Concordia's engAGE lab is a new space for study and engagement with seniors

Concordia University's engAGE lab is a centre to help seniors combat isolation, while getting active and creative.

Concordia University is giving seniors another reason to go to the Cavendish Mall by setting up a space to help combat social isolation, while getting creative and active.

The new lab is part of engAGE, a centre for research on aging, where every month, a new researcher in residence will set up programming that will include themes such as art, games, and January's movement and balance program.

"I would come back for painting, I would come back for exercieses, like for balancing," said Cote Saint-Luc resident Shirley Alter.

Packed house at the grand opening of the @Concordia #engAGE Living Lab! We're here until 6 pm. Come meet us at Cavendish Mall! #changingaging #livinglab #mediasante pic.twitter.com/Vosev2C75w

— engAGE (@engAGE_CU) January 16, 2020

The location is ideal for the type of study Concordia is pursuing.

"Cavendish Mall is of course one mall that has a large population of older adults," said neuroscientist Najmeh Khalili-Mahani. "What we're looking to do in this place is to foster conversations between the community and our researchers and also students."

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein is excited to have the lab in his community.

"They picked the right location," he said. "The city of Cote Saint-Luc has an aging population and they're very active and we want them to stay healthy. This place is perfect because it's really where the seniors congregate and it follows up with everything we do in Cote Saint-Luc for seniors."

The lab is open noon to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

It's about helping patrons, but also academics.

"It's not just about us as the researchers deciding what we want to do," said engAGE director Shannon Hebblethwaite. "This is a space to create for people where they can come in, they can engage in creative activities, engage in an unstructured, social conversation format and we can learn from them."

Seniors are eager to participate.

"I promise I will come here as often as I can because I know it is going to help me and my husband as well as all these other people to expand the horizons in their lives," said Cote Saint-Luc resident Sheila Cohen.