Research

Phyllis for Candrive
Phyllis McGee installing a Candrive device into a participant's car

Aging is a lifelong process that requires attention to developmental changes that occur across the lifespan rather than simply an emphasis on late life. Therefore, research at the Institute is rooted in a broad orientation to aging and health that includes longitudinal and cross-sectional study of clinical, population health, and health services areas of health research and on the sociocultural aspects of an aging society

In recent years there's been a significant shift in our understanding of human health. Greater attention is paid now to a range of social, economic, environmental, and health service aspects that interact in complex ways to influence the health of individuals and populations. 

Researchers at the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health works alongside and collaboratively with our partners - community groups, governments, health authorities, and other healthcare agencies - to provide the evidence-based knowledge that decision-makers need to improve the health and well-being of Canadians.


The Institute promotes and conducts basic and applied research relevant to the needs of an aging community.

Much of the work of our research affiliates is rooted in a broad orientation to health that includes attention to the social, psychological, environmental, and cultural contexts in which people live, as well as the institutions responsible for the health of our population.

Aging is recognized as a life-long process requiring attention to developmental influences and changes that occur throughout the life course; and, within this general framework, research is focused on the longitudinal and cross-sectional study of clinical, population health and well-being, and health services.

Efforts to address these areas of aging research necessarily draw on the expertise and experiences from faculty across and within many university departments including anthropology, biology, business, child and youth care, computer science, economics, engineering, exercise science, geography, health information science, history, Island Medical Program, law, nursing, philosophy, political science, psychology, public administration, public health and social policy, social work and sociology, as well as researchers in the community and from other universities.

We at the Institute on Aging and LifeLong Health are dedicated to improving health and well-being across the lifespan, reflective the fact that modifiable lifestyle and contextual factors influence aging and health outcomes. 

we aim to achieve our goals to improving the lifelong health and quality of life by focusing research on following five areas:

1. Promoting Cognitive Health, lead by Dr. Colette Smart

Cognition is the combination of several brain activities, like memory, judgment, language, intuition and the ability to learn. These researchers are interested in the health of the brain and how it works. We are currently studying comprehensive systems for the diagnosis and treatment of patients living with cognitive health disorders

2. Health Behavior lead by Dr. Ryan Rhodes

What behavioural interventions work to help adopt new, healthier habits that protect you from health problems? What life events help to increase or decrease healthy behaviours? These are just two of the many questions health behavior researchers are asking in order to improve quality of life and positively impact communities.

3. Frailty and Care for People with Life-Limiting Conditions lead by Dr. Kelli Stajduhar

As we age, we are more likely to experience multiple chronic conditions. While advances in medical technology mean that people with chronic conditions live much longer, eventually life comes to an end, often after months or years of frailty. Researchers are examining how to enhance the quality of care and quality of life for those living with frailty, serious and life-limiting conditions with a goal to inform health social policies, health policies and services. 

4. Technology and Aging lead by Dr. Andre Kushniruk

These researchers want to understand how health data is collected, stored, processed, and communicated. Understanding the data lays the foundation to develop and support best practices for clinical decision-making.

5. Health Data, Policy, and Services lead by Dr. Denise Cloutier  

Researchers draw results from varied sources of information and data to support and create meaningful public policies. These researchers are dedicated to improve service delivery, and the health and quality of life of increasingly diverse populations.