Canada needs a sustainable model for long‑term care in order to support the health and well‑being of our older adults and their personal caregivers. By 2050, older adults are expected to represent 25% of Canada's population.Footnote 1 If given the choice, over 85% of older adults in Canada would prefer to age in place within their own homes and communities.Footnote 2
Many older adults live with multiple chronic health conditions and require support to manage the activities of daily living. Recent Canadian studies suggest that 11 to 22% of older adults who had recently transitioned into nursing home care could have stayed in home or community‑based care with the appropriate supports in place.Footnote 3, Footnote 4 As Canada prepares for the unique social, fiscal, and medical challenges associated with a rapidly aging population, innovative solutions are required to support older adults in their goal of aging in place.
The program's objectives will focus on improving the quality of life of older adults and their personal caregivers through technology and innovation that support safe and healthy aging. The focus will not merely be on chronic conditions, but also on reducing isolation and maintaining social support networks. The program's research also aims to inform federal and provincial policy decisions by contributing to the development of evidence based standards and guidelines.
The program was officially launched in April 2021 and an internal kick-off workshop was held on June 10 and 17, 2021. An initial set of projects will be launched between now and March 2022. Stay tuned for our next call for expressions of interest in the Fall of 2021.
Aging in Place proposed program plan
Challenge statement: A 20% increase in the number of older adults who are living in homes and communities of choice by 2031.
Objective: An increase in living environments that support safe and injury-free aging.
Smart materials and devices
- Environmental safety monitoring
- Printable electronics
- Next-generation medication adherence
- Chronic wound monitoring
AI-assisted decision making
- Wearable and embedded sensing
- Gait assessment and mobility monitoring
- Integrated decision support
Sample project: Printed electronics-based sensors for fall detection and prevention
Objective: An increase in solutions that support older adults and caregivers to effectively manage their cognition, physical health, and activities of daily living.
- Early detection of cognitive decline
- Non-invasive diagnostics and monitoring
- Digital therapeutics for cognitive training
- Contactless physiological monitoring
- Augmented reality for rehabilitation
Activities of daily living
- Assistive technologies and caregiver support
- Robotic assistance for physical transfers
Sample project: Contactless monitoring and remote care for older adults
Objective: A reduction of barriers to mobility, transportation and social engagement.
Mobility and transportation
- Accessible travel for aging population
- Age-friendly autonomous vehicles and last-mile solutions
- Innovative designs for individual/community transportation
- Remote driving capability assessment
- Technology and innovation to support mental health
- Reduction of social isolation
Sample project: Advancing accessible travel for aging Canadians
Objective: An increase in Canadian AgeTech adoption through evidence-based age-friendly standards and policies.
- Evaluation and adaptation of AgeTech
- Technical interoperability
Data privacy and cybersecurity
- Online safety for older adults
- Context-aware security solutions
- Human-computer interaction
Dwellings for successful aging in place
- Indoor environmental conditions
- Acoustics and impact noise
Sample project: Security and privacy assessment for smart home technology