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Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies

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Menopause and Tear Study

The OSU Contact Lens and Tear Film Laboratory is conducting a Menopause and Tear Study.  Women ages 50 and older with and without dry eye symptoms are invited to participate in a study concerning memopause/post menopause and tears. The study includes an examination of the health of the eye (no dilation) and collection of a small sample of  tears and tear lipid (oil).   A blood sample is drawn to look at blood hormore levels.  There is one visit, which will last appropximately three hours and will take place at the OSU College of Optometry. Participants will receive $30 plus parking.  Please call 614-292-0200 with questions and to schedule appointments (study #105), or e-mail the study coordinator at dryeyestudies@optometry.osu.edu. Please feel free to pass this announcement along to others you feel might be interested in this opportunity.

National Adult Day Care Study at Ohio State

The Ohio State University College of Social Work, in partnership with the National Adult Day Services Association, is conducting the first national study of adult day care programs in eight years.  Adult day care programs provide health, social and nutritional services for individuals with functional impairments during day time hours.  Funded by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, Co-Principal Investigators Dr. Keith Anderson and Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny are identifying the priorities, practices and expected outcomes of adult day services.  Researchers are examining center operations including staffing, referral sources, intergenerational programming, program participation and services that support health and well-being of participants and their caregivers. Please contact Dr. Dabelko-Schoeny at dabelko-schoeny.1@osu.edu for more information.

Aging Conference on March 26, 2010

The Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) will sponsor the 34th Annual Ohio Professional and Student Conference on Aging on March 26, 2010, at Kent State University.  This year's conference theme is "Bridging Gerontological Research and Practice: The State of Translational Research in Ohio."  Follow this link for the Conference Schedule and Registration Form.  Discounts are available for early registrations on or before March 12, 2010. For more information on OAGE visit the OAGE web site or contact Gregory Smith at gsmith2@kent.edu.  Dr. Margaret Teaford, Associate Professor in the School of Allied Medical Professions at Ohio State, currently serves as the President of OAGE.  Dr. Teaford can be contacted at margaret.teaford@osumc.edu.

Lifestyle Interventions and Cognitive Health in Aging

The Ohio State University Department of Psychology will be starting a study to look at the effects of different lifestyle interventions on cognitive and brain plasticity of healthy older adults. Ruchika Prakash, Maryanna Klatt and William Malarkey are investigators conducting this study. The study will involve 40 male and female participants in the age range of 60-75 and will examine how an 8-week intervention on alternative lifestyle factors such as meditation and exercise will influence abilities of attention, memory and brain functioning. To assess cognitive and brain functioning, all participants will go through a two hour behavioral testing session and a 20 minute MRI session, before and after the intervention. Participants will be compensated for parking and up to $100 for their participation in the study. They will also receive a free intervention as part of the study. The study will start recruitment in early March 2010. Please contact the Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory at 614-292-9568 to inquire more about the study.

Spectrum Vitae Supports Mature, Non-Traditional Students at OSU

Understanding that students of different ages have or may have distinct and unique challenges and approaches to achieving learning success, Spectrum Vitae is an organization of OSU graduate and undergraduate students in formal academic study who are mature, non-traditional students age 35 and over. The purpose of the organization is to provide support, to include the natural spectrum of student diversity, and to provide a voice, services and resources which address the specific needs, challenges and issues faced by older students.  Spectrum Vitae aims to  contribute to the University environment while enhancing the experiences of all students.  Faculty advisors for the organization are Randi Love of Public Health and Penny Winkle of the Younkin Success Center. Meetings take place monthly, usually at the Hale Black Cultural Center.  Each meeting provides practical, specific resources to help older students navigate the rapidly-changing student environment, and input is welcomed from interested campus community members on the experience of being a mature student.  Members provide mentoring to each other on request. If you or someone you know is considering a return to campus and higher education at a later age contact Spectrum Vitae at spectrumvitae@gmail.com, or President Ruth Ann Harris at raharris3@sbcglobal.net or Vice President Lina Howison at howison.57@osu.edu, to learn more.

Fraud Involving Older Adults Is An Ongoing Concern

The February 25, 2010 alert from Franklin County Senior Options concerning "fake calls" requesting bank account information, social security numbers and other personal information from older adults, confirms once again that we must all be mindful of the many attempts of fraud directed toward our older citizens. The National Center on Elder Abuse of the Administration on Aging provides a literature review on Financial Exploitation of the Elderly and the Federal Bureau of Investigation provides insight into the reasons why older adults are targeted for fraud and scams, as well as tips on what to look for and how to protect yourself and loved ones. In Ohio, the Attorney General provides information about elder fraud and suggests ways to avoid fraud or approach situations where fraud is suspected.  Additionally, the Attorney General's web site advises that, if you suspect fraud or if you cannot resolve the problem on your own, a complaint can be filed with the Ohio Attorney General at www.SpeakOutOhio.gov or call (800) 282-0515. We must all work together to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Helps Those with Younger-Onset Alzheimer's Disease

Article by Linda Mauger, Program Manager, Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology The Alzheimer's Association recently announced an advocacy victory as the Social Security Administration announced they have added early-onset/younger onset Alzheimer's to the list of conditions under its Compassionate Allowance Initiative, giving those with the disease expedited access to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). According to the Alzheimer's Association web site, "the term younger-onset refers to Alzheimer's that occurs in a person under age 65. Younger-onset individuals may be employed or have children still living at home. Issues facing families include ensuring financial security, obtaining benefits and helping children cope with the disease. People who have younger-onset dementia may be in any stage of dementia – early, middle or late. Experts estimate that some 500,000 people in their 30s, 40s and 50s have Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia." As I write this article and reflect upon on our own family's experiences with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, I thank all those who have worked so diligently to make a difference for families and their loved ones in the future.  My Mother became a victim of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 56 and lived with the disease for almost 20 years.  The emotional toll the disease takes on families is becoming more recognized, but the financial hardships are often overlooked. I encourage you to join me in Signing the Alzheimer's Association's Thank You Card to SSA to show your support and appreciation.

Aging Education Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology offers a number of aging education opportunities for current OSU graduate and professional students, as well as for non-traditional students wishing to pursue aging education to advance their current professional pursuits or to enter the field of aging.  We encourage you to review the Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology home page to learn more about each of the programs. For more information contact Linda Mauger at 614-293-8031 or linda.mauger@osumc.edu.

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