Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Funding Will Advance CABHI Initiatives to Grow Canadian Agetech Companies, Source the Best of the World’s Innovations, and Support the Implementation of Canada’s National Dementia Strategy to Prevent Dementia and Improve the Quality of Life of Older Canadians
April 8, 2022 – The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), powered by Baycrest, is pleased to see a commitment of funding of $30M over three years through the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), enabling CABHI to continue its vital work accelerating world-class aging and brain health innovations that improve the quality of life and mental health of older adults, people living with dementia, and their caregivers across Canada.
In a year when pandemic-related challenges have disproportionately and negatively impacted older adults’ and caregivers’ quality of life, the need to mobilize innovative technologies, programs, and services, has never been greater. With 85% of those in long-term care having cognitive impairment or dementia and 80% of COVID-19-related deaths in Canada being among those with cognitive impairment or dementia, the impact of this renewed funding will broadly benefit all Canadians. The Alzheimer Society of Canada estimates that in less than 15 years, there will be close to one million Canadians living with dementia.
CABHI has funded more than 350 projects, connected with more than 225,000 people through knowledge mobilization activities, and attracted more than $407M in follow on funding to the agetech sector. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our ongoing efforts have helped rapidly accelerate the work of talented researchers and innovators, so that the most promising solutions are validated and scaled across care and community settings and get in the hands of people who need them, with approximately 75 projects funded since March 2020.
The renewed funding commitment will allow CABHI to continue its work with innovators from across Canada and internationally, to attract additional investment, talent and new, accessible solutions. In addition, CABHI’s initiatives will support the design and implementation of the research and innovation pillar of Canada’s First National Dementia Strategy, which focuses on preventing dementia and improving the quality of life of people living with dementia and their caregivers.
“Innovation is part of Baycrest’s DNA. We began as an innovative undertaking in response to the needs of our community more than 104 years ago; and we continue to innovate today to respond to the current and emerging needs of an aging population,” Dr. William Reichman, President and CEO of Baycrest Seniors Care said. “We thank the Government of Canada for this critical funding, which will help ensure that CABHI can turn research discoveries and ideas into impact by putting practical solutions into the hands of Canadian older adults and their caregivers as quickly as possible. Baycrest aims to defeat dementia and create a future where one can age fearlessly while enjoying a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment.”
As Canada’s leading solution accelerator in the aging and brain health sector, CABHI’s work focuses squarely on dementia. It has established innovation themes in keeping with the values of diversity, accessibility, health equity, and social inclusion to ensure funding and acceleration service resources achieve the greatest impact from coast to coast to coast. These themes have been co-designed with individuals living with dementia and their caregivers to reflect their priorities:
- Aging at Home: enabling older adults and people living with dementia to remain active in the setting of their choice
- Caregiver Support: simplifying day-to-day caregiving responsibilities, providing education or training, or helping caregivers maintain their own well-being
- Care Coordination and Navigation: helping older adults and people living with dementia and their caregivers access timely and appropriate care
- Cognitive and Mental Health: early detection of cognitive impairment or dementia, preventative care approaches to maintain or enhance cognitive and mental health, and protecting the cognitive and mental health of healthcare providers and caregivers
- Financial Health and Wellness: helping older adults remain financially independent, stay safe in the workforce longer, seek later-life employment, prepare for retirement, plan for financing care, and avoid financial exploitation
“Work in all of these priority areas is critical to advance the implementation of Canada’s National Dementia Strategy,” Dr. Allison Sekuler, President and Chief Scientist at CABHI, said. “We are extremely grateful to the Government of Canada for this renewed funding that will accelerate our ability to develop, validate, and commercialize solutions that can have the greatest impact. CABHI is proud to partner with PHAC in advancing research and innovation to improve the quality of life of people at-risk-for and living with dementia and their caregivers.”
A solution accelerator for the aging and brain health sector, CABHI provides funding and support to innovators for the development, testing, and dissemination of new ideas and technologies that address unmet brain health and seniors’ care needs. Established in 2015, it is the result of the largest investment in brain health and aging in Canadian history. CABHI is a unique collaboration of health care, science, industry, not-for-profit and government partners whose aim is to help improve quality of life for the world’s aging population, allowing older adults to age safely in the setting of their choice while maintaining their cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being.
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Baycrest is a global leader in research, innovation, education and care for older adults, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Baycrest is home to a robust research and innovation network, including one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience and aging, the Rotman Research Institute; the scientific headquarters of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, Canada’s largest national dementia research initiative; and the Baycrest-powered Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector. Baycrest helps aging adults assess, monitor, maintain and enhance cognition through an innovative portfolio of evidence-based products and services offered through its brain health company, Cogniciti.
Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals. Through these initiatives, Baycrest has remained at the forefront of the fight to defeat dementia as the organization works to help individuals Fear No AgeTM and create a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment. Founded in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information about Baycrest, visit baycrest.org or visit www.FearNoAge.com.