Dr. Alex Mihailidis
AGE-WELL's Dr. Alex Mihailidis

Volunteering can be a highly rewarding part of life, and Statistics Canada tells us that volunteer hours start to increase significantly after age 45. Not surprising, as many of us have not only more time, but also a growing desire to give back to the community.

If you’re looking for a unique and fulfilling way to make a difference, come join us at AGE-WELL.

AGE-WELL is a national network of researchers, industry and non-profits dedicated to helping Canadians be healthy, active and independent as they age. We’re doing this by developing technologies and services that address mobility, memory and other challenges that often increase with age.

But cool technologies don’t amount to a hill of beans if the end results are not practical or user-friendly in the real world. That’s why AGE-WELL is also a network of older adults and caregivers who are actively engaged in the research and development process: More than 4,500 are involved in AGE-WELL projects, and more are always welcome. With more than 70 projects underway, there is sure to be something that will capture your interest.

Let me emphasize that you do not have to be a technology geek. What we’re looking for most of all are your involvement and feedback as the user of a technology or service under development. You can be hands-on, testing products with one of our research teams or in your own home. Right now, for example, older adults in an AGE-WELL study are sitting in a driving simulator at our host institution, the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network, to help determine the best applications for self-driving cars. 

If you prefer, you can be part of planning, virtually or in person, as a member of a research and design team or an advisory committee. There are opportunities to go to conferences and other tech and aging events, with partial funding (reimbursement) of registration, travel or other participation fees. You can even help decide which research projects get funded by giving input on the relevancy of project proposals.

From wearable technology to smart homes, social robots and health apps, we welcome your feedback, positive and negative. In fact, AGE-WELL thrives, and can only thrive, with your input and involvement. Together we’ll redefine what’s possible for older adults and their caregivers, for this and future generations. It’s the AGE-WELL way. 

Read: AGE-WELL Volunteers in Action

Originally published in Issue 02 of YouAreUNLTD Magazine.