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Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies

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Spotlight On . . . Dr. Douglas Scharre

Dr. Douglas Scharre started his career at The Ohio State University Medical Center in 1993 when he joined the Department of Neurology.  He is a board certified neurologist, a clinical researcher and a master clinician regarding diagnosis and management of cognitive issues. His research focuses on early detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and dementia using cognitive evaluation and functional neuroimaging. During Dr. Scharre's tenure with OSU, he developed the SAGE Test, the self-administered cognitive assessment tool and the 4-Turn Test for assessment of driving abilities. He has conducted over 100 dementia related multi-center and investigator initiated clinical trials in the last 17 years that have been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), foundations, and industry. He has many active grants including clinical drug trials using cognitive enhancers and behavioral therapies, functional neuroimaging studies using SPECT and MRI, use of deep brain stimulation to improve symptoms in Alzheimer's disease, and screening for mild cognitive impairment and early dementia diagnosis. Dr. Scharre currently maintains repositories for brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid and serum (brain and biomarker banks) on dementia subjects that researchers can utilize.  He has also published multiple journal papers, book chapters, and abstracts on the topic of cognitive neurology.  In fact, his recent book on Long-Term Management of Dementia is a stand-alone resource for health care professionals who diagnose, treat, and manage patients suffering from dementia. Learn more about Dr. Scharre.

Celebrate Older Americans Month!

Did you know that the month of May is observed as Older Americans Month?  This annual nationwide observance first came to light in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy met with the National Council on Senior Citizens to bring issues affecting older adults to the forefront of policy discussions.  From that date forward, Presidents have used May to raise awareness of elder issues.  In 1980, President Jimmy Carter named this annual observance "Older Americans Month."  According to the Ohio Department of Aging, in addition to building awareness of issues related to older adults, this is also a time to celebrate our older citizens and the contributions they have made to society, and a chance for communities to give back and recognize the accomplishments of their older citizens. And don't forget to celebrate a special older adult in your life on Senior Citizens Daywhich is Tuesday, May 15th! For more information go to the Older Americans Month website, or to find out about events in your state go to your State Department of Aging website.

Introducing the Administration for Community Living

The most desirable and cost-effective method of aging – aging in place – is often difficult for older adults to successfully acheive.  In fact, many older adults experience unnecessary and premature institutionalization that causes them and others a higher burden of bearing the costs of care.   Successful aging in place strategies can minimize the provision of inappropriate care, and therefore the overall costs, by offering a range of flexible services that fit the needs of the individual.  And in a move that supports aging in place, the Department of Health and Human Services has announced a new administration that focuses on community living for older adults and disabled persons.   On April 16th, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new organization within the Department of Health and Human Services - the new "Administration for Community Living" (ACL).  This new administration is a joining of the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability, and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single agency with the goal of increasing access to community supports and full participation, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities.  The question now is, how will this administration help those of us caring for older adults and disabled in our communities? For more information, please see http://www.hhs.gov/acl.

OAGE Offers One-Day Updates On Aging Education

The Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) is offering one-day updates in aging education for those who teach in this field.   These summer update sessions are intended for full or part time educators in the field of aging, graduate teaching assistants, training instructors, workshop leaders, and anybody else interested in future teaching about aging.   Friday June 15, 2012 University of Akron Friday June 22, 2012 Sinclair Community College, Dayton For more information or to register, contact Penny Lovett at lovett@ohioaging.org.

Dementia Caregiving Among Minority Caregivers

According to the Alzheimer’s Association (2011), deaths caused by Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) have been rising dramatically and are expected to continue to increase as the baby boom generation ages.  The older population is also becoming more racially and ethnically diverse as the overall minority population increases and experiences greater longevity (Administration on Aging, 2011).   This trend suggests that more minorities will be diagnosed with AD, which means more minorities will become caregivers.  In a recent grant proposal, Dr. Virginia Richardson and her colleagues will explore dementia caregiving among minority caregivers.  This study, “Perceptions of dementia caregivers among minority groups: Exploring similarities and differences using a mixed methods exploratory sequential design”, is funded by The Ohio State College of Social Work's Dean’s Fund.  Dr. Richardson and her team will interview dementia caregivers from African American, South Korean, and Hispanic backgrounds, as well as dementia caregivers from rural areas, and also caregivers who are gay men.  The research team will analyze the identification of themes, including similarities as well as differences, within and across the minority dementia caregivers mentioned above.  They expect the results of this study to lead to further research on this topic.  They also plan to share the study findings with community agencies so that these agencies might create more targeted and culturally-sensitive services for their older minority caregivers. For more information about this study, please contact Dr. Virginia Richardson.

Innovations in Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Award

The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation recently announced the “2012 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards”.  This annual award, now in its fifth year, recognizes and rewards those efforts that lead the way in addressing the needs of Alzheimer's caregivers. Three awards of $20,000 each will be awarded to a nonprofit organization, a government agency, or a university . . . “responding to a community need with a program or project which focuses primarily on family/informal caregivers of adults with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.” Grants will be awarded in 3 catergories; creative expression, diverse/multicultural communities, and policy and advocacy.  For more information, go to Family Caregiver Alliance website.  The application due date is Friday, August 17th, 2012 by 5:00pm (pacific time). Only on-line applications will be accepted.

An OSU Hartford Doctoral Fellow

In 1999, the John A. Hartford Foundation began funding the Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI) to address the looming crisis of an increasing older adult population being compounded by a shortage of professionals in the field of aging.  The goal of GSWI is to “increase the competence of social workers to improve the care and well-being of older adults and their families.” To this end, the GSWI has recruited multiple doctoral students for academic careers in geriatric social work and awarded these students a Hartford Doctoral Fellowship.  At the Ohio State University, social work student Noelle Fields is a Hartford Doctoral Fellow, along with other select students across the country.   She is currently working on her dissertation “Aging in Place in Assisted Living: Understanding the personal and environmental factors that influence length of stay."  According to Ms. Fields in a recent OSU Impact publication, the Hartford Fellowship gives her “. . . the opportunity to work with a prestigious group of scholars in social work and aging at Ohio State and across the country, [preparing me] . . . for careers in academia through specialized training, substantial financial support, and the opportunity to network with elite scholars in gerontological social work. . . .” Our congratulations go out to Ms. Fields on her award to the Hartford Doctoral Fellowship program!  We wish you the best as you pursue your career in the field of aging!

S.A.G.E. Series . . . Spots Available for Summer 2012

    

 

The Series in Applied Gerontology Education (S.A.G.E.) is a three-course distance learning program offered through The Ohio State University Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology.  This course provides continuing education and training in the field of aging, devoting special attention to issues of social, cultural, and ethnic diversity. All students successfully completing the program receive a certificate of completion in gerontology from The Ohio State University.

We still have a few spots available in our next installment of courses, which is the 2012 Summer S.A.G.E. "Case Studies in Clinical Gerontology". 

The S.A.G.E Series is designed for professionals working in the field of aging who need additional discipline-specific training, individuals who provide services for older adults, and those wanting to pursue a career serving older adults who do not wish to or cannot return to graduate school; administrators, regulators, policy makers, direct service providers, program evaluators, and others caring for our aging population.

For more information about the S.A.G.E. Series, and to register for the Summer 2012 course, go to http://sage.osu.edu.


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