Improve healthcare for aging individuals across Canada by translating complex research data into a format that facilitates the practical application of key findings.
The Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is a charitable foundation that links research, education and practice to improve quality of life and care for older adults. A partnership between Schlegel Villages, the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College, RIA mobilizes research evidence to inform healthcare education, training, practice and policy.
In 2014, RIA launched a landmark study, called Making the Most of Mealtimes, to explore the factors that promote better nutrition for individuals living in long-term care facilities. The two-year study followed 600 residents from Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Ontario and revealed three key factors influencing food intake among this demographic:
1. Meal quality (the availability of nutritious, appetizing food options)
2. Meal access (individualized assistance with food intake)
3. Meal experience (pleasant physical surroundings and friendly, person-centred support)
RIA sought to communicate these and other findings in a way that engaged citizens and organizations in making changes to improve nutrition and food intake for older adults.