Working to improve the health system for older adults

Older people, particularly those with chronic illnesses, are the biggest users of health care services, yet the health care system is not always organized to meet their needs. Canada's health system is still oriented to an acute, episodic model of care, which does not meet the complex needs of older patients.

The Geriatric Health Systems (GHS) Research Group is a collaborative team of interdisciplinary researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and research staff.  Our research focus is to understand, and find solutions for, health system challenges that affect the quality of care and in turn, the quality of life of older persons. We work in close partnership with health system organizations and stakeholders to ensure that our research has relevance to practice and policy. Our research priorities include primary care for older adults, aging and technologypatient and citizen engagement in health care, and health system integration. The GHS Research Group’s mission is:


We are committed to working alongside those who are affected by our research, and are privileged to have many seniors engaged with our research through our SHARP Network.  Contact us to learn how you can become involved in our efforts.

To learn about some of our profiled research click the images below.


  1. Nov. 6, 2015The Importance of Older Adult Engagement

    The goal of SHARP (Seniors Helping as Research Partners) is to learn from patients and their families, to develop a sustainable network and advance the development of research priorities, collaborations, ultimately improving the health care system for older adults. In the following video we hear directly from SHARP volunteers why they choose to work with SHARP.

  2. June 5, 2013Home-based rehabilitation for seniors improves quality of life, saves moneyUW researcher Paul Stolee

    Seniors with musculoskeletal disorders, like arthritis or broken bones, who get rehabilitation at home are less likely to need admission to hospital or long-term care homes, say researchers from the University of Waterloo and University of Toronto.

    The study, published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, also found that older patients who receive physiotherapy and occupational therapy in their own home are more likely to be discharged from home care services altogether after treatment.

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