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Researchers from across Canada highlight innovative technology for older adults

By Everett Dorma Posted: March 20, 2019 12:00 p.m.

Dr. Babak Taati, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University of Toronto, demonstrating the automated Pain Detection in Dementia technology.
Dr. Babak Taati, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University of Toronto, demonstrating the automated Pain Detection in Dementia technology. Photos: U of R External Relations

Members of the public, medical and research communities attended two events in Regina highlighting innovative technologies designed to help older adults. 

“The Come and Go Interactive Technology demonstrations included at least 16 different technology solutions that we have worked on for the last four years as part of the AGE-WELL  Network of Centres of Excellence,” said Dr. Lili Liu, Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation, University of Alberta. “The University of Regina Centre on Aging and Health hosts an event on an annual basis to mark Brain Awareness Week, so we’ve all gathered from universities across the country to help raise public awareness.” 

Leading researchers from across Canada provided a free public demonstration of technologies at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre from 2:00 – 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14. Then at 6:30 p.m. researchers held rapid fire presentations taking a maximum of 3 minutes to explain their technologies to the audience.

Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Director of the University of Regina’s Centre on Aging and Health and Research Chair in Aging and Health, is one of the organizers of the AGE-WELL events. According to Hadjistavropoulos this is one of the largest knowledge transfer and mobilization events that has ever been organized by AGE-WELL outside their annual conference.

Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropuls
doing media interviews at
the Come and Go Interactive
Technology event.

“We were very proud to host this important event in Regina. Through my work within AGE-WELL, I have come to believe that the greatest solutions that will improve the quality of life of older adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and/or frailty may not come from the health sciences but from engineering and advanced technologies.” 

One such example, involves technology for the automated monitoring of pain behaviour in older adults with severe dementia who are non-verbal and have limited ability to communicate their pain experience. 

AGE-WELL’s goal is to help older Canadians maintain their independence, health and quality of life through technologies and services that increase their safety and security, support their independent living, and enhance their social participation. AGE-WELL is funded through the federally-funded Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program.

For information on AGE-WELL: http://agewell-nce.ca/ and on the Centre on Aging and Health: http://www2.uregina.ca/cah