Innovation is the theme of this issue of the bOLDer Bulletin. Dr. Ehlman discusses other innovations and what the bOLDer Bulletin hopes to accomplish with its readers.
Due to the growing population of adults age 65 and older, independent living in place has become more important than ever before. One innovation in the field of living in place and technology exists in the MINKA house on USI's campus, which is filled with numerous gerontechnological advancements to aid older adults with independent living in place.
An estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia related diseases. USI's GWEP has partnered with Dementia Friendly Communities to support those living with dementia and their caregivers while educating others about dementia.
With a growing population of adults aged 65 and older in the United States, the workforce will need those who have knowledge in gerontology and geriatrics. In this article, readers can learn more about the gerontology classes and programs offered at USI.
One of the objectives of the USI Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) is to increase access to community-based programs that provide patients, families, caregivers and direct care workers with the knowledge and skills to improve health outcomes for older adults. USI uses evidence-based programs, such as PREPARE and Respecting Choices, to achieve this objective.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to speak to a doctor at a moment's notice has become more prevalent than ever. However, the question of social distancing and quarantining can make meeting with a physician extremely difficult. To combat this issue, USI's GWEP has developed simulations and classroom activities that incorporate telehealth technology.
The focus of this issue's Partner Spotlight is SWIRCA & More. SWIRCA & More has been involved with the GWEP and USI's Bronstein Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness. As an Area Agency on Aging, SWIRCA & More also provides numerable services to older adults in six counties, including Meals on Wheels, bingos and trips.
GWEP Student Worker Baylie Peter details her experiences at USI and the GWEP. She also tells the story of how and why she chose to study Occupational Therapy and the innovations she will implement from the GWEP into her future career.