Who we are
The LIFE Research Institute (LRI) is an action-oriented research hub that takes a comprehensive approach to aging by advancing knowledge and training on the physical, mental and social factors that impact quality of life throughout the life trajectory. In essence: Live long, live well and with choices.
Working in close collaboration with our partners, such as ILC-Canada, the Institute draws on all faculties, on academics from other organizations, members of the private sector, policy makers, practitioners and members of civil society to answer questions in need of evidence from several sectors.
What makes us different
We start from concrete questions that are important for health and well-being and help create teams to answer them. We work closely with academics, decision makers, clinics, the private sector and members of the community. This integrative approach will become a signature of the Institute.
We invite potential partners to contact us with issues relevant to the vision and mission of the institute.
In Canada, as in many western countries, there are currently more individuals over the age of 65 than individuals under the age of 15 and life expectancy is now the longest that any previous generation has seen. The size of this age group is expected to continue growing at least until 2056, with the group of older Canadians 85+ showing the greatest growth. Understanding the nature and impact of enablers be they genetic, physiological, cognitive, psychological, environmental and/or social or understanding how they influence changes and transitions throughout the life trajectory is of increasing societal importance to address the new demographic realities. Only through a multi-sectoral approach that includes academics from various disciplines, government agencies, the private sector and civil society will we be able to develop knowledge, innovate in practice and create evidence-based policies.
The VISION for the LIFE Research Institute is:
- To act as a leading innovative research hub for understanding and integrating biological, psychosocial and environmental dimensions of life trajectories with the view to foster optimal wellbeing throughout the lifespan.
The MISSION for the LIFE Research Institute is:
- To bring together multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial expertise to advance knowledge and training on issues related to individuals’ realignment to changing biological, physical, mental and social environments throughout the life cycle.
What we do
The LRI was created to allow real exchanges with stakeholders from many sectors. In fact, the LRI is organized around four objectives:
- Conducting world class research:
- Innovative research related to life trajectories and aging.
- Focus on the integrative processes of adaptation over a person’s lifespan.
- Partnering with communities and businesses:
- Focus on private sector groups, governments, and civil society.
- Create better data for quality of life research.
- Embedding learning into the training of new health care professionals:
- Multidisciplinary experiential learning environment for graduate and post-graduate students.
- Undergraduate programs with opportunities for research and applied learning.
- Impacting the policy agenda through advocacy:
- Using research and data on policy impacts to shape decisions on practice settings, health policy and entrepreneurial initiatives regarding aging.
Each of these objectives constitutes a working group within the LRI.
How we work
The University of Ottawa’s LIFE Research Institute (LRI) takes a critical look at life trajectories in all of its complexities. We want to explore in greater detail how we end up where we end up in later life. Our bodies are complex and require approaches that are truly interdisciplinary. However, these bodies function in complex worlds that further require an understanding of the multitude of factors that influence our trajectories and those trajectories are influenced by decisions we make and choices that are available to us. We have intentionally embraced this complexity and chosen to group interested academics, policy makers, practitioners, the business sector and members of civil society to solve the challenges we face along this trajectory.
The more knowledge we have about trajectories, including earlier paths, the better we can ensure robust health in later life and the more we can ensure that quality of life prevails despite health limitations. In addition to its focus on advancing knowledge on the life trajectory and its impact on older lives, another of the most distinguishing features of the LRI is its partnership with ILC – Canada and other local, national and international partnerships to support the use of research to:
- Influence policy and advocacy through governmental and international connections.
- Influence the development of technologies and business approaches through research collaborations with the private sector.
- Influence care and clinical practice through collaborations with clinical testing centers.
- Build stronger communities by including business, government, academics, and NGOs in advancing the societal changes necessary to respond to the demographic age boom.