CABHI Launches Leap, Virtual Community for Older Adults and Caregivers
Updated: Nov 10, 2022
End user insights ensure innovators’ solutions are designed to be more effective, accessible, and widely adopted.
The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), powered by Baycrest, has launched Leap, its virtual innovation community for older adults and caregivers. Leap connects innovators developing solutions (i.e., products, programs, services) with their intended end users to understand users’ lived experiences, needs, and preferences. Innovators use these critical insights to inform the design and delivery of their solutions for optimal success. By joining Leap’s community of older adults, caregivers, innovators, and thought leaders in the aging and brain health innovation space, members can connect socially while learning and building new collaboration and technology skills.
The United Nations reports there are more than a billion people aged 60+ globally, and the number of super-aged countries continues to grow. Now, more than ever, innovation is essential to meet the challenges of an aging population. Agetech is increasingly helping older adults live lives of purpose in the setting of their choice.
Since its inception in 2015, CABHI has engaged older adults and caregivers in its solution acceleration work through its Toronto-based Seniors Advisory Panel (SAP). SAP members have been integrally involved in the design, development, and refinement of Leap. Leap will significantly scale up the reach and diversity of older adults and caregivers bringing their insights to the design, development, validation, and dissemination of new innovative solutions.
Built as a virtual community centre, Leap’s rooms create environments for learning, sharing stories, informing and co-designing solutions, and accessing best-in-class innovations. Since the launch of the beta version of Leap in 2021, more than 600 members from across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom have attended more than 100 Leap events, accessed learning resources, and shared their guidance with innovators. Leap members have informed the evolution of Leap itself, with the newly launching version customized to meet their needs for a streamlined, engaging, and personalized user experience. The new version also includes a Marketplace, which curates leading agetech solutions for members’ consideration and purchase.
“The Leap community can help innovators of all types – founders, researchers, private and public sector organizations– understand and partner with their users to develop more successful solutions,” said Dr. Allison Sekuler, President and Chief Scientist at CABHI. “Leap puts older adults and caregivers at the centre of innovation. Anyone developing age-related products, services, or programs will benefit from incorporating insights of the Leap community into their solution.”
“I have come back to re-engage with CABHI’s older adult community a few times. Each time I was able to address a different aspect of the prototype I was working on. I refined it and returned for more feedback. Working together with older adult end users allowed me to improve the functions and features of my solution and how it might be adapted to the different needs of my future clients,” said Sharon Kiptoo, co-founder of GTCare Companion.
“I’ve always been a life long learner and get excited at the prospect of innovations that can make the aging experience better for myself and others. Having the opportunity to connect with people from all over, share my stories and give innovators the benefit of my experience is very fulfilling. Leap is a community of people who – like me – who want to age with quality of life, continuously learning, and making a contribution,” said Hilary Randall-Grace, Leap member.
The Leap community is now expanding, welcoming new members from communities across Canada, North America, and globally. Membership is free for older adults 55+ and anyone who identifies with the role of caregiver. Agetech innovators and companies (especially those working in the areas of aging at home, caregiver support, care coordination, cognitive and mental health, and financial health and wellness) are encouraged to connect with the Leap team (email@example.com) to explore how the community’s insights can fast track their success.
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