Janet Fast, BHE; MsC (Consumer Studies); PhD (Family & Consumer Economics)

Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Human Ecology Dept


Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Human Ecology Dept
316 Human Ecology Building
8905 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2N1


Area of Study / Keywords

Economics of aging; Family/friend care; Public policy;; Technology and aging


Job/Research Area: Economics of aging and family/friend care; Family economic issues; Public policy (health and continuing care, labour, income security); Technologies to support family carers and older workers 


Co-author of two of the five most read articles published in the International Journal of Care and Caring in 2019 (Towards sustainable family care: using goals to reframe the user-centred design of technologies to support carers; and Critical thinking and reasoning abilities: Assistive Technologies);

Visiting Professor, Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Economy, Leeds University, 2014.

Mirabelli-Glossop Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Vanier Institute on the Family, 2012


Major Responsibilities/Research Interests: Dr. Fast holds a doctorate in Family and Consumer Economics from Cornell University. Throughout her career, Janet has engaged in research, policy and practice with a focus on the economics of aging and the paid work and unpaid care work of family members. Her research addresses family, labour, health and continuing care policy issues, and she is often called on to consult with or advise government policy-makers and NGOs on policy related to caregiving and workplace supports. She currently co-leads an international and multidisciplinary research team investigating the intersection of work and care across the life course. She is a member of the leadership teams of two large, transdisciplinary and international research programs: the AGE-WELL National Centres of Excellence, Canada’s aging and technology network; and the UK-based Sustainable Care: Connecting People and Systems program.

Current Research Grants

As Co-investigator:

AGE-WELL (Aging gracefully across environments using technology to support wellness, engagement, and long life). National Centres of Excellence. Lead, Challenge Area on Financial Well-being and Employment; and Core Research Project Enhancing employability of older workers and family carers

Sustainable Care: Connecting people and systems. UK Economic and Social Research Council. 

 Health, Wealth, and Happiness: Families and a Good Old Age?. Kule Institute for Advanced Studies. $99,723.

 Health, Wealth, and Happiness: Families and a Good Old Age?. Kule Institute for Advanced Studies. $99,723.


Graduate students currently supervised and their research topics/areas 

Tori Bleeks (PhD, Aging). Dissertation title: The arts and aging.

Andrew Magnaye (MSc/PhD, Aging). 

Choong Kim (PhD, Aging). Dissertation title: Health outcomes for family caregivers.

Jonathan Lai (MSc, Aging).

Shanika Donalds (MSc/PhD, Aging). Thesis title: Older caregivers' Financial Well-being.

Jamie MacDonald (MSc, Aging)


Dr. Fast in the News

An end to the old ways of banking: New initiative to help older clients use digital and online services aimed at helping them stay safe during pandemic

'Not limited to adults': Many Canadian youth are caregivers, says U of A researcher.

More than a quarter of young Canadians aged 15 to 19 are caregivers, research showsal


HECOL 300 - Policy Development and Evaluation

Processes of policy development, implementation and analysis; Canadian policy environments, institutional frameworks and instruments; application to professional practice and to current social and economic issues.

Fall Term 2021
HECOL 322 - Family Economic Issues

An examination of current issues affecting the economic well-being of Canadian families and of government policies which address those issues. Issues explored include work and family; the economics of childbearing, education, delayed life transitions, and aging; intrafamily allocation of resources; and money and family relationships. Prerequisites: ECON 101; it is recommended that students have completed both ECON 101 and 102.

Winter Term 2022
HECOL 415 - Families and Aging

Explores issues in mid and later life families including intergenerational and interpersonal relationships and family care. Prerequisite: HECOL 214 or 313.

Fall Term 2021
HECOL 550 - Selected Topics in Human Ecology

Topics of current interest. May be taken for credit more than once. Prerequisite: consent of Instructor.

Fall Term 2021
HECOL 615 - Families and Aging

Current issues in mid- and later-life families including relationships between aging parents and adult children, grandparent relationships, family caregiving.

Fall Term 2021

Browse more courses taught by Janet Fast


Trajectories of family care over the life course: Evidence from Canada
Author(s): Fast, J., Eales, J., Keating, N., Lee, Y. & Kim, C..
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: Aging and Society, DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X19001806

Seeking resilience: The care capacity goals of family carers and the role of technology in achieving them.
Author(s): Leslie, M., Gray, R.., Eales, J., Fast, J., Magnaye, A., & Khayatzadeh-Mahani, A..
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: BMC Geriatrics, 20(1), DOI: https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-020-1455-x

Caregivers’ “failure to thrive”: A case for health and continuing care systems transformation
Author(s): Magnaye, A., Eales, J., Fast, J., Stolow, M. & Leslie, M.
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: Special joint issue of the Healthcare Management Forum and the International Journal of Care Coordination on system transformation. DOI: https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/3S6K5HFRMDWTRD8BDBGN/full

The cost of caring: Out‐of‐pocket expenditures and financial hardship among Canadian carers
Author(s): Duncan, K., Fast, J., Shooshtari, S., Roger, K., & Han, J.
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: International Journal of Care and Caring DOI: 10.1332/239788220X15845551975572

The availability and use of flexible work arrangements and caregiving leaves: Lessons learned about policies and practice
Author(s): Lero, D., & Fast, J. E.
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: Journal of Law and Equity
Volume: 14
Page Numbers: 1-31

Life course trajectories of family care
Author(s): Keating, N. C., Eales, J. Funk, L., Fast, J. & Min, J.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: International Journal of Care and Caring, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/239788219X15473079319309

Care-related out-of-pocket spending and caregiving consequences: Results from a Canadian population-based study.
Author(s): Shooshtari, S., Duncan, K.A., Roger, K., Fast, J., Han, J.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Journal of Family and Economic Issues
Page Numbers: 1-16

The impact of eldercare on adult children’s health and employment in transitions in China.
Author(s): Pei, X., Luo, H., Lin, Z., Keating, N., & Fast, J.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Volume: 28
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 1-16

Care-related out-of-pocket expenditures in Canada.
Author(s): Duncan, K. A., Shooshtari, S., Roger, K., Fast, J., & Han, J.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Volume: 27
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 277-296
External Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1052-3073.27.2.277
Determinants of loneliness among older adults in Canada
Author(s): De Jong Gierveld, J., Keating, N. & Fast, J.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Canadian Journal on Aging,
Volume: 34
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 125-136

A taxonomy of the economic costs of family care to adults
Author(s): Keating, N., Fast, J., Lero, D., Lucas, S., & Eales, J.
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Journal of the Economics of Aging
Volume: 3
Page Numbers: 11–20