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Advancing education for seniors care with $2M funding renewal

May 10, 2018

WATERLOO, Ont. (May 10, 2018) – Over $2M has been committed to advancing innovative education and training for seniors care in Canada, and Kitchener-Waterloo is at the hub of this work. The funding was announced today at Conestoga College to renew a five-year, multi-industry partnership.

This innovative collaboration, led by Dr. Veronique Boscart who is now entering her second term as CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges, brings together experts in research, education, health care and technology. In addition to Conestoga College, partners include the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), Schlegel Villages, Essity, PointClickCare and Health eTraining International. Matched funding was provided by the Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

With an aging population and increasing pressure on the health care system, the need for a highly skilled workforce has never been greater. “As our older adult population grows and the complexities of care increase, specialized training is a priority,” says Josie d’Avernas, Executive Director at RIA. “This unique partnership and funding commitment will enable us to explore new training solutions and better prepare current and future health care professionals.”
In addition to developing high quality education and professional development opportunities for the senior care sector, Dr. Boscart and her team will advance research on best practices and effective care models. Her Chair position, jointly held at Conestoga and RIA, will extend until 2022. A new faculty position at the college has also been added to further grow this initiative. Linda Sheiban, a registered nurse and researcher with a specialization in geriatrics, has been appointed the Schlegel Associate Research Chair for Seniors Care.

One of the unique elements of this partnership is the impressive industry investment. Schlegel Villages, owner and operator of 19 long-term care and retirement communities, is the primary industry partner contributing $500,000 over five years. In addition to financial support, Schlegel Villages will also provide opportunities for new education programs to be trialed and applied in practice.

“We are pleased to be a partner and see the great work of Dr. Boscart and her team continue,” says Paul Brown, COO at Schlegel Villages. “This investment in innovative education and training will benefit the residents and families we serve, but also those across the country.”

At today’s announcement, community partners, supporters and friends gathered to celebrate. The continuation and growth of this partnership and Dr. Boscart’s Chair position will put needed focus on education in seniors care. The impact will be felt by both health professionals and the older adults they support.

About the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging

The Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and care of older adults. By integrating research, education and practice, RIA supports research and mobilizes research evidence so it can inform programs, be integrated into education and training, and influence practice and policy. The best of what is learned is then shared broadly to benefit older adults everywhere. For more information go to

Hilary Dunn
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging
519-904-0660 ext. 4104

Register for the Leadership Program!

February 26, 2018

RIA and Conestoga College are offering another round of the award-winning Leadership Program for Long-term Care and Retirement Living starting April 4, 2018. Focusing on essential leadership capabilities that are in demand for today’s leaders, this 184-hour certificate program is for leaders and aspiring leaders, across all departments, at all levels  of your organization. This program can be adapted for leaders in home care, continuing care, specialized geriatric services and acute care settings.

Learn more or register today by contacting Regina Dryngiewicz (; 519-748-5220 ext. 3635).


Countdown is on for Walk with Me 2018

February 16, 2018

We cannot wait for Walk with Me 2018! Ashton Applewhite, anti-ageism activist and TED2017 main stage speaker, will kick off the conference.

Ashton is a leading voice in an emerging movement dedicated to dismantling ageism and making age a criterion for diversity. The author of This Chair Rocks, she reveals the untapped possibilities of late life—in our communities, at work, and in ourselves.

You won’t want to miss it. There are now 1-day passes available.

Learn more.

LIVING the Dementia Journey named Best New Product of 2017

November 29, 2017

The Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) held their annual Awards Gala on November 28, 2017 to honour the achievements, innovations, and hard work of the long-term care sector.  We are thrilled that the LIVING the Dementia Journey program was awarded the Best New Long-Term Care Product or Service of the Year!

LIVING the Dementia Journey was created through a collaboration between the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) at University of Waterloo, Schlegel Villages and the RIA. It is an evidence-based training program that builds awareness, understanding, and practical skills to support persons living with dementia with compassion, dignity and respect.

Congratulations to the LIVING the Dementia Journey team, and all of the award winners that were honoured yesterday!

Group photo

RIA team members accept the award for Best New Product or Service on behalf of the LIVING the Dementia Journey team at the 2017 Awards Gala hosted by the Ontario Long Term Care Association.



We’re Hiring a Knowledge Broker

November 9, 2017

Our team is growing again!  We’re looking for a Knowledge Broker to connect with stakeholders and develop knowledge exchange products, tools and events in support of an overall knowledge mobilization strategy to inform policy and program development.

Learn more.