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Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies

Office of Geriatrics and
Interprofessional Aging Studies

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Nominate a Practioner of the Year!

The Ohio Department of Aging has partnered with the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) once again to offer the Practitioner of the Year Award.  This award honors excellence in research and partnerships in the field of aging by recognizing individuals and organizations that either have improved services to older adults through research and evaluation and/or have developed significant partnerships with institutions of higher learning for the betterment of Ohio's older population. The Ohio Department of Aging lists the following examples of initiatives eligible for the Practitioner of the Year Award:
  • student intern and mentorship programs;
  • intergenerational programs that benefit students and older adults;
  • use of performance measures to improve services;
  • partnerships with institutions of higher learning to improve or expand services;
  • research that results in improved practices or new services; and
  • partnerships aimed at expanding the health and long-term care labor forces.
Nominations will be accepted through February 17, 2012, and the winner will be announced at the OAGE annual spring conference at Youngstown State University April 20, 2012. For more information contact: Marc Molea 614-752-9167

Specialization in Aging and the Semester Conversion

As the University moves toward the much anticipated semester conversion this summer, the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging has received approval of the conversion plan requested by the Specialization's Coordinating Committee.  It is of note that the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging was introduced in 1993 as the first interdisciplinary specialization offered at Ohio State!  Many students have completed the Specialization and we look forward to offering this important aging education opportunity to many, many more students in the future.  According to the US Administration on Aging, the older population--persons 65 years or older--numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice the number in 2008. The population 65+ is expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030. In Ohio alone, 1.6 million people were age 65 and over in 2010. Workforce challenges in health and long-term care. An Institute of Medicine Report (2008) found that the healthcare and long-term care workforce for our aging society is insufficient for future needs. Attracting adequate numbers of students to gerontology and geriatrics as practitioners or researchers, whether in gerontology, long-term care administration, medicine, nursing, psychology, social service administration, social work, or more than 20 other different areas, has been a consistent issue of concern. Gerontology and geriatric workforce shortages of today, combined with the demographic changes documented above, indicate that we need to develop a cadre of aging specialists who can serve Ohio's older adults in coming decades. Interested in pursuing the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging? The changes to the Specialization in Aging are minimal and serve to re-position the Specialization to allow graduate and professional students the opportunity to complete the Specialization in tandem with their primary graduate or professional degree under the semester system.  As for the details, following are a few of the highlights:
  • Students will be required to complete 14 hours from the Master List of Approved Courses--with 7-8 credits from the core courses and a minimum of 6 credits from the elective courses.
  • Students may take up to 3 hours of aging-focused Independent Study within the elective course requirements.
  • Hours earned under the quarter system will be equated to semester values to calculate requirements for completing the program.
  • Students who began the Specialization under the quarter system have had an opportunity to meet with the Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology to formulate a plan for completing the Specialization successfully throughout the conversion timeframe.  Many students have taken this opportunity—we look forward to hearing from you if you would like to have a similar conversation.
  • The Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology and the Coordinating Committee have made a commitment that the semester conversion will not impede students' completion of the Specialization in Aging within their anticipated graduation timeframe.
We are working now to finalize the Master List of Approved Courses which will be effective beginning with Summer Semester.  Soon you will find the updated Master List and all Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging information on the Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology web site.  In the meantime, if you have questions, please feel free to contact Linda Mauger, Program Director, Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology, at or 614-293-8031.  Additionally, if you are a faculty member who is aware of coursework in aging that might be appropriate within the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging, please also contact Linda Mauger to share that information.   This interdisciplinary specialization has courses from many colleges and departments on the approved Master List of Courses.  We are always working to identify new courses of which we might not be aware. We look forward to many more advances in aging education at Ohio State, and will provide continuing updates on the Specialization in Aging over the next several weeks.

Music in Older Adulthood

Music in Older Adulthood (Music 6895) will be taught by Dr. Patricia Flowers during Summer Semester.  This is a very interesting course that is part of the elective options within the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging.  Dr. Flowers has traditionally taught this course every other year, and student feedback has always been overwhelmingly positive.  We encourage you to think about this course as part of your criteria for completing the requirements of the Specialization in Aging -- you don't need to be a musician! The course is 2 semester credits and will be taught from June 18 through July 20, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00-7:30 PM.  Typically, Tuesday sessions will occur on campus and Thursday sessions will take place in nursing homes.  For more information, please contact Dr. Flowers at

Can Horses Help Dementia Patients?

We’ve all heard that there are benefits associated with working with animals for people who have a wide variety of physical and mental challenges, but did you know that this theory is being put to the test right here at The Ohio State University?  Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny at the College of Social Work and Dr. Gwendolen Lorch at the School of Veterinary Medicine are currently collaborating on a research study of an equine Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) intervention program.  The pilot participants in this study are aging adults with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias from the Heritage Adult Day Health Center.  The actual intervention takes place at the Field of Dreams Equine Education Center.  Through this pilot, the researchers examine the psychological and behavioral symptoms of older adults with dementia during their participation in the program.  They also collect measurements that they hope will demonstrate benefits, such as improvement in social, emotional, and even cognitive functioning, of an equine AAT intervention program for older adults with dementia.  Learn more about this rearch.

OAGE Conference at Youngstown April 20th

Don't miss out on the Ohio Association for Aging and Education (OAGE) 36th Professional and Student Conference!  The theme this year is "Serving Underserved Populations: Images of Aging, and Inovative Ideas of Aging".   Submit your abstract and presentation proposals to OAGE through February 11th, 2012 to be considered for participation as a presenter. 


OAGE 36th Professional and Student Conference

April 20, 2012 

Youngstown State University 

Register Now!





Glasgow Coma Scale for Injured Elders

Dr.’s Jeffrey Caterino, Amy Raubenolt, and Michael Cudnik of the OSU Department of Emergency Medicine recently published an article on the Modification of Glasgow Coma Scale Criteria for Injured Elders in Acad Emerg Med. 2011 Oct;18(10):1014-21­.  Their objective was to determine if an abnormal field Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of ≤ 14 is an appropriate cut-off value to initiate transport to a trauma center for injured elderly patients.  This study was prompted by a recent change in Ohio policy that decreases the GCS score for transport of injured elderly patients to trauma centers.  Their findings support that this change is associated with a higher mortality rate in elderly patients who have a GCS 14 as opposed to a GCS 13.

16th Annual Geriatric Medicine Symposium

Want to brush up on what screenings are currently relevant for older adults, discuss legal issues related to elder abuse, learn more about caring for your LGBT seniors, and more?  Then you need to attend the 16th Annual Geriatric Medicine Symposium!

16th Annual Geriatric Symposium

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Hilton Garden Inn, Perrysburg, Ohio

This one-day conference will focus on topics related to improving the health and fitness of older adults in the community; what a benefit for our seniors!   As an added bonus, physicians and others attending the conference may be eligible for continuing education credit.   

Click here for more information about this event and/or to register.


Hope for the Aging Brain

Researchers at The Ohio State University, University of Oklahoma, and Bryn Mawr College have recently discovered that older adult’s brains don’t always slow down due to normal aging.  In fact, their research indicates that healthier older adults often emphasize accuracy over reaction time in making decisions about simple tasks.  Therefore slower response times are not always an indication of a decline in skills in healthier older adults.  Even better news is that simple task decision-making speed and accuracy can stay intact in older adults up to 85 to 90 years old.  This is good news for those of us who may be more advanced in our age, and all of us who are aging! Click here to learn more about this research.


Just What the Doctor Ordered

Adherence to treatment can be a challenge for patients and their health care providers, especially for patients with poor health literacy.   Learn more about how culture and health literacy impacts patient adherence, and how to increase patient compliance through better engagement with your patients at this one-day conference:  "Just What the Doctor Ordered . . . Improving Patient Adherence through Engagement" Presenter: Doug Seubert Health Communications Consultant April 26, 2012 8:00am to 3:00pm The Ohio Union Senate Chamber at OSU For more information or questions contact: Barbara Sweeney 614-292-4450

Distance Education in Aging

Want to learn more about aging?  Need continuing education credits?  The OSU Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology offers many opportunities for distance education in the field of aging for faculty and students.  Through courses such as our SUNSET, S.A.G.E, and Health Literacy courses, you will learn about the aging population and issues that impact this vulnerable population.  Some topics include, but are not limited to:  
  • Introduction to Gerontology
  • Clinical Case Studies
  • Potical and social frameworks
  • Policy considerations
  • End-of-Life
  • Health Literacy
  We invite you to come learn with us!

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