Two established research platforms of McMaster University collaborate to address the diverse needs of Ontario’s older adult population and fill the gap in aging expertise for patient-oriented researchers in Ontario.
Older adults range in age from 65 to 105 and represent widely varying health and social needs, yet this growing cohort is often grouped in one category. Just as a 10-year-old would not be compared to a 30-year-old when conducting research, a 65-year-old and a 95-year-old should not be either. To address the diverse needs of Ontario’s older adult population, two established research platforms of McMaster University, the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) and the McMaster School of Nursing’s Aging, Community and Health Research Unit (ACHRU), formed the MIRA | Collaborative for Health and Aging.
The Collaborative is a network of 15 health research centres across the province that provide scientific knowledge and support high quality patient-partnered research with the goal of improving health and the health system. In 2019, the Collaborative received $300,000 in 2019 from the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit (OSSU) to establish its activities over the course of this year.
By supporting and advancing patient and caregiver-partnered research in aging, the Collaborative seeks to advance Ontario’s health care system and enhance health system performance and patients’ experiences. By addressing the unique needs of older adults and their caregivers through resources, consultation supports, data access, and technical services, the new research centre will position Ontario as a leader in patient-oriented research in aging.
The co-leads of the Collaborative are the scientific directors of MIRA and ACHRU respectively, Parminder Raina and Maureen Markle-Reid. Raina is a professor of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact (HEI) at McMaster and lead investigator of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). Markle-Reid is also a professor in nursing at McMaster and holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Person-Centered Interventions for Older Adults with Multimorbidity and their Family Caregivers.
Scientific Director, MIRA
Professor, HEI, McMaster University
“The focus of the collaborative is on supporting older adults in our research, knowing that there is no typical older person. In the same way you wouldn’t compare a 10-year-old to a 30-year-old, you cannot compare a 65-year-old to a 95-year-old.”-Parminder Raina
Scientific Director, ACHRU
Professor, School of Nursing, McMaster University
“We are looking forward to working with stakeholders from across Ontario to develop a robust research agenda that engages patients and their families and improves the health and well-being of older people.”-Maureen Markle-Reid