LABARGE Centre for mobility in aging (LCMA)
A range of intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect the physical and community mobility of an individual as they age. We use an interdisciplinary approach to examine these factors, including:
- Biological and physiological contributors;
- Behavioural, cognitive and psychosocial influences;
- Biomedical, clinical and technological innovations;
- Availability of prevention, rehabilitation and management strategies for mobility challenges; and
- Environmental components, such as social, economic, policy and physical/structural factors.
Mobility is a cornerstone of healthy aging – one that can affect social and economic independence, along with physical and mental health. Mobility challenges in older adulthood range from difficulty using major joints to walking or driving with a resulting impact on social and community participation.
Interactions between biological factors and the built and social environments combine to impact older adults’ mobility, social engagement and overall health. However, few studies have addressed these interactions across multiple levels. By better understanding the range of issues associated with mobility in aging, we will have the potential to optimize the well-being of Canadians, as well as reduce health and social costs.
Our Research Approach
The Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging is one centre housed within McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA), which is a hub for research, education and community engagement. Through the Centre, we utilize several mechanisms to conduct research, support community engagement and promote knowledge sharing, including:
- Stakeholder Consultation and Community Engagement. We host events and outreach to facilitate and enable research collaboration across disciplines and with stakeholders.
- Synthesis and Scoping Research Reviews. We identify research gaps and the evidence needed to evaluate emerging interventions and move evidenced-based interventions into practice.
- Catalyst Grants. We offer financial support to stimulate new collaborative and interdisciplinary research ideas.
- Demonstration Projects and Case Studies. We demonstrate our research products in different cultural groups and among diverse communities to measure usability and impact.
- Major Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives. We will support randomized controlled trials of interventions in the community.
Our Research Agenda
The Centre will use an interdisciplinary approach to examine the biological, behavioural, technological and environmental factors that can affect individual and community mobility in older adults. McMaster researchers identified three priorities areas for study:
- Understand, define, and explore mobility in aging.
- Maintaining and restoring mobility: prevention, intervention and interaction with health systems.
- Environmental facilitators and barriers influencing mobility.