Canadian Journal on Aging
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Participatory action research (PAR) is well suited to research that aims to address social exclusion and inclusion in older age. Illustrations of and reflections on PAR with older adults are scarce, particularly the initiation stage, which sets the stage for the cyclical participatory action that follows. In this article, we describe the initiation of a PAR project with older adults and reflect on the alignment of this process with key participatory principles and fit within typical research structures. Findings point to the tensions between developing relationships over time and time-sensitive calls for funding, how traditional conceptions of research can influence creating equitable partnerships, and the need for development of ethical and publishing guidelines that address participatory approaches. These key insights can be applied to help achieve the potential of PAR: to address issues of concern by collaboratively and equitably working with the people most affected.