Research Projects

The above graph shows the current and past year’s research activity at Northwood. In 2022-23, there were 11 active projects, two of which are new applications. Three were continued from 2021-22 and six from 2019-21. The most common topics included oral health and hygiene, fall prevention, rehabilitation for residents living with dementia, and technology.

On-going projects

Identified goals for rehabilitation of long-term care residents with dementia: a qualitative study

Most residents in long-term care (LTC) live with dementia, which affects quality of life and increases the risk for negative outcomes like impaired mobility, falls, and fractures. Rehabilitation can improve quality of life and mobility and prevent falls and fractures. However, residents with dementia are less likely to receive rehabilitation than those without and are often excluded from rehabilitation studies in LTC.
The purpose of our study is to identify the goals of rehabilitation and the meaning of quality of life and function in relation to rehabilitation for LTC residents with dementia. The findings will inform the development of a resident-centered rehabilitation program specifically designed for LTC residents with dementia.

UVC Light

The goal of this research study is to address whether far-UVC light reduces the incidence of influenza-like illnesses, respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 infections in long-term care facilities. The two long-term care facilities involved in the study are Northwood’s Halifax Campus and Windsor Elms.

The primary study objectives are:

To determine whether far-UVC light causes a reduction in the incidence of influenza-like illnesses, respiratory infections, and COVID-19 infections, among residents in long term care facilities.

To determine whether using far-UVC light increases the incidence of erythema and photokeratitis among residents and staff in long-term care facilities.

With these objectives in mind and knowing that age-related factors result in serious respiratory infections, hospitalizations, and greater mortality, the researchers seek to enhance public health measures in long term care in the simplest most sustainable way.

UVC Light Project in the media.



LivMoreSMARTech is a real-world transdisciplinary research partnership led by Dalhousie University and Northwood. National and international academic, not-for-profit and industry leaders, together with older adult advisors, are exploring how SMART technology might improve health and well-being for people living in long-term care and receiving home care. We seek to understand the experiences, needs, and desires for well-being among this group of older adults aging with disability. As we build and test a new SMARTech Service that combines customized SMART technology, person-centred assessment and powerful data analytics with rehabilitation supports, we seek to enhance autonomy, independence, and well-being for these individuals. We also want to understand the impact of this Service on these older adults, their caregivers, and care delivery.

ACTing Collective

Community-level data is needed to evaluate and monitor the health and wellbeing of aging adults and the communities in which they live. This is critical for developing policies and programs that support aging well in communities. The ACTing Collectively research project will pilot an innovative approach to gathering data on the needs of, and available resources for, community-living older adults to age well in communities. The project’s focus on aging well in communities addresses the Nova Scotia Health Research Fund priority of aging and continuing care, and supports Nova Scotia Health’s strategic vision of Healthy people, healthy communities – for generations. This project also aligns with Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care’s Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, which aims to help Nova Scotians stay active, healthy, and engaged in communities.

Past projects