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Gerontology in the News


March 4, 2017

Trom Downsizing Boomers, a Flood of Donated Art

David J. Ekerdt, a sociologist and gerontologist at the University of Kansas, affirmed the trend. “It makes perfect sense,” said Dr. Ekerdt, who has studied the downsizing movement. “Baby boomers are offloading all kinds of things.” While only 4 to 5 percent of people over 60 move to a smaller dwelling in a given year, about a third of the over-60 population will move over a 10-year interval, Dr. Ekerdt said. And that number is expected to increase over the next decade as the rest of the baby boom cohort moves into prime retirement age — now a quintessential time for decluttering and giving things away.


March 24, 2016

Trinity In-Home Care to recognize Dr. Rosemary Chapin at the 7th Annual Community Breakfast on May 6ology

Trinity In-Home Care will host the seventh Annual Community Breakfast celebrating Older Americans Month on Friday, May 6, 2016. The event will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Maceli’s, 1031 New Hampshire. Breakfast is complimentary. All are welcome. Donations accepted. Reservations may be made by contacting Trinity In-Home Care at 842-3159 or megan@tihc.org by Monday, May 2. Rosemary Chapin, Ph.D., professor and founding director of the Center for Research on Aging and Disability Options at the University of KansasRecognized at the breakfast will be the 2016 recipient of the Inspirata Award, Dr. Rosemary Chapin.


March. 28, 2016

Five innovative ways to teach gerontology

David Ekerdt has often heard in conversations that people associate gerontology with end-of-life issues. "People understand aging to be failing bodies," said Ekerdt, University of Kansas professor of sociology. "Gerontology is interested in older people, but it's also a framework that's interested in the entire sweep of life." As an approach to teaching aging as a lifelong process and to economize the different disciplines it draws from, Ekerdt has drafted a strategy around five focal points of gerontology. He outlines them in his article "Gerontology in Five Images," set for the April issue of the journal The Gerontologist, published by the Gerontological Society of America


Nov. 2015

Rosemary K Chapin received the Career Achievement Award

Rosemary K Chapin, Professor and Director of the Center for Research on Aging and Disability Options (CRADO) in the University Of Kansas School Of Social Welfare, received the Career Achievement Award from the Association of Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW) on Friday November 20, 2015 at the annual Gerontological Society of America conference in Orlando, Florida. The Career Achievement Award is awarded to a faculty member who has been an outstanding leader in social work education and aging. This person will have significant career achievements in this area including major research and publications, prominence in promoting education in gerontology, and mentoring of faculty and students interested in aging.


Nov. 2015

Outstanding Thesis Award, National Communication Association

Weston Wiebe, a dual-title Ph.D. student in Communication Studies and Gerontology, has received the outstanding thesis award of the Communication and Aging Division of the National Communication Association. He will be recognized during the NCA national convention in November 2015 for his thesis, “Conflict Initiating Factors and Management Styles in Family and Nonfamily Intergenerational Relationships: American Young Adults’ Retrospective Written Accounts.” Using a content analytic approach, his thesis examined similarities and differences in conflict between family and nonfamily intergenerational relationships.


Aug. 12, 2015

The Right Dose of Exercise for the Aging Brain

For the new study, which was published last month in PLOS One, scientists with the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Fairway, Kan., and other institutions recently decided to see if they could determine just how much exercise is needed to improve the ability to think.They began by recruiting 101 sedentary older adults, at least 65 years of age, who were generally healthy, with no symptoms of dementia or other cognitive impairments.


Jun. 5, 2015

As birth rates decrease, baby boomers wait longer to be grandparents

A funny thing happened as 20- and 30-somethings decided to hold off on marriage and children: grandparents-in-waiting grew older. Sometimes a bit anxious.


Jan. 25, 2015

Who says it's time to retire? Millions of people continue to work well past 65

Far more Americans are working well into what has traditionally been considered their retirement years, whether for personal fulfillment or, in many cases, to ensure financial security.


Nov. 13, 2014

Easy-to-Walk Communities Linked to Sharper Senior Minds

Living in easy-to-walk communities may slow mental decline in older adults, according to a small study. The research included 39 older adults with no thinking or memory problems and 25 older adults with mild Alzheimer's disease. Over two years, the participants were given a series of tests to assess mental skills such as attention and memory. By the end of the study, those who lived in easy-to-walk communities had better outcomes both in physical health -- such as lower body fat and blood pressure -- and in mental skills.


December 15, 2014

KU named to AIA Health Design Consortium

LAWRENCE — The American Institute of Architects (AIA), along with the AIA Foundation and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), has named the School of Architecture, Design & Planning as one of 10 charter members of the AIA Design & Health Research Consortium. The consortium will help fund basic research on how design affects public health.


November 7, 2014

KU Alzheimer's Disease Center offers a "Smart Aging" class for seniors

The Alzheimer's Disease Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center is sponsoring a 12-week "Smart Aging" class designed to take the knowledge gained by researchers at the center about lifestyle factors and other means to improve and maintain brain health and pass it on to members of the community.


November 7, 2014

Research shows easy-to-walk communities can blunt cognitive decline

LAWRENCE — New study results from the University of Kansas to be presented this weekend at the Gerontological Society of America’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., bolster the adage that “heart healthy is brain healthy.” The investigation shows neighborhoods that motivate walking can stave off cognitive decline in older adults.


August 19, 2014

Study finds educational divide on levels of physical activity

LAWRENCE — People's educational attainment influences their level of physical activity both during the week and on weekends, according to a study that includes two University of Kansas researchers.The research team found people without a high school degree perform significantly less physical activity on weekends compared with a college graduate, and that each higher level of education in adults is linked to more physical activity.


June 24, 2014

Chapin begins AARP national policy council term

LAWRENCE — AARP recently welcomed Rosemary Kennedy Chapin, professor of social welfare, to its National Policy Council. Chapin will serve a two-year term. Chapin, of Lawrence, is a nationally recognized leader and expert on aging policy, with particular expertise in long-term services and supports. She is the founder and current Director of the Center for Research on Aging and Disability Options (formerly the Office of Aging and Long Term Care) in the School of Social Welfare. Her textbook, Social Policy for Effective Practice, is in its third edition. Chapin was a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and a visiting scholar at AARP International. She recently received the Steeples Service to Kansas Award and the Statland Award for Research and Scholarship for her policy practice work and research on behalf of older adults.


May 16, 2014

Clutter, hidden or otherwise, needs removing

Your house may look neat and clutter-free, but your closets, drawers, spare bedroom, garage and attic may be concealing a secret: You are living amid a glut of old, unneeded items. "People have a potential problem with possessions," says David Ekerdt, a professor of sociology and director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas


April 23, 2014

5 Reasons Retirees Need Vacations

“Travel helps retirees celebrate freedom from obligation,” says David J. Ekerdt, director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas, whose research focuses on the transition from work to retirement. “It is something to anticipate, something that populates your future with a project or event. It’s an affirmation of good health — that you can actually get in a car and go two states away.”


March 10, 2014

Why Older Adults Have A Hard Time Letting Their Stuff Go

A study finds that people over 50 have difficulty getting rid of unneeded possessions. Some of this is for emotional reasons and some of it for physical ones.


December 06, 2013

Ku student honored by Academy of Healthcare Architecture

LAWRENCE – The Academy of Healthcare Architecture and the STERIS Corporation have named Sharmin Kader its Arthur Tuttle, Jr. Graduate Fellow in Health Facility Planning and Design. The Academy is part of the American Institute of Architecture. Kader is a doctoral candidate studying healthcare architecture in the Department of Architecture’s Health and Wellness Program and minoring in environmental gerontology.


November 6, 2013

KU to host conference on interdisciplinary aging research

University of Kansas professor Dennis Domer is often sited among the leading historic preservationists in his field.  But in recent years, Domer has turned his attention to the future of aging and architecture.  Specifically, he is examining the housing needs of baby boomers, that massive demographic of individuals whose sheer size requires that the marketplace and society pay attention to their preferences.

University of Kansas professor Dennis Domer is often cited among the leading historic preservationists in his field. - See more at: http://news.ku.edu/2013/11/05/ku-host-conference-interdisciplinary-aging...
University of Kansas professor Dennis Domer is often cited among the leading historic preservationists in his field. - See more at: http://news.ku.edu/2013/11/05/ku-host-conference-interdisciplinary-aging...
University of Kansas professor Dennis Domer is often cited among the leading historic preservationists in his field. - See more at: http://news.ku.edu/2013/11/05/ku-host-conference-interdisciplinary-aging...
University of Kansas professor Dennis Domer is often cited among the leading historic preservationists in his field. - See more at: http://news.ku.edu/2013/11/05/ku-host-conference-interdisciplinary-aging...
University of Kansas professor Dennis Domer is often cited among the leading historic preservationists in his field. - See more at: http://news.ku.edu/2013/11/05/ku-host-conference-interdisciplinary-aging... of Kansas professor Dennis Domer is often cited among the leading historic preservationists in his field. - See more at: http://news.ku.edu/2013/11/05/ku-host-conference-interdisciplinary-aging...

March 12, 2013

KU, LMH partner for pilot program to decrease hospital readmissions

Lawrence Memorial Hospital, partnered with the Kansas University School of Social Welfare Office of Aging and Long Term Care, is conducting a pilot program to see if they can decrease that number and increase the overall quality of life for patients living with chronic diseases.


February 25, 2013

Health effects of retirement have proved hard for researchers to assess

David Ekerdt on Retirement in Washington Post


January 2013

KU gerontology research behind guidelines for health care providers

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas research on communication and aging is the basis of several guidelines in a new manual developed by the Gerontological Society of America for health care providers who frequently interact with older patients.

Communicating with Older Adults (PDF)


October 2nd, 2012

Professors interview hoarding teams, propose ethical framework for intervention

LAWRENCE — The TV shows make it look dramatic. A hoarder, someone who has accumulated so many piles of junk and possessions he can barely move in his own home, is nearly buried alive. But the problem is no scripted drama. Real people across the country hoard to the extent they can endanger themselves and public health, but there is no standard approach to help these individuals.
 


June 26, 2012

KU launches RedTire program to help rural businesses

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Business has launched a new program designed to keep rural businesses open for business.

The Redefining Retirement program – nicknamed RedTire – will match qualified graduates who want to own a business with business owners who are looking to retire. The program is aimed at preventing rural businesses from closing because an owner can’t find a successor or buyer.
 


April 23, 2012

Researchers find time in wild boosts creativity, insight and problem solving

LAWRENCE — There’s new evidence that our minds thrive away from it all.

Research conducted at the University of Kansas concludes that people from all walks of life show startling cognitive improvement — for instance, a 50 percent boost in creativity — after living for a few days steeped in nature.
 


October 21, 2011

Professor wins award for contributions to aging, care research

LAWRENCE — Kansas Advocates for Better Care, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to “Advocating for Quality Long-Term Care,” announced that it will present Rosemary Chapin, University of Kansas professor of social welfare, with the KABC Caring Award Sunday, Oct. 23.
 


Aug. 23, 2011

KU researchers work to increase durability of newer dental fillings

LAWRENCE — A team of researchers at the University of Kansas is hoping to curb tooth decay – while saving dental patients thousands of dollars – by working to improve the material used by dentists to fill cavities.
 


July 26, 2011

KU doctoral student one of two in nation to receive Hartford dissertation award

LAWRENCE — Skye Leedahl, doctoral student in social welfare from Minot, N.D., is one of two students in the nation to receive the John A. Hartford Dissertation Fellows Award for her research of the social world of older adults in nursing homes.
 


April 29, 2011

Processing speed, more than memory, impacts communication in normal aging

LAWRENCE — In a five-year Language Across the Life Span Project funded by the National Institute on Aging, University of Kansas Distinguished Professor Susan Kemper has identified the aging brain’s slower processing speed as the prime candidate in typical communication problems of healthy older adults.
 


Feb. 3, 2011

National experts on aging to participate in special public series

LAWRENCE — Boomer Futures: Aging Well in the 21st Century is a special speaker series that will bring five distinguished visiting specialists to the University of Kansas to explore the future of aging.
 

Why KU
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • 44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
    —ALA
  • 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times