Research grant funding, held at various academic institutions*
New grants received*
New research publications**
* Received by Schlegel Research Chairs and Specialists in the 2021 calendar year
** in the 2021 calendar year
Innovation in research
- Lead Canada’s largest study on COVID-19 and vaccine effectiveness in long-term care.
- Conducted a research study examining the health impacts of bedrest from head to toe.
- Completed a research study focused on a better way to support end-of-life planning.
- The Wet your Whistle with Water research study focused on improving hydration in senior living.
- A new $73 million program – PREP LTC – supports optimal clinical placements in long-term care.
- Proactively engaging and working with youth to pursue careers in long-term care.
- Led an international conference that addresses the connection between spirituality and aging.
- Identify the connection and importance between bringing generations together with music.
Innovation in education
Innovation in practice
- Working with people with lived experience to enhance the quality of life for people living with dementia and their care partners.
- Developed a new resource – Forward with Dementia – to support diagnosis and beyond.
- RIA researchers appointed to the National Long-Term Care Standards Technical Committee.
- Protecting team members’ mental health in long-term care
- Received the 2021 Betty Havens Prize in Knowledge in Aging.
Being involved with the RIA has been like opening a door into a world filled with knowledge, respect and interest. It’s incredibly welcoming and rewarding.
Myrna Norman works with the RIA as a member of the Canadian Dementia Learning and Resource Network advisory committee
Expertise from various disciplines – nutrition, spirituality, muscular function and more -gives us a comprehensive understanding of what happens to us during bedrest.
Richard Hughson (see ‘Examining the health impacts of bedrest from head to toe’)
Thank You Donors
The RIA sincerely thanks our valued donors who have generously given in support of our mission. Click here to see the donors whose gifts were received from January 2021 to March 2022.
Honouring Barb Schlegel
Barbara Schlegel was a strong supporter of the RIA and sadly passed away on March 8, 2022. Barb and her husband of 58 years, Ron Schlegel, along with their three sons Rob, Brad and James, have given generously to drive research and innovation in aging. The family’s philanthropy enabled the RIA to open its doors in 2005 and has continued to support our mission to enhance care and quality of life for older adults in our community, our country and beyond. Read more about Barb.
A letter from the Executive Director
As my first time writing this letter as RIA’s executive director, I have the pleasure of sharing the incredible growth and success the RIA has achieved in the past 15 months. I would like to acknowledge and thank the RIA team and researchers for their ongoing dedication and for continuing to advance our mission throughout another year of the pandemic. It is a privilege to work with this incredible team and community and to see the RIA make strides in our 2021-2023 strategic plan.
This report features many impactful initiatives that are driving innovation in research, education and practice. Our team launched the Canadian Dementia Learning and Resource Network (CDLRN) with RIA researchers Carrie McAiney and Laura Middleton. This network connects community projects from across the country to share and amplify learnings, change practice and policy, so all Canadians living with dementia can benefit.
Our team is also building much-needed workforce capacity in senior living by optimizing clinical placements in long-term care for students training to become personal support workers and nurses. In early 2022, we launched the Preceptor Resource and Education Program in Long-Term Care (PREP LTC). This $73 million project is led by the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI) at the RIA in collaboration with the Ontario CLRI teams at Baycrest Health Sciences and Bruyère.
As a leader in aging research and innovation, the RIA is often called upon to respond to emerging needs. Our ability to tackle the biggest issues facing an aging population and deliver solutions that truly work is made possible because of our generous donors. I would like to acknowledge the commitment and generosity of the Schlegel family who made a $6 million donation to add critical capacity to the RIA’s home base at the Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging in Waterloo. The RIA is well positioned for continued growth and impact.
On behalf of the RIA, I send our sincere thanks to our partners and our donors for your contributions and commitment to changing the way we age in Canada and beyond.
Tina M. Mah, PhD, MBA, BScOT
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging
From the Chair of the Board
I would like to begin by acknowledging Tina Mah, RIA’s executive director, and her many successes in her first year taking on this role. Thank you to Tina and the RIA team for your dedication and commitment to enhancing care and quality of life for older adults.
It has been another challenging year as we navigate the ongoing pandemic. The senior living sector is still getting on its feet in the aftermath of the first few waves, and adjusting to a “new normal”. But I am inspired by the resilience I have witnessed, and the RIA has and will continue to address pressing issues with innovative solutions, rooted in evidence, to create a new future for aging Canadians.
This report is full of stories demonstrating how the RIA is changing aging. I would like to highlight one particular success, and that is the national recognition the RIA has received for its efforts in bridging the gap between aging research and practice. The RIA was awarded the 2021 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Institute for Aging Betty Havens Prize for Knowledge Mobilization in Aging. The award recognizes outstanding achievements and excellence in three RIA initiatives that promote best practices in care to enhance the quality of life for older adults.
Once again, I am humbled by the growth and success of the RIA. Our ability to impact the lives of older adults and their families is made possible because of our valued partners and donors. I thank you for your continued commitment and look forward to our continued collaboration as we create a brighter future together.
Ronald Schlegel, O.C., PhD, LL.D., BAS (Honourary)
Director and Chair,
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging
Project and government funding
New Living Classrooms in Ottawa, North Bay, and Parry Sound
Trained in LIVING the Dementia Journey and Excellence in Resident-Centered Care through the PSW Education Fund