October 1 is National Seniors Day 2017. To mark the day, AGE-WELL is profiling some of our researchers who are working to improve the lives of older adults. With support from the Government of Canada, these researchers are creating solutions to help older adults live full and independent lives.
Imagine if an app could help to maintain a healthy brain as well as detect the onset of memory and cognitive declines that lead to dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. AGE-WELL investigator Dr. Zahra Moussavi, a professor and director of the Biomedical Engineering Program at the University of Manitoba, is working to make this happen.
Obstacle-detection system for wheelchairs set to launch in mid-October
A decade of hard work, passion and dedication comes to fruition this month when Dr. Pooja Viswanathan announces the launch of an add-on obstacle-detection system for wheelchairs.
Reconnecting Elders and youth through digital storytelling
Dr. Shannon Freeman and Jenny Martin share a common goal: to conduct partnered research that results in meaningful change.
Their recent AGE-WELL-supported project has done just that. It has strengthened linkages between Elders and youth to preserve cultural wisdom held by the Elders of the Nak’azdli Whut’en and several other nearby communities in north central British Columbia.
Engineer designs intelligent, autonomous systems for home care assistance
Dr. François Michaud believes that mobile, social and intelligent robots will be a “key element in the future independence of older adults.”
The goal of his groundbreaking AGE-WELL research project is to create affordable robots that assist older adults, making “virtual” medical visits possible without the older adults leaving home. Robots would also provide assistance to people who may have cognitive impairment, by prompting them through activities of daily living, such as brushing their teeth, getting dressed, preparing meals, exercising and taking medication.
A virtual gym for physical and cognitive health
For Dr. Eleni Stroulia, the ability to use her expertise in computing science to help improve the quality of life for older adults is “tremendously satisfying.”
Although many older Canadians feel healthy, approximately 25 per cent report having a physical, cognitive or sensory impairment that affects their ability to perform common activities of daily living.
‘Serious’ games help connect people socially
A confluence of professional and personal experiences led Dr. David Kaufman to focus his research on digital games designed to enhance social connectedness, reduce loneliness and encourage life-long learning among older adults.