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AGING REIMAGINED

TRANSFORMING THE EXPERIENCE OF AGING BY TRANSFORMING THE SCIENCE OF AGING

Dr. Parminder Raina stands in front of an MRI machine

Weston Family Foundation funds $12M initiative to advance the science of healthy aging

The Weston Family Foundation is awarding a $12-million research grant to the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), hosted at McMaster University, for a new initiative that will shed light on the many factors that influence brain health as we age, including lifestyle and the human microbiome. The Healthy Brains, Healthy Aging Initiative will feature a cohort of 6,000 research participants who are currently enrolled in the CLSA. It marks the first time a national study of aging in Canada has introduced both brain imaging and microbiome analyses to investigate cognitive aging in the population over time.

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Our approach

At MIRA, we examine biological, behavioural, technological and environmental factors ​that affect how people age. Our approach is interdisciplinary, and we combine the following strategies: 

  • A coordinated, collaborative research agenda between academics and clinicians from all faculties. 

  • The use of design thinking to generate human-centred solutions. 

  • Ongoing interaction with a diverse group of stakeholders, such as policymakers and older adults. 

Research at the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging is intended to generate solutions that are practical, readily implemented, and that promote aging in place. 

" My grandparents experienced the gaps in the health care system. I decided to use health care data to help fill those gaps in knowledge and practice. "

Andrew Costa

" I work to prevent hidden hearing loss which affects almost 30% of adolescents and forecasts serious hearing difficulties later in life. "

Larry Roberts

" Neuronal function declines with age. I aim to identify factors that conserve neuronal function during age so that we can live better, longer lives. "

Lesley MacNeil

" My grandparents aged so optimally, it inspired me to practice and research with older persons who have a more challenging aging process, including those with multimorbidity. "

Jenny Ploeg

" Driving is critical to seniors' independence, mobility and health. I research factors that keep older drivers safe behind-the-wheel for as long as possible. "

Brenda Vrkljan

" My research discovers age-associated biological processes with the goal of extending lifespan, promoting mobility, and maintaining healthy aging. "

Bhagwati Gupta

" I study protein in human skeletal muscle – its mass, function, and maintenance – in aging. Healthy muscle = healthy aging "

Stuart Phillips

" I work to help people live their best lives including how to use or not use medications ways that are effective and safe. "

Lisa Dolovich

" It seemed to me that my grandparents lived forever. Why is it that some environments make people live long and others don't? "

Parminder Raina

" Keeping older adults infection free provides more years of healthy, independent living (because I need the free babysitting, thanks grandparents!) "

Dawn Bowdish

" I design and evaluate community-based health care interventions to improve access, quality of life and health outcomes at no additional cost. "

Maureen Markle-Reid

" Hearing underlies verbal & musical communication important for healthy aging. Music often reaches people after memory and language are gone. "

Laurel Trainor

" Urban infrastructure is failing older adults who don’t drive – a growing population. How can housing and transit make people functional for longer? "

Jim Dunn

Our Team

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GOVERNANCE

MIRA’s governance draws upon the expertise from the private sector and experts on aging from within the academic community. 

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Researchers

Our researchers represent all Faculties of the University. The input of multiple perspectives and areas of expertise ensures our research creates useable, practical, older adult-centered solutions. Our solutions are real and implementable and promote aging in place.

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Partners

MIRA collaborates with many partners in the field of aging, both at McMaster and in the wider community.

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Areas of Focus

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​Areas of Focus

MIRA coordinates research around areas of focus, each of which advances MIRA’s overall mission.

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Labarge Centre for
Mobility in Aging

Mobility is a cornerstone of healthy aging, which can affect social and economic independence, along with physical and mental health. Addressing the range of mobility issues associated with aging has the potential to optimize the well-being of a large number of Canadians.

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Our Story

MIRA grew out of recognition that the best way to tackle the complex issues facing an aging population was as an organised, interdisciplinary team that integrates the input of older adults and multiple perspectives. MIRA has mobilized researchers at McMaster to coordinate their efforts to enhance the university’s research strengths in aging.

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News

Nov
2021

Pandemic depression persists among older adults: research led by Dr. Parminder Raina

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of older people living in the community, with those who are lonely faring far worse, according to new research from McMaster University. Using data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), a national team of researchers found that 43% of adults aged 50 or older experienced moderate or high levels of depressive symptoms at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that increased over time.

Nov
2021

Weston Family Foundation funds $12M initiative to advance the science of healthy aging

The Weston Family Foundation is awarding a $12-million research grant to the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), hosted at McMaster University, for a new initiative that will shed light on the many factors that influence brain health as we age, including lifestyle and the human microbiome. The Healthy Brains, Healthy Aging Initiative will feature a cohort of 6,000 research participants who are currently enrolled in the CLSA. It marks the first time a national study of aging in Canada has introduced both brain imaging and microbiome analyses to investigate cognitive aging in the population over time.

Nov
2021

New research looks at knowledge translation with older adults.

A newly published study, by MIRA ​members Cynthia Lokker and Rebecca Ganann, sheds light on how researchers can effectively share health informatio...

Email MIRA at: MIRAinfo@mcmaster.ca       Follow us on Twitter : @MIRAMcMaster
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