Personalized community integration support

Research bulletins

No 1, April 2022

No 2, March 2023

No 3, November 2023

Article and summary on Pubmed:
Levasseur, M., Lefebvre, H., Levert, MJ, Lacasse-Bédard, J., Desrosiers, J., Therriault, PY & Carbonneau, H. (2016). Personalized citizen assistance for social participation (APIC): A promising intervention for increasing mobility, accomplishment of social activities and frequency of leisure activities in older adults with disabilities. Archives of gerontology and geriatrics, 64, 96-102.

Project description, as published in the journal Encrâge, 2016

Helping seniors with disabilities maintain a socially active life
The social participation, that is to say the involvement of the person in activities that provide interactions with others in the community, has a positive impact on the health and quality of life of seniors. Unfortunately, nearly one in four seniors would like to participate in more social or leisure activities, but are unable to do so. Lack of time or knowledge, health status, difficulty using community resources or challenges related to transportation may contribute to limiting participation. A study was therefore carried out by Professor Mélanie Levasseur's team to evaluate the effects of personalized community integration support (APIC) on the social participation of 16 seniors with disabilities.

Personalized community integration support
APIC is a “tailor-made” program which consists of helping a senior with disabilities to target and carry out activities that are important to them. The elder is then placed in the presence of a citizen guide trained and supervised by the research team for 3 hours per week. These activities can be, for example, going to eat at a restaurant, taking a walk or participating in an activity offered by a community organization.

Research results including what seniors supported for 6 months think
Following APIC, participants increased their mobility, their ability to perform social activities, and their frequency of leisure activities. All seniors reported being satisfied and recommend APIC: “Get accompanied, you will love this!” Many consider that the program exceeded their expectations and must be implemented: “Getting out is essential for the recovery of single people and for the improvement of their condition“. The presence and support offered by the guide helped to compensate for a social network that was sometimes unavailable or crumbling: “I confided certain things to him… I sometimes prefer that to confiding in my daughter. Brothers and sisters, it’s precious to keep a good understanding… I hadn’t hoped to find that (companion)“.

Seniors report that APIC has helped improve their physical and mental abilities in addition to increasing their physical and psychological well-being, their self-esteem and their motivation: “I had fun, I felt like the others... balanced, part of society... I looked forward to the following week to do another activity, especially since it was me who chose it... I recovered more of physical energy... I am able to make a project and see it through to the end... I can do things now that I couldn't do before“. APIC also helped seniors resume, maintain, explore, experiment and increase the frequency of social activities that were meaningful to them, as illustrated in the logbook of one of the companions of an accompanied couple: “He insisted to come and join us saying that it would be good for him to get his mind off things. Once again, we have a good time and indeed Mr. feels better. My presence and the simple fact of playing Rummy are a great benefit to them according to Mr."“.

These explorations and achievements were carried out in a reassuring and motivating context. They allowed seniors to regain confidence in their abilities and mobilize their personal resources. APIC also allowed seniors to make future plans aimed at remaining physically and cognitively active, as well as integrated into their community. APIC allows seniors to benefit from individual monitoring adapted to their needs and interests. This program proves to be an innovative and promising intervention to promote the social participation of seniors with disabilities.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact:

RN, MA gerontology
Research coordinator, Connect Laboratory

Tel.: 819 780-2220, extension 45415
E-mail : Or

If you would like to participate in APIC research and you are staying: 

  • To Sherbrooke : contact the Accorderie de Sherbrooke at 819-821-7162 (ext. 7)
  • near the area ofAnjou (Montreal): contact SARA d’Anjou at 514-351-2517
  • In Levi's: contact the Bellechasse-Lévis-Lotbinière Volunteer Action Center at 418-838-4094
  • In Drummondville: contact the Drummond Volunteer Action Center at 819-472-6101

If you wish to receive APIC and you live: 

  • In Sherbrooke: contact the Estrie Rehabilitation Center at 819-346-8411 ext. 43357
  • In Coaticook: contact the Volunteer Action Center of the MRC of Coaticook at 819-849-7011