Researchers who engaged with the Bureau of Sages said:
"This experience greatly helped us re-conceptualize our HA intervention and current recruitment strategies. By having to present our project to the Sages in a clear and concise way, we saw that some of the weaknesses of the project and how they can be addressed. In addition, the Sages had excellent feedback regarding recruitment opportunities and about what aspects of our proposed intervention would be helpful and not helpful to them."
“A new important aspect of quality of life in a nursing home that I caught a glimpse of was how much younger researchers do not understand about the feelings of nursing home residents. I asked them how they maintained a positive attitude and the response was that it was something necessary and also something that came with experience. Only time will truly reveal to an individual how they want to live. Being able to ask the residents questions myself was an extremely useful experience that gave me more respect for the data I have analyzed, because most of society does not understand the experiences older adults have.”
Robyn Stone, PhD
Senior Vice President for Research and Executive Director
"The Bureau of Sages is probably one of the most important projects I’ve been a part of for the past few years. It really puts the nursing home resident and participants of the virtual senior center in the driver’s seat in terms of research, and really for too long these two groups have been dismissed in terms of thinking that they actually couldn’t have anything to say about the research process.
What’s wonderful about this program is it really makes them the Sages, they are the ones who actually tell us what is important about research, why we should do research, what questions we really should be asking, and as important, also gets them educated about the research process. I love it as a researcher, because for the first time I actually have insights from populations who have never been asked before and I think not only are they Sages, but this has also empowered them tremendously."
Hailee Gibbons, PhD
University of Illinois at Chicago
“Presenting my dissertation proposal to the Bureau of Sages was an invaluable experience. My interest in dementia is grounded in my personal experiences volunteering in dementia units of nursing homes since I was 16 years old. However, as a young adult, I have yet to experience old age or care in an institution. After my presentation, the Bureau of Sages assured me that my project was significant and innovative. As a young researcher and emerging scholar, receiving feedback from the Bureau of Sages was encouraging and affirming, but also pushed me to examine my study more holistically and incorporate factors I had not previously considered.”
Amy Eisenstein, PhD
Former Director of the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
“The opportunity to work with and learn from the Sages has been one of the greatest benefits of my work here at CJE SeniorLife. As a researcher in the field of Aging, I feel it is imperative for me to receive input from older adults into the direction and design of the work that I do. After all, neither I nor any of my colleagues have experienced growing into our 80’s or 90’s, living in a nursing home, or having chronic limited mobility due to a medical condition. Without that experiential knowledge, we are limited in our ability to determine what should be our highest priority research topics, the methodologies that will be most effective and meaningful outcomes. The Sages have provided insights which have greatly benefited my work and have led to research being funded. I am confident that this effort will ultimately help provide dignity and quality of life to future generations of older adults.”