Conestoga news

May 17, 2005 10:33 AM

Community Partners Launch Winston Park Research and Learning Centre for Seniors Care

KITCHENER, Ont. -- Community partners have launched the Winston Park Research and Learning Centre for Seniors Care, an initiative involving the University of Waterloo (UW), Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, and The Village of Winston Park, a retirement care community in Kitchener.

The new initiative draws on expertise at UW's Research Institute for Aging, which seeks to enhance the care of seniors in community-based and institutional accommodations. As well, Conestoga College's Training Institute for Seniors Care participates by developing programs of instruction related to care for the elderly, including professional development opportunities for caregivers, along with leadership management skills applicable in long-term care facilities.

Research related to low vision, falls prevention, joint replacement, cerebrovascular blood flow, dementia, quality of life and evaluation of best practices has never been more relevant as Canada's population ages, with the fastest growth rate seen among those over 80 years old.

The strength of the new initiative is that researchers at UW will provide the knowledge and strategies to improve the quality of life of senior residents, while Conestoga College's curriculum, faculty and students will focus on the delivery of enhanced services.

"This Research and Learning Centre for Seniors Care represents a powerful configuration which will drive research and training programs to the front lines for enhanced seniors care," said Ron Schlegel, President, The Village of Winston Park. "This is a unique partnership of three leaders in their respective fields -- the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College and Winston Park Retirement Care Community."

"Conestoga College pursues educational initiatives that have both immediate and long-term, useful impact on the economic and social betterment of the community," said Conestoga President John Tibbits.

"Issues of health care advancement and quality of life are important at all stages of life, and Conestoga is pleased to join with innovators such as The Village of Winston Park and the University of Waterloo in what promises to be a very productive alliance." "This innovative initiative will have a profound positive impact on the quality of life of our aging population," said UW President David Johnston. "Research into Aging has been a focus of Waterloo's Faculty of Applied Health Sciences for more than 25 years and the university recently introduced a multi-disciplinary PhD program in aging, health and well-being."

The Village of Winston Park, which has been offering a continuum of care to seniors for more than 35 years in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, will provide a physical campus for independent and care-giving accommodation where residents are part of a living research environment. The focus of the institute's work will be to translate research into practice.

Conestoga College is recognized and respected for providing an ever-expanding array of practical programs and courses in health sciences and community services. In response to and co-operation with practitioners and professionals, agencies, associations and institutions, Conestoga offers both undergraduate and specialized, post-graduate learning opportunities.

At UW, there are researchers across the campus with wide-ranging expertise in the health issues of an older population, including the Functional Abilities Program (FAP) and the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. FAP uses research tools to enhance health and independence for residents in long-term care facilities, while MAREP integrates educational and research activities in an effort to improve dementia care practices in Canada.

Martin Van Nierop, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 888-4881
John Sawicki, Public Affairs, Conestoga College, (519) 748-5220, ext. 3336