Community partners, supporters and friends joined representatives from Conestoga College, Schlegel Villages and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) on Thursday, April 13 for the official launch of a new facility that will enhance the quality of life and care for seniors and their families through innovation in education, workforce development and care services.
The Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care operates in collaboration with Schlegel Villages and RIA to develop innovative education, improve workforce development and strengthen care practices to support care for seniors and their families across Canada. It provides a hub for collaboration with partners to advance training and practice approaches and share best practices and resources to enhance seniors care and living.
Support for the new Centre was provided by Schlegel Villages and the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging as well as the Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Veronique Boscart, director of the new Centre, has held the CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Seniors Care at Conestoga since 2012.
“The Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care represents an important step forward in our efforts to advance innovation and address real-world needs through education, applied research and workforce development,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “We are grateful for the support provided by Schlegel Villages and our partners for the establishment of this important new resource as we work in collaboration to enhance the quality of life and care for Canada’s growing population of seniors and their families.”
Schlegel Villages, owners and operators of 16 long-term care and retirement communities across Ontario, will serve as the primary practice collaborator for the new Centre, building on an established partnership that also includes Living Classrooms for Conestoga’s personal support worker and practical nursing students as well as collaboration through the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA).
“We are very pleased to work with Conestoga for the delivery of innovative education and workforce development that will improve the quality of care for seniors now and into the future,” said Ron Schlegel, Chairman of RBJ Schlegel Holdings, Inc. and founder of RIA. “This investment will allow us to continue to build on our shared successes as we work towards our common goal of creating a better community.”
According to Statistics Canada, almost one in four people in Canada will be over the age of 65 by 2030. The aging of the population has resulted in an urgent need to develop new strategies to effectively address the complex care needs of the growing number of seniors across our communities.