RIA In The News
Ground-breaking ceremony for Schlegel Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging a success
(November 13, 2013) Today's ground-breaking ceremony celebrated the beginning of construction on University of Waterloo's North Campus, the future home of the RIA. Learn more.
The event received the following media attention:
- (November 14, 2013) Morning Post Exchange: Work Starts on Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging. Read the article.
- (November 14, 2013) The Record: Breaking Ground on Institute for Aging.
- (November 14, 2013) CNW: Work started on Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging. Read the article.
Register today - Walk With Me: Changing the culture of aging in Canada
(October 15, 2013) Registration is now open for the first Canadian conference on changing the culture of aging. Register today.
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging: Innovation for a changing world
(September 2013) RIA was featured on Senioropolis.com this month to highlight some of our innovative projects. Learn more.
For a healthier brain, stay active and sleep well
(August 2013) RIA Research Scientist Dr. Andrew Robertson and Schlegel Research Chair Dr. Rich Hughson are profiled on ALCOA's Silver Times for their work on brain health and healthy aging. Learn more.
Cowan Foundation supports RIA research-to-practice initiatives
(June 25, 2013) The RIA is pleased to announce the launch of a 3 year project to accelerate the application of research to practice in senior living environments. This project is made possible through a generous donation from The Cowan Foundation. Learn more.
A look at astronaut Chris Hadfield’s scientific efforts aboard the International Space Station
(May 12, 2013) Schlegel Research Chair Rich Hughson is profiled alongside astronaut Chris Hadfiled in The Star for his research looking at how blood vessels respond after long trips in space. Learn more.
Stats Canada uses Schlegel Research Chair Heather Keller's SCREEN, finds 1/3 of Canada's seniors at nutritional risk
(Macrch 20, 2013) Statitics Canada released the results of the Healthy Aging arm of their Canadian Community Health Survey which found that 1/3 of community dwelling seniors are at nutritional risk. The study used an adapted version of A-HA Researcher and Schlegel Research Chair Dr. Heather Keller's SCREEN tool (Seniors in the Community Risk Evaluation for Eating and Nutrition).
Cowan Foundation supports RIA's memory care program
(February 28, 2013) RIA is pleased to announce the launch of a specialized memory care program in collaboration with the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team and Schlegel Villages. This program is made possible through a generous donation from The Cowan Foundation and will be offered in Kitchener, Guelph, Etobicoke and Whitby.
RIA founder Ron Schlegel named Officer of the Order of Canada
(December 31, 2012) RIA founder Ron Schlegel named Officer of the Order of Canada. He is being recognized for his work in academia, commerce and philanthropy, particularly for his commitment to improving the quality of life of seniors across Canada.
UW grad student working with RIA researcher receives research grant
(December 17, 2012) University of Waterloo graduate student Meagan Warnica is working with RIA researcher Dr. Andrew Laing in his biomechanics lab where the team is investigating safety flooring and its relation to impact upon falling. She has received a TD Grant to support her research activities.
Government supports new research in seniors care at Conestoga College
(November 9, 2012) Conestoga College will be awarded $800,000 over five years under the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program. Dr. Veronique Boscart, Schlegel Chair and chairholder of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in seniors care, will work in partnership with Schlegel Villages, to help advance post-secondary education research as well as services for seniors.
RIA President talks with CTV about Schlegel Village developing on UW campus
(November 6, 2012) RIA President, Mike Sharratt sits down with CTV news to discuss the development of a new Schlegel Village on University of Waterloo's North Campus. The project will involve a Learning, Research and Innovation Centre (1 of 3 in Ontario) where older adults and students will have the chance to learn from each other.
Ron Schlegel presented with Diamond Jubilee
(February 6, 2012) Philanthropist and founder of RIA, Ron Schlegel, was awarded with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal this month. He was honoured for his commitment to improving the well-being of others through his leadership within the community.
Medication concerns for older adults - Dr. Carlos Rojas-Fernandez
(January 30, 2012) Schlegel Research Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, Dr. Carlos Rojas-Fernandez, was featured in The Record to promote his public lecture on medication use for older adults at the University of Waterloo.
Schlegel Research Chair working to improve drug therapy for the elderly
(January 29, 2012) Schlegel Research Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, Dr. Carlos Rojas-Fernandez, was featured in a University of Waterloo news release. The goal of Dr. Rojas-Fernandez's research program is to enhance the quality of life and care of older adults by addressing issues with medication use in seniors (e.g., overuse, underuse and use of medications that are generally not well-suited for older people).
Ron Schlegel honoured with Barnraiser Award
(January 19, 2012) Ron Schlegel, the founder of RIA, received the 4th Barnraiser Award at an event in Kitchener. The award was inspired by Governor General David Johnston and is presented to honour community leaders in the Waterloo region.
RIA project highlight for Waterloo region in 2012
(December 30, 2011) The RIA and the newly announced North Campus project, which includes building a new 192-bed long-term care facility at University of Waterloo, were recognized by The Record as key highlights for 2012.
RIA a success for University of Waterloo
(December 17, 2011) The Record featured the University of Waterloo in an article celebrating the institution's 55th year. The RIA was recognized as one of UW's important initiatives that will bring success to UW and the region.
RIA research featured in Long Term Care (LTC) Magazine
(Fall 2011) In the Fall 2011 issue of the Ontario Long Term Care Association's LTC Magazine three different RIA research projects are highlighted. Visit the link below and select page 46 to learn about optimizing pureed foods, the importance of exercise, and the benefits of 'reminiscing together'.
RIA Receives International Citation of Honour
(October 16-19, 2011) The RIA received an honorary citation as part of the 2011 Excellence in Ageing Services Award from the International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (IAHSA). IAHSA's Award program recognizes organizations and/or individuals for programs and services that are models of innovation and excellence and that contribute significantly to the quality of life in the individuals served.
|The photo was taken at the IAHSA conference in Washington, DC where the RIA received the award. From left to right: Audrey Weiner (incoming Chair of the Board of Leading Age), Christa Monkhouse (IAHSA Board and Chair of the Awards Committee), Josie d'Avernas (Associate Director, Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging), Jennifer Carson (Consultant, Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging), and Glenn Bunny (IAHSA Board).|
RIA: "A great way to study aging"
(August 31, 2011) RIA and founder Ron Schlegel were featured in The Record as examples of the innovation needed to research and preapre for Canada's aging population.
Partners to build research centre for seniors at the University of Waterloo
(August 29, 2011) An ambitious partnership involving the Ontario government, postsecondary sector and Schlegel Villages will develop a centre of excellence for research, training and innovation in senior health care and wellness at the University of Waterloo. The goal is to help Canada better prepare for an aging population.
The development on Waterloo's north campus will be built in three phases, starting with a 192-bed Long Term Care home owned and managed by the Schlegel Villages. It will include a specialized building where faculty, staff and students from the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) will work and learn with residents and staff from the adjacent LTC home.
Two later phases will develop assisted living and independent living for seniors as well as primary care health centre to create a full continuum of care. Total construction costs will be about $130 Million.
RIA Achieves International Citation of Honour
(August 19, 2011) The RIA has been selected to receive an honorary citation as part of the 2011 Excellence in Ageing Services Award from the International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (IAHSA). IAHSA's Award program recognizes organizations and/or individuals for programs and services that are models of innovation and excellence and that contribute significantly to the quality of life in the individuals served.
RIA is being recognized for it "Working Together to Put Living First" program, an innovative approach to changing the culture of aging in Long Term Care using an appreciative inquiry approach. Working collaboratively with staff, residents and family members of the Schlegel Villages - a group of 11 Long Term Care Homes in Ontario, Canada - the project demonstrated substantial shifts over 20 months towards a social model of living verseus an institutional model of care, on each of the 9 domains assessed including such things as moving away from the hierarchical departments toward collaborative teams, having more flexible routines, and more consistent assignment of staff to the same residents.
RIA 5-Year Report is now available!
(May 16, 2011) It is our great pleasure to share the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) 5-Year Report with our stakeholders. The report provides a snapshot of research and dissemination activities initiated or completed during the first five years of operation (2005-2010). If you are interested in receiving a hard copy of this report or if you have questions regarding content, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Astronaut talks senior fitness in Kitchener
(October 28, 2010, CTV SWO) Robert Thirsk is the first Canadian astronaut to spend six months in orbit on the International Space station, and he is providing a unique research opportunity to the team at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute studying the effects of aging on the body.
Before he left, he visited a Kitchener retirement home associated with the Institute and challenged residents to get active and follow him on his space mission as he exercised in space for scientific research.
Today he returned along with lead researcher, University of Waterloo professor Richard Hughson, to talk about what they have discovered so far about how exercise can slow down the deterioration of the cardiovascular system.
Since the aging process is accelerated in space, forty-year-old astronauts temporarily have the bodies of much older people, allowing experiments with much younger, stronger subjects, but with results that will help seniors age in a healthier way.
VIDEO: Astronauts' exercise slows aging
(September 6, 2010, CBC.ca) Hitting the gym helps slow the aging process in space, as well as on Earth, Canadian scientists have found.
Normally, spending six months on the International Space Station can be like taking a trip on an accelerated aging devise that makes astronauts as weak as 80-year-olds.
Researchers discovered that in the weightless environment of space, without exercise:
- Muscle-power decline in 40-year-old astronauts is equivalent to that of a person twice as old.
- Astronauts lose more than 40 per cent of the slow-twitch fibres in their calf muscles, which are important for balance and posture.
- Up to two per cent of bone mineral density is lost each month - four times the rate for a post-menopausal women on Earth.
Canadian astronauts contributed data for a seven-year study by Prof. Richard Hughson, research chair in vascular aging and brain health at the University of Waterloo.
Hughson describes his research to the CBC's Kelly Crowe.
Research projects building quality of life: RIA
(August 12, 2010, OLTCA Morning Report) A number of projects undertaken at the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA) aim to enhance quality of life, life purpose, choice and flexibility in the lives of long-term care residents.
Looking at everything from the benefits of dance to boosting protein consumption, the work addresses developing themes in the long-term care sector, says Josie d'Avernas, associate director of RIA which is a partnership between the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College and the Schlegel Seniors Villages.
One of the themes is increasing demand for more choic and services from baby boomers who are approaching the age when they will need long-term care.
"We need to dream up and test new programs and new models ahead of the curve, so that the system has a bit of time to integrate new discoveries in a timely way and keep up with the anticipated pressures on the system and the changing expectations of residents," d'Avernas says.
Current research leading to innovations for future care
(August 9, 2010, OLTCA Morning Report) With long-term care expected to face increasing demand to provide more complex care and meet higher expectations, the Schlegel family is helping to fund research that may lead to useful innovations.
Josie d'Avernas is associate director at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), founded by the Schlegel family of Kitchener. RIA is a partnership between the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College and 10 retirement/long-term care villages co-owned and managed by the Schlegel family. RIA aims to enhance care and quality of life of seniors by developing and implementing research and training programs.
A number of research areas are emerging at RIA that address ongoing trends and anticipated challenges in long-term care, d'Avernas says.
Closing the Gaps between Research, Education and Practice
(Long Term Care Magazine - June 2010 Issue, pg. 20)
What do you notice about the following questions?
- Is it possible to improve brain fitness in older adults with mild cognitive impairment?
- Can the Nintendo Wii enhance physical fitness in seniors?
- How do seniors find home and meaning in long-term care?
- How does mealtime promote health, over and above nutritional intake?
- What is it about therapeutic dance that engages seniors and what are the effects on health and well-being?
- What are the important elements in the design of physical environments that promote engagement and life purpose?
- How can we shift away from an institutional model of care to a social model of living in long term care homes without breaking the bank?
- Are there new or different staffing models that optimize care and quality of life, while also containing costs?
Perhaps you noticed that they tap into many diverse disciplines - physiology, psychology, sociology, creative arts, building design, nutrition and more. Perhaps you noticed their practical nature. These are just some of the questions being tackled by researchers and educators affiliated with the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA).
RIA Program wins QI Innovation of the Year Award
(April 27, 2010 - Toronto, ON) Excellence in Resident-Centred Care is a 10-module training course for Personal Support Workers in Long-Term Care and Retirement. It takes an innovative approach to enhanced skills training reflecting best practices within a framework of resident-centredness. Developed by the RIA in partnership with Conestoga College, this program was first delivered in RIA's nine research and development sites: Schlegel Seniors Villages/Oakwood Retirement Communities and is now being disseminated more broadly.
Smart technology eases aging in place
(Dialogue+ 2010/2011 - dialogueplus.ca) Exactly where is the "place" in the oft-repeated phrase "aging in place"? Depends on who is using the word. To the federal government, it means a person's home. For some provinces, the "place" is their community. Ontario's Aging at Home Strategy focuses on keeping seniors in their homes for as long as possible. It does, however, make reference to aging in one's place of choice as well.
"Some people might choose, and might choose wisely, if they're isolated and don't have the support at home, to go into a retirement home," says Dr. Mike Sharratt, head of the Research Institute for Aging (RIA). When individuals suffer from visual or hearing impairment or cease to be able to keep up with the demands of home ownership, moving into a retirement residence can make good sense.
RIA, an independent institute affiliated with the University of Waterloo, has researchers working on projects designed to improve seniors' quality of life. With funding from Ron Schlegel, owner and operator of seniors' homes, its research and training programs are directed at seniors in both long-term care and retirement residences.
RIA congratulates Marlene Raasok, Executive Dean of Health and Life Sciences and Community Services, Conestoga College, for her Exemplary Leader Award
This North American-wide award is given by The Chair Academy, an organization committed to best practices in organizational leadership in the post-secondary sector. Marlene was nominated by her colleauges in recognition of her exemplary leadership and commitment to her institution and its students. Among the many aspects of Marlene's leadership which were highlighted in the receipt of this award were that she has "developed and implemented significant partnerships from which the administration, faculty and students benefit on a daily basis". Conestoga's relationship with the RIA is one of the outstanding examples of such partnerships.
For more information, contact Josie d'Avernas.
Excellence in Resident-Centred Care
The program has been developed in collaboration with Conestoga College and provides personal support workers with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide resident-centred care.
For more information, contact Susan Brown.
Legal and Health Issues Interwoven for Seniors
With funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario, the RIA interviewed seniors, staff who work with seniors, and legal services to better understand access to justice issues for this group. (View Report)
For more information, contact Josie d'Avernas.
ICAA Functional U Newsletter: Get Fit For Space program
Kitchener, ON (February 12, 2010) - Another result of the successful Get Fit for Space program, the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) included an article on the success of the program in their January-February newsletter, Functional U (pgs 15/16).
Other programs that were awarded the "Innovator Awards" were profiled as well. All of the award-winning agencies (including the RIA), presented their programs at the ICAA conference in Orlando, Florida this past December and this article is a follow up to that presentation.
There will be an in-depth article about the Get Fit For Space program in the ICAA journal, so please stay tuned to the RIA website for details.
The ICAA was founded in the belief that unifying the efforts of the organizations focused on older adults benefits both the people that they reach and the organizations themselves. Today, the vision is shared by over 8,200 organizations connected to the ICAA network.
Whether retirement community, seniors centre or fitness club, all ICAA members share a common interest in reaching older adults with active-aging messages, facilities, programs and guidance. The ICAA supports these professionals and organizations with education, information, resources and tools so they can achieve optimal success with this market.
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging wins major award
(January 5, 2010) The Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA) has won an innovator's award from the International Council on Active Aging for adapting a ground-breaking program in order to encourage senior citizens to become more active.
As a result of the Get Fit for Space program, RIA's researchers, along with kinesiologists and recreation staff at each site, enhanced the care of seniors in eight of the institute's long-term care and retirement communities. An every-step-counts theme enabled able-bodied residents, as well as those with canes, walkers and wheelchairs, to participate in a variety of fitness activities and log kilometres toward a collaborative goal.
"The Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging provides an inspiring example for everyone striving to advance active aging," said Colin Milner, ICAA's founder and CEO. "Participating in the Get Fit for Space program has helped to enrich the lives of older adults and enhance their health, wellness and quality of life. ICAA congratulates the Research Institute for Aging on the excellence and creativity demonstrated in this program."
The ICAA's innovation awards recognize creativity and excellence in active-aging programs and products. Award-winning programs target any or all of the six dimensions of wellness: emotional, vocational, physical, spiritual, intellectual and social.
CTV SWO's Health & Lifestyle Report: New strategy for heart disease
(November 24, 2009) Heart disease is a serious concern with the elderly.
It's about more than chest pain and heart attacks though, it also comes with other conditions like dementia, frailty and falls.
A new strategy has been announced with the intention of keeping seniors healthy and in their homes longer.
"The end result will be seamless, integrated, co-ordinated care that is age appropriate, location appropriate and keeps them in their homes as long as possible," says Sandra Hanmer, CEO of the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network.
George Heckman is the newest research chair for the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.
A Message from Bob Thirsk to the Schlegel Homes ...from space!
Astronaut Bob Thirsk sent a video message to the Schlegel Seniors Villages to share congratulations for their participation in the Get Fit For Space Challenge.