Julie Castonguay

Julie Castonguay holds both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in social services from Laval University and is currently completing a doctorate in gerontology at the Université de Sherbrooke.

Her research focuses on the commitment of volunteers in home support among the elderly. At the Research Centre on Aging (CDRV), Dr. Marie Beaulieu, a researcher at the Research Centre on Aging and full professor at the Université de Sherbrooke's school of social work, and Dr. Andrée Sévigny, a reseacher and member of the Centre d’excellence sur le vieillissement de Québec (CHU de Québec), are supervising Ms. Castonguay's work.

More specifically, her research examines the constraints and levers to volunteering, among Baby-Boomers born in Québec between 1943 and 1951, in community organizations and in home support to the elderly. These community organizations offer various types of support, notably delivering meals to homes, transportation, accompaniment, friendly visits, and respite. Examples of such organizations in Sherbrooke include Sercovie and Les Petits Frères.

To find out more about volunteering

In her doctoral thesis, Ms. Julie Castonguay examines the problem which community organizations face: recruiting and retaining volunteers. This problem is of great concern in the context of an aging population, because community organizations rely essentially on volunteers to operate.

The massive retirement of Baby-Boomers may be a game changer; however, having free time at one's disposal doesn't necessarily translate into volunteering. In order to mobilize Baby-Boomers and to safeguard the next generation of volunteers, the recruitment, welcoming and retention of volunteers must be adapted to their diversified reality. That is why Ms. Castonguay is seeking to identify and to better understand the constraints and levers to volunteer commitment - in order to stimulate and maintain it.

Many noteworthy, positive outcomes are associated with volunteering. For example, it has been noted that volunteers, when compared to non-volunteers, enjoy health benefits associated with volunteering, opportunities to reinforce and transmit knowledge, and a greater feeling of well-being. In addition, volunteering helps seniors to break their isolation and to offer support to their loved ones, as well as to build, maintain and consolidate the social fabric.

Outcomes for the CDRV

As one of our members, Ms. Julie Castonguay's work brings visibility to the Research Centre on Aging. She already has several publications and articles under her belt, including: a peer-reviewed article, a chapter in a book, articles in professional publications without committees, conferences, bulletins, research reports, media interviews, and so on - only positive news for the CDRV.

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