The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), supported by Baycrest, announced an investment of almost US$1 million in funding to assist the development and testing of 24 new innovations aimed at improving the quality of life for older adults, people living with dementia, and their caregivers.
The funding is being leveraged through two subsidiaries of CABHI’s Spark Programme, which supports the development of grassroots solutions by frontline healthcare workers and researchers to solve real-world critical care challenges.
The first, Spark-ON, accelerates promising solutions by Ontario healthcare staff that address priorities amplified by COVID-19 and advance pandemic recovery, such as preventing seniors’ social isolation and infection prevention and control.
The second, Spark-CU (Colleges & Universities), helps Ontario students – Canada’s future innovators – build skills and develop their innovative solutions for older adults into businesses.
Projects are already under way and will continue to make advancements over the coming year. Among the funded innovations:
A COVID-19-focused community paramedicine programme to train paramedics on caring for older adults safely and effectively
A program that provides access to culturally sensitive resources for caregivers of people living with dementia in ethnocultural communities
A first-of-its-kind virtual reality therapy programme for people living with dementia at home, administered by family caregivers
A virtual certificate course to teach basics of geriatric care to unregulated healthcare providers like aides and private companions
See the full list of funded innovations here.
“Through our Spark Programme, CABHI accelerates homegrown innovations to help Ontario’s pandemic recovery. Frontline healthcare workers know best what’s needed to meet the challenges of caring for older adults, and students bring so many novel and creative ideas to the table. But too often the innovations and IP those groups develop are stranded at the design table,” says managing director, CABHI, Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and vice-president of research, Baycrest, Dr. Allison Sekuler.
She added, “By advancing these innovations CABHI is not only turning those ideas into real impact, but is also ensuring better health outcomes for older adults, people living with dementia, and their caregivers, the folks who have been hit hardest by COVID-19.”
CABHI gratefully acknowledges the support of its funders: the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, the Government of Canada through the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Baycrest Foundation.