Arlene Astell

Dr. Arlene Astell is the Challenge Area lead for the Staying Connected. She is Assistant Professor in Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy and Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and an Affiliate Scientist at KITE, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Arlene came to Ontario from the UK after establishing a successful career innovating with older adults at the Universities of St. Andrews and Sheffield. Her research focuses on the creative application of technology to support people to live and age as well as possible, irrespective of cognitive or physcial impairment. She is co-creator of CIRCA, a cogntive prosthesis for people with dementia developed to support conversation, which has been used successfully in the UK, Netherlands and Sweden. She also led the teaming co-creating  NANA, an application for older adults to track their nutrition, physical activity, mood and cognition at home. Since coming to Canada, NANA has been transformed into DataDay, a self-management application for people recently diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment of early dementia. Arlene is Canadian lead for two internationl projects: RESILIEN-T, an AAL project examining support for people to live well at hime with cognitive impairment and  MCI@work, part of the More Years-Better lives programe, studying the situation of people who develop MCI or dementia whilst still in the workforce. Arlene is the WP1-NEEDS-OA co-leader.