The AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence is announcing a set of 24 research projects from across Canada that are poised to deliver real-world benefits for the aging population and their caregivers.

Dr. Cosmin Munteanu (University of Toronto) will create interactive apps to reduce older adults’ social isolation.

Dr. Cosmin Munteanu (University of Toronto) will create interactive apps to reduce older adults’ social isolation.

The projects are led by 50 researchers at 19 universities and research centres across seven Canadian provinces. In total, there are 128 partners from industry, government and non-for-profit organizations.

Each research team receives up to $30,000 of seed funding until April 2020. The researchers will dedicate the year to further developing their plans, building capacity and liaising with stakeholders, including older adults and caregivers who will take part in all aspects of each project, from the start.

“This research builds on AGE-WELL’s success of providing older adults and caregivers with technology-based solutions to improve health, quality of life and independence,” said Dr. Alex Mihailidis, AGE-WELL Scientific Co-Director and CEO. “These projects offer unique and practical innovations that will help shape the future of aging in Canada.”

The projects announced today form the basis of AGE-WELL’s future Core Research Program. AGE-WELL is completing the final year of its five-year mandate (2015-20) and awaits a three-year-term renewal, to be determined by fall 2019. With a successful funding review, the most promising projects will receive three-year grants.

The new Core Research Program will include projects tackling research questions across all of AGE-WELL’s 8 challenge areas. These include:

  • Supportive homes & communities
  • Health care & health service delivery
  • Autonomy & independence
  • Cognitive health & dementia
  • Mobility & transportation
  • Healthy lifestyles & wellness
  • Staying connected
  • Financial wellness & employment

Dr. Lili Liu (University of Alberta) will examine technologies for assessing and managing wayfinding risks for people living with dementia in their communities.

Dr. Lili Liu (University of Alberta) will examine technologies for assessing and managing wayfinding risks for people living with dementia in their communities.

“The new research projects were carefully selected to move the dial in all eight of the challenge areas that were determined through in-depth stakeholder consultations,” said Dr. Mihailidis. “The outcomes will make a meaningful difference in the daily lives of older adults and their caregivers, alleviate pressure on the health-care system and deliver social and economic benefits nationally.”

Each research project will create new technologies, services and/or policies that have real-world impact, for example:

  • Helping older adults and family caregivers overcome barriers to employment
  • Building capacity for telediabetes care in urban Indigenous communities
  • Creating interactive apps to reduce older adults’ social isolation

AGE-WELL partnered with MEDTEQ and Mitacs to create additional funding opportunities for eligible applications.

Quick facts

  • AGE-WELL received 74 applications proposing a broad range of technology-based solutions, underscoring the need for funding support in the area of technology and aging
  • 46% of partners on the successful projects are new to AGE-WELL and ready to be part of the future program
  • Five projects are led or co-led by former AGE-WELL trainees
  • AGE-WELL’s first Core Research Program has supported 26 research teams developing 42 products (technologies, services or policies/practices) to support healthy aging.

Originally published by AGE-WELL