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KL-CARE research unit tests and validates care practices and solutions for older adults

How do you know if a program, service, model of care, product, software app or other technological innovation is actually effective and capable of making a meaningful impact in people’s lives? How can you make improvements?

The answer: by conducting applied and evaluative research.

That’s the mission of the Kunin-Lunenfeld Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation (KL-CARE) at Baycrest: to provide expertise and work with clinicians, healthcare professionals, researchers, students, and commercial organizations to test and evaluate care practices, new programs and services, and new solutions, and measure their impact on the quality of life of older adults.

Since 2016 when Baycrest’s applied research and evaluative units were merged to create KL-CARE, significant progress has been made in helping improve care practices at the bedside; developing and delivering new programs that enhance clients’ access to care; and, provide evidence of the tangible impact of solutions, programs and care practices on the quality of life of older adults, according to Dr. Rosanne Aleong, KL-CARE Director.

“Applied research is a methodology used to solve practical, real-world problems,” she explains. “Basic research, on the other hand, looks to expand our general knowledge.”

“Our interdisciplinary approach and collaborative model of research allow our staff to integrate themselves into the fabric of applied research and program evaluation projects across the medical and clinical services, education and innovation portfolios,” Dr. Aleong adds. “We also work with innovators, entrepreneurs, and national and multi-national organizations to test and validate new solutions for older adults.”

KL-CARE also supports the activities of the Baycrest-led Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), a national centre focused on developing, testing, validating and disseminating new solutions in aging and brain health.

Examples of KL-CARE projects include:
  • Two studies examining care practices on the Palliative Care Unit
  • Evaluation of the Integrated Community Care Team
  • Evaluation of a support program for caregivers of persons with dementia
  • Evaluation of a falls prevention program on the Rehabilitation Unit
  • Evaluation of a cloud-based, touch screen, tablet-like IT platform to improve older adults’ ability to age in place at home (with CABHI and an industry partner)
KL-CARE also offers training in research methodology to build research capacity and encourage research engagement at Baycrest and beyond.

For more information, visit our website.

As part of Baycrest’s next chapter, KL-CARE will continue to build research expertise, work with industry partners to test and refine solutions for older adults, inform and promote evidence-based practices, and design and implement projects to transform the experience of aging.

How you can help write our next chapter
Donor support is vital to Baycrest’s efforts to advance as a leading research, education and innovation hub for the discovery, development and adoption of better approaches to optimize healthy aging. 
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