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.

Current Research Opportunities

Dementia-friendly Research Opportunity

Assessing the use of research techniques for improving engagement of people with dementia in research

Researchers at the University of Waterloo are conducting a study to evaluate the use of different interviewing techniques and their potential impact on engaging people living with dementia in research interviews.

We are looking for individuals with dementia who are living in the community to participate in a series of three interviews to share more their experiences with community supports and services using different interviewing techniques, such as storytelling. Interviews will be 20-30 minutes in length.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Emma Conway at

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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