rehabilitation for people living with HIV and other episodic disabilities by advancing education with clinical, research, community and policy stakeholders on evidence-informed rehabilitation interventions and models of service delivery to prevent or mitigate disability.
- Educating current and future rehabilitation professionals, and other referring health and social care providers about the role for rehabilitation in the context of HIV and chronic episodic conditions and effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions
- Responding to new and emerging learning needs in HIV, episodic illness, and rehabilitation education, mentorship, and professional development
- Developing innovative rehabilitation service delivery models and evaluating their ability to effectively address disability and enhance the health of people living with HIV and other related chronic and potentially episodic conditions
- Developing a rigorous cost-benefit analysis of rehabilitation that can be used to influence policy-makers to provide more support of rehabilitation services
- Fostering partnerships across chronic illness sectors to promote a coordinated service and policy response to access to rehabilitation
- Engaging in opportunities to enhance rehabilitation as a component of primary care within the local, provincial, or national scope
- Promoting access to rehabilitation for areas to address mental and emotional health concerns
- Considering roles for formalized rehabilitation services (PT and OT) and other broader evidence-based supports and interventions (e.g. access to peer support networks, community-based exercise), etc.
Episodic Disabilities and Meaningful Social Inclusion
Realize is a national voice in championing and promoting the social inclusion of people living with HIV and other episodic disabilities by leading a network of employers, insurers, rehabilitation providers, representatives from community organizations, and government stakeholders for advancing social inclusion and financial security for people aging with chronic illness.
- Advancing programing and policies surrounding supportive and flexible policies and programming related to employment, retirement and engaging in school ensuring greater social engagement and financial security aging with chronic disease.
- Enhancing meaningful, timely and appropriate engagement in the employment, volunteerism, student life, or retirement.
- Reducing uncertainty and ensuring financial security in context of aging with chronic illness.
- Initiating and maintaining social networks, relationships, connectedness.
- Promoting social engagement through participation in employment and/or volunteerism. Connecting with employers, insurers, rehabilitation providers, and government to promote adaptable policies and programs to enhance recruitment and retention of people living with HIV or other chronic related conditions in the workplace.
- Educating employers, insurers, human resource professionals on the role for rehabilitation and evidence on effectiveness of rehabilitation.
- Addressing the issues of episodic disability and ‘able-ism’ in the HIV, chronic disease, and employment sectors.