The population is aging with accelerating pace. In Quebec, it is anticipated that one in four people will be 65 or older by 2031. Although aging is not always synonymous with poor health, a portion of the elderly population does require care and services to compensate for the loss of autonomy and decreased quality of life stemming from various age-related diseases. The repercussions of these diseases, or chronic problems, can be physical, psychological, functional or social.
Questions touching on the prevention and treatment of these diseases and their repercussions are of concern to both clinicians and researchers, mainly in the field of geriatrics. More broadly, issues related to the aging process itself and its repercussions on individuals, families and communities concern us all, regardless of age or condition. These wide-ranging inquiries on aging contribute to the field of gerontology.
The Laval University Research Chair on Aging was established to promote the development of academic geriatric medicine in the Université Laval network. The Chair’s primary mission is to support quality teaching in this relatively new discipline at Université Laval, in order to equip young physicians to offer effective care and treatment adapted to the elderly. The Chair also seeks to support applied research in geriatrics and gerontology at Université Laval and its affiliated institutions. This research spans a variety of fields: prevention and treatment of diseases linked to aging; selection and effectiveness of services for improving autonomy in the elderly; quality of life in institutions or facilities and means of improving it; alternatives to drug use; and appropriate services to allow seniors to remain at home, the living environment of choice, for as long as possible.
The Laval University Research Chair on Aging is most active within the university, supporting research in various disciplines involving professors, physicians, researchers, clinicians and students. The Chair also seeks to work in concert with the public at large, because aging is not simply a matter of health or disease; it is also a social issue that impacts families, groups and all communities.
In the early 1970s, the Assistant Dean of the Faculté de médecine established a fund to endow a Chair in Geriatric Medicine. A decade later, the Fondation de l’Hôpital Saint-Augustin instituted a second research fund at Université Laval for the purpose of financing a Chair in Geriatric Medicine.
Finally, in 1987, the Faculté de médecine helped found the Chair through its research and teaching fund – chiefly deductions from the clinical income of practitioners teaching at the university. The Laval University Chair in Geriatric Medecine changed its name in 2014 to the Research Chair on Aging.
The Chair works closely with social and community organizations and associations for retirees and the elderly, who are important partners in the Chair’s mission of active participation outside the academic and medical spheres.
The Chair’s partners:
Association des retraités de l’Université Laval (ARUL)
Association des retraitées et des retraités de l’enseignement du Québec (AREQ)
Association québécoise des retraités des secteurs public et parapublic (AQRP)
Centre d’excellence sur le vieillissement de Québec (CEVQ) du Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) de la Capitale-Nationale
Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHU de Québec)
Faculté de médecine, Université Laval
FADOQ (Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches regions)
Institut sur le vieillissement et la participation sociale des aînés (IVPSA)
Chair Holder interim
André Tourigny MD MBA FRCPC
Representative of the Vice Rector, Research, Creation and Innovation
Representative of the Association des retraités de l’Université Laval (ARUL)
Representative of the FADOQ network
Representative of the Faculty of Medicine, Laval University
Pierre J. Durand
Scientific director of the Centre d’excellence sur le vieillissement de Québec (CEVQ)
Representative of the Association des retraitées et retraités de l’éducation et des autres services publics du Québec (AREQ)
Representative of the dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Laval University
One of the Chair’s main objectives is to support applied research. The Centre d’excellence sur le vieillissement de Québec (CEVQ) has, since 1992, been its primary tool. It helps develop its geriatrics and gerontology research within Quebec City’s hospital and university community.
Through the CEVQ, the Chair hopes to bolster research efforts that enhance knowledge of the entire aging process and help train new researchers in the field. For more information, see the CEVQ website.
The Research Chair on Aging supports the CEVQ by assisting geriatrics and gerontology researchers with their research projects. The Chair also supports researchers looking to acquire the latest knowledge in certain aging-related fields.
Making a Donation
For several years, the Research Chair on Aging has supported the CEVQ. The quality of the research performed in this research unit bears witness to the skills of its diverse researchers and qualified professionals. Constant financial support is needed to implement research projects, prepare grant applications, conduct statistical analyses and write essential scientific articles. The Chair is hoping for regular funding and seeking donors. Whether a donation is large or small, it advances aging research, from which all people benefit over the course of their lives.
Donations to the Research Chair on Aging lend support to the varied and innovative research programs of the Unité de recherche en gériatrie. Financial contributions also allow continued top-quality training for researchers and clinicians working with the elderly. In addition, contributions to the Research Chair on Aging enable researchers from all disciplines interested in aging issues to collaborate on joint projects and benefit from multidisciplinary expertise.
To donate, please visit the Laval University Research Chair Support Fund page on the Fondation de l’Université Laval’s website.