TORONTO, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 --- Canada is aging faster than ever before and in the next two decades the number of older Canadians will double but how prepared are they to lead healthy, financially independent lives in their later years? With a focus on practitioner-oriented research, innovation and education, Ryerson University in partnership with the City of Toronto, Sinai Health System, Ontario Gerontology Association and the International Federation on Aging is launching a new National Institute on Ageing (NIA).
"Ryerson University is known for making a difference in areas that touch real people. The Ted Rogers School of Management is proud to launch the NIA at a time where Canadian demographics will call upon us to be innovative in how we rethink aging,” said Dean Steven Murphy, Ted Rogers School of Management. “To keep pace, Canada will need to tap into the skills of its aging population and grapple with major lifestyle issues including pensions and health. The next decade will see unprecedented change in how we view aging, and we are well suited to lead this conversation."
The NIA, housed within the Ted Rogers School of Management, is Canada’s first academic based institute to contemplate both the financial and health aspects of successful aging at a national level, reflecting Ryerson’s commitment to provide academic leadership on one of the greatest issues facing Canada.
“We saw an opportunity and need to consider successful aging from both the financial and health sides of the aging equation, and it is that need that led to the creation of this institute,” said Mitch Frazer, founder and co-chair of the NIA. He is also partner and chair of the Pensions and Employment Practice at Torys LLP.
The goals of the new institute include:
- creating programs that enhance research on aging such as retirement compensation, pensions, financial literacy, health management, age-friendly cities and communities;
- exploring innovation and technology to support home-based and community care;
- contributing to public dialogue on age-related topics through conferences and workshops; and
- delivering executive education for the pension and health sectors
“We look forward to contributing practical, comprehensive, and action-oriented insight to these topics that are of utmost importance as the wave of baby boomers approach their later years,” said Stephanie Woodward, executive director of the NIA.
The framework for the NIA will be guided by the National Senior Strategy, an initiative released by a team of health-care specialists last October. Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Mount Sinai and University Health Network hospitals, spearheaded this initiative. He will serve as the NIA's co-chair. Former Premier Bill Davis will serve as honorary chair.
Dr. Alana Officer, senior health adviser of the Department of Aging and Life Course, from the World Health
Organization will celebrate the launch of the NIA with a simultaneous Canadian launch of the WHO’s World Report on Aging and Health. The WHO will also be announcing that the City of Toronto will be the latest global city to be awarded the status of a WHO designated Age-Friendly City in recognition of its recent successful implementation of its inaugural Toronto Seniors Strategy.
“It is an honour to be included in the WHO's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "This confirms Toronto is a great and diverse city for people from all walks of life, at any age. We will leverage our membership in this global network to learn and share with partner cities in order to advance our goal of being a truly age-friendly and accessible city."
"Toronto's inclusion in the WHO's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities speaks to the city's commitment to serving seniors in an equitable, respectful and inclusionary way to improve their quality of life and support their full participation in civic life," said Councillor Josh Matlow, Toronto's seniors advocate. "We look forward to working alongside the WHO, Ryerson’s NIA and all of our partners to continue to develop, enhance and implement our Toronto Seniors Strategy."
The International Federation on Aging (IFA) is also excited to make its global headquarters in Toronto in collaboration with Ryerson’s NIA as its new key academic partner. “We are indeed proud to be able to bring a global perspective to the work of the new National Institute on Ageing that will help to inform more local and national efforts in a city and country prepared to lead the field of aging in such a comprehensive and holistic way,” said Dr. Jane Barratt, secretary general of the IFA.
The WHO will be supporting the launch of the NIA with a series of workshops at Ted Rogers School of Management, bringing together local and national thought leaders and practitioners to create a forum for innovative, solution-driven discussions, and to stimulate action required to position Canada as a leader in age-friendly environments.
About Ted Rogers School of Management
Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University is Canada’s leading entrepreneurial-focused business school shaping the country’s next generation of global leaders. Home to six schools of management, two Ryerson MBA programs, a Masters of Science in Management program and 15 cutting-edge research centres, institutes & labs, the faculty’s focus on academic rigor, combined with real-world experience, provides students with experiential learning and critical thinking skills needed to solve challenges facing today’s global economy. ryerson.ca/tedrogersschool
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