Tom McDonald, 68, has lived in various Ottawa neighbourhoods for 40 years. He refers to his apartment in Heron Park as “Tom’s Museum of Cultural Paraphernalia” — a name that makes sense after seeing his many collections: books, antique razorblades, plastic sports trophies, and even an old pump organ. Tom has spent his life finding outlets for his creativity, such as writing short stories and playing musical instruments. But as his Parkinson’s disease worsens, pursuing these passions is becoming a challenge.
Fortunately for people like Tom, researchers from AGE-WELL, the Bruyére Research Institute and Carleton University are developing technology to help senior citizens live at home longer. Bruce Wallace — a key member of the joint initiative — explains how a research lab that’s also a fully functioning apartment is helping to preserve the independence of senior citizens, and could also help those with Parkinson’s maintain an active life.
Camera: Brendan Shykora
Producer: Christian Paas-Lang
Editing: Jenna Cocullo