RTO/ERO Foundation Announces $150,000 in New Grants for Aging Research and Training

November 7, 2016 - Toronto


The Retired Teachers of Ontario Foundation announced today the funding of five new projects, totaling $150,000, to advance research and training in the field of aging.


"There is such a significant gap between the number of health and social care professionals who are knowledgeable in caring for aging adults, and the avalanche of new seniors that are bringing with them a set of unique challenges and needs", says Joanne Murphy, President of the Foundation Board of Directors.


"As only one of a few Canadian Foundations focused on enhancing the lives of aging adults, we are thrilled to be able to support these worthwhile projects from communities across Ontario."


Funds will be distributed, following Ethics Board Approvals, to the following recipients:

· The Hamilton Council on Aging to support the Hamilton Seniors' Social Isolation Project, a collaboration between seven community organizations. The project aims to measurably reduce the rates of seniors' social isolation, where risk factors for isolation - such as living alone, disability, poor health, language barriers, poverty, and lack of access to services and supports - are most prevalent.

· Ryerson University, AGE and McMaster University to evaluate a standardized, online Dementia Education Program for post-secondary health care students.  The project aims to build students' capacity to support patients with dementia who display challenging behaviours with non-medical intervention.  

· The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, University of Guelph, University of Ottawa, and Lakehead Universities to develop a toolkit for healthcare professionals caring for older LGBT adults facing the end of their lives. This novel project incorporates both research and training, and will benefit LGBT seniors across Ontario - in urban, rural and remote communities.

· Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto to evaluate a Geriatric Education Program for Orthopedic Surgery Residents. This mandatory Orthogeriatrics rotation aims to strengthen geriatric competencies among orthopedic trainees, leading to a new generation of orthopedic surgeons better equipped for the care of our growing older adult population.

· Baycrest Hospital, the University of Toronto, Meighen Manor, and Rekai Centres at Sherbourne Place and Wellesley Central Place, to investigate the benefits of using cognitive stimulation with elderly long term care residents during friendly visits by volunteers.  The Project aims to show that the use of cognitive stimulation exercises used in conversation with residents will lead to improved behaviours, mood and quality of life.

The Retired Teachers of Ontario Foundation aims to enhance the quality of life for aging adults through the funding of applied research and post-secondary training in geriatrics and gerontology; and community-based programs to address social isolation in older adults.  The Foundation was established in 2011 with the support of its founding benefactor, the Retired Teachers of Ontario, and inspired by the philanthropic spirit of retired teachers and other members of the education community.


In 2015, the Foundation established the RTO/ERO Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Toronto, and continues to raise funds for innovative approaches to enhancing the lives of aging adults across Ontario and beyond. To date, the Foundation has invested over $2.5 million into aging research.


For more information on the RTO/ERO Foundation and to make a donation, go the, or contact us at 416-962-9463 or 1-800-361-9888.