Our goal is to change the way we age in Canada.
While aging can present physical, social, emotional, and mental challenges, we at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), see an opportunity to innovate. Recognized as leaders in five key areas – dementia, culture change, workforce development, technology-based senior living, and the advancement of science and practice of co-design – we focus on improving care practices, healthcare services, training and education for the senior living sector, and ultimately changing the way we age in Canada.
Our team of world-class researchers use their findings to develop resources, educational programs, and policies.
We take research beyond the lab; we mobilize it and share what works. The result is better care and an enhanced quality of life for older adults everywhere.
Our approach is to connect research to the real world.
The impact of research can take decades to realize but our unique approach enables research to be applied in real-life settings in real-time. Research questions are shaped by the realities and needs of older adults, care partners, health professionals, educators, and industry. Then we work together with key partners to develop resources, programs, and education and training to influence practice and policy. We find solutions that truly work and share them to benefit older adults everywhere.
Our office is located in the Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging, a one-of-a-kind, world-class infrastructure that includes space for team members, researchers, labs, community spaces, a pharmacy, primary health clinic, and Living Classroom.
The Centre is Ontario’s first purpose-built teaching long-term care home, where all profit is donated back into research activities. Home to the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College programs for learning and applied research, the Centre’s unique design encourages connection and collaboration between older adults, care partners, students, community members, and researchers.
We were founded in 2005 thanks to the generosity and vision of Dr. Ron Schlegel. His goal was to create an organization that promotes research-informed practice and facilitates hands-on research to improve the quality of life and care for older adults. Read the full history here.
Collaboration is key to driving innovation and accelerating impact. We partner with many different organizations, academic institutions, and networks to achieve our mission of enhancing the quality of life and care of older adults.