IA Strategic Research Priorities 2019-2021

As part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Institute of Aging identifies and addresses through research and other actions, the knowledge gaps and opportunities related to Canada’s aging population. The Institute focuses on health and wellness across the entire trajectory of life while specifically addressing the health challenges of older individuals.

The CIHR Institute of Aging Strategic Plan 2019-2021: Living Longer, Living Better is based on two main strategic directions (a) the determinants of health and wellness along the life-long trajectory of aging, and (b) the complex health challenges of the older individual and their caregivers. Additionally, some cross-cutting strategic directions focus on specific aspects that need to be considered throughout the planning and implementation of first two directions.

Strategic Direction 1: Health and Wellness over the Trajectory of Aging

Over the course of people’s lives, there are many determinants that interact and influence health and wellness over the trajectory of aging. At the same time, and regardless of the health condition of the older individual, the physical, psychological and social environments can contribute to quality of life during the later years. In other words, these environments can contribute to living better while living longer.

This first Strategic Direction is expressed through two complementary sub-Directions:

  • 1.1 Life trajectory as a determinant of healthy and satisfying aging
  • 1.2 Added life to the later years

Strategic Direction 2: Facing the Complex Health Challenges of an Older Population

Despite the advances in prevention and treatment, a number of older individuals struggle with multiple chronic conditions, which can have a negative impact on their quality of life in their later years. The effects of these multiple chronic conditions need to be better understood, addressed and ultimately prevented.

The second Strategic Direction for the Institute is best expressed through five complementary sub-Directions:

  • 2.1 Understanding, preventing and addressing multiple chronic conditions
  • 2.1 Facing the challenge of dementia
  • 2.3 Recognizing new emerging aging populations
  • 2.4 Ensuring the adaptation of healthcare and services to an aging population
  • 2.5 Informing late-life care and decisions

Cross-Cutting Strategic Directions

Over and above the first two specific strategic Directions, the Institute of Aging also recognizes the need for cross-cutting strategic directions that must be taken into account in all strategic directions and sub-directions.

The first cross-cutting strategic direction relates to Canada’s rich Indigenous culture. The Institute will integrate an Indigenous perspective on aging when possible, in all its actions, whether research initiatives, implementation or convenor actions.

The second cross-cutting strategic direction relates to ensuring appropriate research capacity in aging as well as research on the optimal training of health professionals and workers for an aging population.

Finally, the third cross-cutting strategic direction relates to the different actions to ensure the convenor and catalyst roles of the Institute of Aging with all stakeholders.

The CIHR Institute of Aging is dedicated to realizing the achievement of a longer and more satisfying life for Canadians by supporting the capacity and the creation of knowledge, and ensuring its transformation for the health and wellness of Canadians, and better care and health systems for an aging population.

Moving towards a Canada where we can all live longer and live better.

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