Bridging the Gap Between Research and the Community

(Sanjit Roy, 2020 Ruth A. Gardner Research Award Recipient & Annette Laurin, Eldercare Foundation Award Committee member)

The partnership between the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation (Eldercare Foundation) and the University of Victoria’s Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health (IALH) is one that helps bridge the gap between research and the community. Both organizations benefit – IALH Student Affiliates are supported financially, and the Eldercare Foundation is able to attract important research projects that can potentially improve the lives of older individuals locally, nationally, and internationally.

 Research has always been a very important piece of what the Eldercare Foundation does. By partnering with IALH, we can share expertise and knowledge transfer, and fund changes that might help to improve quality of life.

  • Lori McLeod, Executive Director Eldercare Foundation

The Ruth A. Gardner Research Award, held and administered by the Eldercare Foundation with research support from IALH, is one example of how vital connections between research and community organizations can be strengthened. The award was created to honour Ruth A. Gardner’s legacy and professional interests as a psychologist and social worker. The annual award supports a University of Victoria student undertaking a clinical or applied research project designed to enhance and advance care for individuals with chronic conditions who are aging.

The 2020 Ruth A. Gardner Research Award recipient is Sanjit Roy, a PhD student in the Social Dimensions of Health program and an IALH Student Affiliate. As part of his doctoral research, Sanjit is applying his education and proficiency in applied statistics to better understand socialization and community building for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia. The World Health Organization, which has recognized dementia as a public health priority, estimates that 5% to 8% of the population globally has some form of dementia (see ). As there is no current treatment for dementia, those who have been diagnosed need extra care and support to continue to be an active part of their communities.

Creating a dementia-friendly community provides the opportunity for persons with dementia to be engaged in the community and with peers to increase quality of life.

  • Sanjit Roy, 2020 Ruth A. Gardner Research Award Recipient

For more information on the Ruth A. Gardner Research Award and other awards available through the Eldercare Foundation, please see  . For more information on other awards available to IALH Student Affiliates, please see