The group is represented by faculty members in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine with a specific interest in aging including those from occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and the rehabilitation research centre (epidemiology and psychology/gerontology).
The Special Interest Group in Aging (SIGA) serves as a focal point to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in research on aging within the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.
SIGA includes researchers from speech pathology and audiology, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy. We have been involved in research specific to the functional needs of older adults for more than a decade. We regularly collaborate in research, provide trainee mentorship and consultation.
Our research covers areas such as arthritis, sleep, pain, communication, swallowing, mental health, resiliency, health-related quality of life and the use of technology to promote independence. Although diverse, these areas all share a compelling over-riding theme: protecting, maintaining, and improving older adults’ functional abilities.
CIHR defines knowledge translation (KT) as:
A dynamic and iterative process that includes synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically-sound application of knowledge to improve the health of Canadians, provide more effective health services and products and strengthen the health care system.
This process takes place within a complex system of interactions between researchers and knowledge users which may vary in intensity, complexity and level of engagement depending on the nature of the research and the findings as well as the needs of the particular knowledge user (CIHR, 2012).
SIGA engages older adults and their family caregivers in understanding rehabilitation research related to aging and function. Our plans from our Community Consultation Symposium findings include developing a CIHR Knowledge Translation and citizen engagement (KTNe) proposal to refine and expand the consultative and knowledge exchange process to rural and isolated communities with concentrations of seniors across Alberta.