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Supporting health aging in older adults

by Karmen Dowling | September 24, 2008

Supporting health aging in older adults
The Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging at Western develops, encourages and promotes active, healthy lifestyles for older adults in Canada.

The Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging (CCAA) at Western is a national research and educational centre that is unique in Canada and among the best in the world. It promotes physical activity and well-being of older adults through a combination of basic and applied research, educational resources and community-based programs.

Recognizing the fundamental need to address the challenges presented by the growing number of older and frail individuals, researchers and program staff at the CCAA are at the forefront of the development and dissemination of evidence-based programs designed to improve the quality of life for older Canadians.

The Centre operates six research laboratories which specialize in the following aspects of physiological testing and research: cardio respiratory function; blood chemistry and acid based factors; nutrition; community stress testing; muscle physiology; and strength testing.

The goals of the CCAA are to:

  • Investigate the interrelationship between physical activity and aging through basic and applied research, including research to help prevent loss of physical function
  • Develop, implement, promote and evaluate programs using current research evidence, community needs and available resources
  • Educate and train program leaders/health care providers for all regions of Canada in the most current strength, exercise and physical training components of an effective physical activity program through on-site training, publications, manuals and videos
  • Communicate research and evidence-based practices for healthy lifestyles for community-based, homed-based and long-term care environments
  • Seek opportunities to share research outcomes at local, provincial, national and international workshops and conferences

In order to continue the legacy of innovative research and community initiatives, the CCAA must expand both faculty positions and program infrastructure. Financial support will help continue to develop, encourage and promote active, healthy lifestyles for Canadian adults that will enhance the dignity of the aging process.

This article appeared in the Fall 2008 edition of Impact Western
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