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Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation launches 2019 Spark Program to fund early-stage innovations from point-of-care workers

Press Release

TORONTO, May 13, 2019 – The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), led by Baycrest, is pleased to launch its 2019 Spark program to support point-of-care workers in developing grassroots ideas & testing innovations in the field of aging and brain health.

The Spark program provides up to $50,000 (CAD) per project over 12 months to develop and refine early stage solutions or adapt and test a commercially available solution in a real-world environment. CABHI invites staff working at Canadian healthcare organizations and members of the Seniors’ Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI) to apply for funding. In total, up to $2.5 million (CAD) is available across all projects.

“Point-of-care workers and service staff often have to improvise to meet the growing demands of an aging population, but because they work so closely with older adults day-in and day-out, they really understand what’s needed,” says Dr. Allison Sekuler, Vice-President Research, Baycrest, Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Managing Director at CABHI. “Their insights are critical to improve seniors’ care. The Spark program enables front-line care workers to translate these improvised ideas into early stage innovations, which can make a real difference in people’s health and well-being.”

This year, the Spark Program is accepting applications aimed at addressing one of five priorities:

  • Aging in place: solutions that enable older adults with dementia to maximize their independence so that they can age in their desired setting (e.g. by reducing falls, addressing social isolation, etc.)
  • Caregiver support: solutions that support caregivers (formal and informal) in providing care to older adults with dementia
  • Care coordination and navigation: solutions that help older adults, caregivers and healthcare providers to better coordinate and navigate care for older adults with dementia
  • Cognitive health: solutions that improve brain/cognitive health for aging adults and/or support the identification and assessment of adults at risk for dementia/cognitive impairment
  • Aging Indigenous & rural populations: solutions that address aging and brain health challenges particularly focusing on Indigenous populations and individuals living in rural and remote areas

Eligible applicants are invited to submit an expression of interest by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 5, 2019. More information is available on the CABHI website.

Funding for this program is provided by the Government of Canada through the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, and the Baycrest Foundation.

The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) is an innovation accelerator for the aging and brain health sector, providing 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. For more information on CABHI, please visit: www.cabhi.com.

Baycrest is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. 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 and one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti – a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory. 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, please visit: www.baycrest.org

For a French version of this release, please visit: https://www.cabhi.com/2019-spark-release-fr/

For further information: Media Contact: Arielle Zomer, Senior Communications Specialist, CABHI, 416-937-5741, [email protected]

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