Research Institute for Aging
Research Institute for Aging

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Help us drive innovation! Get involved with the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) initiatives and research to help us answer some of the most challenging questions facing an aging population.

Learn how you can help improve dementia research by becoming a research partner.

Current Research Opportunities

Dementia-friendly Research Opportunity

Co-designing action-oriented mental health conversations between care providers and aging Canadians in the community: mitigating the wider impacts of COVID-19

We are looking for older adults (age 55+), family/friend care partners, and community-based health/ social care providers to participate. You must be able to read, write, speak and understand English or French to participate, and currently be residing in Canada.

In the survey, you will be asked to review a visual model, the Mental Health Continuum for Aging Canadians, that describes a range of mental health experiences. You will also be asked to indicate your level of agreement with the model’s components for guiding mental health conversations when receiving care in the home and community.

Survey participants will have an option to enter a draw to win 1 of 10 $50.00 CAD gift cards.

Click here to complete the survey.

Compassionate Relational End of LIfe Care for Persons Living with Dementia

Help researchers improve end of life care for people living with dementia through documentary film! We are conducting a research study (led by Dr. Sherry Dupuis from the University of Waterloo and Dr. Pia Kontos from KITE Research Institute, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network) and we are looking for people living with dementia, their family members, and professionals who work in dementia and palliative care.

Participation includes:

  1. Discussing in a research conversation group of 5-7 people what compassionate, relationship-centered end-of-life care could look like.
  2. Completing a short demographic questionnaire.

Participants will receive a small honorarium after participating in the research conversation as a thank you for their time.

For more information, please contact Romeo Colobong at:

COVID-19 restrictions on physical activity and heart rate

COVID-19 restrictions on physical activity levels and heart rate: Men and women over the age of 65 years are being recruited to study the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on physical activity levels and heart rate. Participants will wear a heart rate monitor for 3 days and complete their regular daily activities and complete a health status questionnaire.

Click here for more information.

Culturally inclusive menu planning in long-term care: Dietician and food service manager perspectives

Researchers are interested in understanding how menu planning happens in your LTC home and determine what barriers and facilitators you have experienced in developing culturally inclusive menus. Your perspective on how we can create culturally inclusive menus will help us improve menu planning in Ontario LTC homes. Click here to learn more.

Virtual lifestyle intervention for better brain health

Studies have shown that lifestyle behaviours, such as exercise and healthy diet have a positive effect on memory and thinking abilities, and can delay cognitive decline related to aging.
The purpose of this project is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of an online exercise and healthy lifestyle intervention in individuals 65-85 years old with concerns about their memory and thinking abilities. 

In appreciation for your time and effort, you will receive up to $100 in gift cards and resistance training bands.

DELIGHT advisory teams recruitment

The DELIGHT project team is looking for people with lived experience and expertise to participate in an advisory team. Members of the advisory team will participate in the planning and decision-making to adapt the DELIGHT project for people living in diverse communities.

Who can participate:

  • Persons living with dementia, memory problems, mild cognitive impairment or care partners, community service providers and healthcare professionals in Canadian communities who are a part of rural and remote communities, and Cantonese and Mandarin speaking communities.

Anticipated time commitment: 

  • Virtual and/or call-in phone meetings. 
  • It is anticipated that we will meet approximately every second week over 2-3 months, though the timing and frequency of meetings will be finalized by the group.
  • Honoraria will be provided.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact: Kassie Harker, Project Manager, at:

Learn more about DELIGHT by visiting

DELIGHT lifestyle intervention program

Dementia Lifestyle Intervention for Getting Healthy Together (DELIGHT) is an 8-week lifestyle intervention program designed to support people living with dementia, and their care partners. Each session includes:

  • Group exercise and educational discussions on wellness topics.
  • Opportunity for socialization.
  • Healthy snacks provided each week.

Winter 2024

Winter 2024 Spring 2024
Location Virtual A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA
Cost Free Free
Dates Monday and Thursday from January 22 – March 18, 2024 (no class on February 19) Monday and Thursdays from April 22 – June 17, 2024 (no class May 20)
Time 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Assessments will be completed before and after the 8-week program.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Marsha Phillips by phone: 519-743-5201 x 2113 or by email:

DELIGHT is offered in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Waterloo Wellington, and the University of Waterloo.

Learn more about DELIGHT by visiting

Exploring the experiences of those working and training in long-term care

A team of researchers, led by Kate Dupuis, Schlegel Innovation Leader in Arts and Aging at Sheridan College and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging, has launched a new survey that will explore the experiences of people working and training in long-term care.

The team is particularly interested in learning more about what strategies may help support the mental health and well-being of learners and staff.

Click this link to learn more about the study.

The survey has received institutional REB approval through Sheridan College. All respondents are eligible to be entered into a draw for 1 of 320 $20 virtual Amazon gift cards.

Fortify Bones

In this study, we will compare three different types of exercise to help inform exercise recommendations for people with osteoporosis or low bone mineral density. As part of this study, you will participate in two weekly exercise sessions at the Toby Jenkins Applied Health Research Building at the University of Waterloo or perform twice weekly exercises at home with twice monthly Zoom sessions. In addition, we would ask you to come in for three study visits. These would happen when you join the study, after 6 months in the study, and at the end of the study.

For this study, we are looking for men and postmenopausal women who:

  • Are aged 50 or over
  • Have received two vaccines for COVID-19
  • Have a low bone density, osteopenia, or osteoporosis
  • Are willing to participate in twice weekly exercise sessions for 12 months

Click here to learn more, or contact the study team at or 519-904-0660, ext. 4222.

GeriMedRisk community consultations

We are inviting older adults (60+ years old) and care partners to learn about and provide input on, programs offered by GeriMedRisk. 

GeriMedRisk is a virtual team of doctors and pharmacists who help health professionals and geriatric specialists manage and optimize prescription medications for older adults.

To learn more about the virtual and in-person sessions taking place on March 25 and 26, click this link

Intergenerational Jamboree Program - Survey Participants Needed

We are looking for Ontario long-term care homes to implement an 8-week intergenerational music therapy program, the “Intergenerational Jamboree”, for staff and residents.

The Jamboree is a music therapy intervention in which long-term care residents participate in weekly music making sessions with children. Each session is led by an accredited music therapist, lasts approximately 1 hour, and includes a mix of song, movement, and use of instruments and props.

If you are interested in bringing the Jamboree program to your long-term care home, and have a music therapist on staff, please complete this survey.

For additional information, review this poster or contact Kate Dupuis at 905-845-9430 x4229 or at

Security and privacy concerns of older adults in Canada

We are looking for volunteers for a survey of older adults’ security and privacy concerns when using technologies in Canada.

The project aims to understand the main technology security and privacy concerns, experiences and mitigation strategies of older adults who are living in Canada.

Eligibility criteria:

  • 65+ years of age or older
  • Comfortable with English or French
  • Resident of Canada

Participants will receive a $5 gift certficiate of their choice (Starbucks or Tim Hortons).

The survey can be completed online or by telephone.

If you are interested, please complete this form and a team member will contact you with next steps.

For additional information, read this invitation or contact the REB Chair at 613-520-2600 x4085 or at

This research has been cleared by the Carleton University Research Ethics Board B Clearance #119733.

SCREEN questionnaire

We would like to determine if a questionnaire can be used by older adults with diagnosed memory problems, mild cognitive impairment or dementia OR by residents living in retirement homes to identify nutrition challenges.

Click here to learn more, or contact the study team at or 519-888-4567 ext. 41470.

Winter physical activity study

Researchers at the University of Waterloo are conducting a study to investigate the barriers and facilitators to physical activity in the winter months for persons living with dementia. They are hoping to recruit persons with dementia (55+ years) and/or family care partners to share insights on what helps and hinders participation in physical activity during the winter.

Please contact or click here for more info.

Carotid artery health study using new ultrasound technologies

Eligibility: All ages (18+) are eligible, without any major acute or chronic medical conditions.
The purpose of our study is to assess markers of arterial stiffness, blood flow patterns, arterial wall properties and their relationship with age.
To measure arterial health outcomes across wide age ranges, we will ask you to come into the lab for a single 1-hour visit to undergo vascular ultrasound measures. We will be using two novel types of ultrasound techniques to measure complex blood flow patterns within the carotid artery, and to measure arterial wall properties. We will also be measuring classic markers of arterial stiffness (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity and carotid distensibility).
In the short-term, we will compare these outcomes across age groups and the potential health impacts. In the long-term, our goal is to use this data to cross-reference vascular health and blood flow changes in astronauts. This research continues work from our lab that examined arterial stiffness changes in astronauts during long duration spaceflight.
If you are interested in participating, please reach out to Ms. Carol Bryans ( or Dr. Roxy Fournier (
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