Schlegel Villages partners with the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) to drive research and innovation that benefits Village life. RIA’s mission is to enhance the quality of life and care of older adults through partnerships in research, education and practice.

RIA explores the aging process across various theme areas, such as:

  • Brain Health
  • Heart Health
  • Nutrition
  • Training and Education
  • Technology for Independent Living

RIA uses the research findings to create or improve programs, policies, education and training. The learnings are then shared, resulting in better care and enhanced quality of life for older adults in the Villages and beyond.

RIA is a charitable foundation and was founded by the Schlegel family in 2005 in collaboration with University of Waterloo and Conestoga College. 

Learn more about Schlegel Research Chairs below.

Learn more about current and completed RIA research projects.


Schlegel Research Chairs


Dr. George Heckman
Schlegel Research Chair in Geriatric Medicine
University of Waterloo, 2010 – Present

Dr. Heckman’s research focuses on promoting an integrated and proactive system of care focused on quality of life and optimal usage of health care resources.

“We help the teams that care for you and your family to better ‎work together. They will know more about you, some of the medical concerns and have strong strategies to make sure all this important information is shared and documented. This should lead to better integrated care and services.”


Dr. Richard Hughson
Schlegel Research Chair in Vascular Aging & Brain Health
Senior Director of Research, RIA
University of Waterloo, 2010 – Present

Dr. Hughson’s research focuses on the role of cardiovascular health in modifying brain blood flow, and how age-related vascular changes affect motor and cognitive function. 

“Much of my research is with astronauts in space, where the aging process is accelerated. These learnings help us understand aging here on Earth and what steps can be taken to promote healthy aging.”

Veronique Boscart

Dr. Veronique Boscart
CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Seniors Care
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, 2012 – Present

Dr. Boscart’s research focuses on developing education and training programs, models of care and best practices for professionals working with older adults.

“Our work prepares students to become stronger team members here and in other care organizations across the country. They will have more knowledge, skills and collaboration approaches.  Graduates will understand the importance of caring for a person instead of a disease. “


Dr. Heather Keller
Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition & Aging
University of Waterloo, 2012 – Present

Dr. Keller focuses her research on the mealtime experience and demonstrating the importance of nutrition to health and quality of life for older adults.

“We know that nutrition is important, but it’s about more than just the food on the plate – it’s the overall experience that matters. My research explores how we can make the most of mealtimes for older people, regardless of where they live.”

Dr. Andrew Costa
Schlegel Chair in Clinical Epidemiology and Aging
McMaster University, 2014 – Present

Dr. Costa’s research makes use of health information and technology to develop better models of care and decision support systems.

“By examining information (data) we already have, we will help villagers avoid unnecessary emergency department visits (which puts health safety at risk).”


Dr. Linda Lee
Schlegel Chair in Primary Care for Elders
Centre for Family Medicine, 2016 – Present

Dr. Lee’s research and training improve the interprofessional care of older adults living with cognitive challenges and dementia. 

"By creating Primary Care Collaborative Memory Clinics - a unique model of care at the primary care level - older adults with memory challenges are able to access a highly trained, interdisciplinary team and receive better care and support. This model is currently spreading across the province.”


Dr. Jennifer Boger
Schlegel Research Chair in Technology for Independent Living
Systems Design Engineering, 2016 – Present

Dr. Boger’s research explores intelligent assistive technologies for enhancing the health, safety, well-being, and independence of older adults.

“The unique environment will take my research program to the next level by enabling my team to work more closely with older adults and their families to develop technologies that truly benefit their lives.”

Dr. Al Power

Dr. Allen Power
Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation
RIA 2017 – Present

I am working toward creating a future in which people of all ages and abilities are embraced and engaged in an inclusive society; and helping people to explore educational and operational paradigms to help us succeed in that endeavour.

Interesting fact: While a university pre-med, half of my courses were in jazz and classical composition at the Eastman School of Music. I still write and perform (acoustic singer/songwriter music) as time allows.