Bureau of Sages Brings Seniors into Research

In the past, geriatric research has often lacked the perspective of older adults themselves. An advisory board made up of older adults in the Chicago area aims to change that.

Researchers designed the Bureau of Sages — a collaboration between CJE Senior Life’s Leonard Schanfield Research Institute and residents from the Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Skokie — to improve research on older adults.

A group of five to 10 older adults gives input on research topics, recruitment, surveys, priorities, and communication strategies.

“The Bureau of Sages is an opportunity to do research in a way that can be more meaningful and more related to the needs of the older adults who are the focus of the research,” says Rachel Lessem, PhD, the research scientist heading the bureau. “It requires a different and important way of thinking about older adults as true and equal stakeholders with expertise from their own lived experience.”