Conestoga news

January 26, 2021 4:03 PM

Conestoga launches national Institute for Seniors Care

Building on almost a decade of leadership in the delivery of education, workforce development and applied research focused on improving the quality of life and care for Canada’s seniors, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning today announced the launch of a dedicated institute that will coordinate and enhance existing activities while providing new opportunities to enact positive change. 

In collaboration with industry, government and community partners, the new Canadian Institute for Seniors Care at Conestoga will develop innovative education, improve workforce development and strengthen care practices to support care for seniors and their care partners across Canada.  

Led by Dr. Veronique Boscart, CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Seniors Care since 2012, the new institute will enhance national collaboration across organizations and industry, promote evidence-informed practices to improve education and care practices, and establish a Canada-wide knowledge mobilization network to support workforce development in seniors care.  

“Further efforts to improve the quality and sustainability of seniors care will have a tremendous impact on the well-being of families and communities across the nation,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “We are pleased to provide leadership for these efforts through the Canadian Institute for Seniors Care and greatly appreciate the longstanding support of our partners in this important initiative.”    

The new institute provides an integrated structure that includes Conestoga’s existing applied research and innovation centres focused on seniors care, including the Frances Cowan Centre for Excellence in Seniors Care and the Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care.   

More information is available on the Canadian Institute for Seniors Care website.

Registration is now open for the first program to be launched through the new institute. The Canadian Remote Access for Dementia Learning Experiences (CRADLE) program is a national initiative to help unregulated care providers across Canada develop essential skills to support those living with dementia in the community or in nursing or retirement homes. The online program will be delivered free of charge to up to 50,000 personal support workers and other unregulated care providers.  

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Unregulated care providers comprise the largest paid workforce in Canada’s health care system,” said Dr. Veronique Boscart, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute for Seniors Care. “By providing additional opportunities for these workers to access the specialized training they need to address the complexities in dementia care, we hope not only to enhance the skill level of this essential group of care workers, but also to increase their job satisfaction and engagement, leading to improved workforce retention.” 

The CRADLE project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

Currently, more than a half-million Canadians are living with dementia, with approximately 25,000 additional people being diagnosed each year.  By 2031, it is expected that the number of people in Canada living with dementia will approach one million.