GSWI

Fitness and Nutrition Edition

In This Issue:
Upcoming Deadlines
Announcements
Research & News
Funding Opportunities
Resources
Policy

Upcoming Deadlines

Hartford Faculty Scholars and Hartford Doctoral Fellows Applications Due February 1, 2010
Hartford Doctoral Fellows: February 1, 2010
Hartford Faculty Scholars: February 1, 2010

Council on Social Work Education
Aging-Related Proposal Deadline: February 28, 2010

The Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting
Abstract Submission Deadline: March 15, 2010

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Announcements

Terry Lum Joins Doctoral Fellows National Program Advisory Committee
The National Program Advisory Committee for the Hartford Doctoral Fellows Program welcomes Terry Lum, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota and Hartford Faculty Scholar, Cohort II. Dr. Lum's current research includes family caregiving among elderly people with regard to racial and ethnic differences,
economic security of older workers and implications for social security reform, the association between health and wealth. He also explores patterns of long term care and the association between health and mental health trajectories.

Register by January 26th for AGHE’s Annual Meeting and Save!
Make your plans today for the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference, taking place March 4-7, 2010 in Reno, Nevada.  A premier national forum for discussing ideas and issues in gerontological and geriatric education committed to educating future leaders. View Meeting Highlights at http://www.aghe.org

Call for Abstracts for the GSA 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting
GSA offers a unique forum for disseminating your latest and most important research to people who share the common goal of improving the lives of older adults. That may mean studying residents’ relationships with caregivers in assisted living settings, tackling the effects of healthcare reform, addressing Vitamin D’s effect on muscle composition, or developing stem cell therapies to combat Alzheimer’s disease. No matter your area of expertise, GSA can offer you a place to reach the hearts and minds of people who simply want to improve CARE.  Submit your abstract at www.geron.org/abstracts. The deadline for abstracts is March 15, 2010.

Submit to the 2010 CSWE APM Gero-Ed Track!
It’s time to submit your aging-related proposal to the 2010 CSWE Annual Program Meeting (APM) Gero-Ed Track! You can submit your proposal online until Sunday, February 28 at 11:59 pm ET. To have your proposal considered for the Gero-Ed Track, select the “Gero-Ed (Aging and Gerontology) Track” option. The Gero-Ed Track description provides guidance when considering your proposal. The 56th APM will be held in Portland, Oregon from October 14-17, 2010. The CSWE Gero-Ed Center and the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work will continue their tradition of hosting several special sessions and exciting events, including the Gero-Ed Track Kick-Off, Hot Topic Panel, and Film Festival. Deadline for proposals is February 28, 2010.

Call for Papers in Academic Medicine
Academic Medicine, the AAMC’s peer reviewed journal, has issued a call for proposals related to comparative effectiveness research (CER) in health care.  Specifically, the journal is seeking papers examining the implications of CER for academic health centers and how the academic medicine community should be contributing to CER. Deadline is January 31, 2010. Find out more about the application process here: http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Documents/CER Pincus Collection Call.pdf.

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Research & News

Best Anti-Aging Strategy? Eat Right and Exercise
It's not a new concept, but the New York Times still finds it newsworthy. In a time when you can get almost any kind of nutrient in pill form, Jane E. Brody writes about the benefits of getting your nutrients where you get the most benefits - from your food. She writes that "human chemistry is far more complex than visionaries thought just two decades ago, when reputable scientists pushed for fortifying foods with substances they believed would prevent cancer and heart disease. " She says that, in order to reap the rewards of vitamins and minerals, you have to eat the foods they come from - just taking them in pill form doesn't work and the best way to reinforce strength as you age is to put those nutrients to good use with physical exercise every day (just 30 minutes of brisk walking can do the trick).

Exercise Associated with Improved Mild Cognitive Impairment
A new study shows that rigorous aerobic exercise is an effective, non-pharmaceutical approach to combat the effects of cognitive impairment, particularly for women. After six months of rigorous exercise, researchers saw improvements in multitasking, cognitive flexibility, information processicing efficiency, and and selective attention when compared with those who did not get the same rigorous exercise. On the whole, women saw more results than men. For more information on the study, please see the original article in EndocrineToday.

Live Longer, Look Younger
The Arizona Republic reports that the benefits of exercise not only encompass slowing of the aging process, but also constructive competition amongst older people and a sense of accomplishment. The University of Arizona's study on strength training showed that bone density was improved in postmenopausal women when weight training was combined with calcium supplements. In addition, there were benefits in balance, posture, and reducing risk of falling.

Doctors Concerned About Vitamin D Deficiency, Especially in Older Adults
As our culture turns away from drinking milk and spending hours upon hours in the sunshine, doctors are becoming concerned about the lack of vitamin D in our daily lives. To combat this phenomenon, doctors are recommending patients take more of the vitamin than recommended by national guidelines. This is, at least in part, due to research over the last decade suggesting that vitamin D plays a far bigger role in overall health than previously thought. Doctors now believe that, in addition to building and maintaining strong bones, the vitamin also could be tied to cancer prevention, cardiovascular health, and even the prevention of gum disease.

Impact of FDA Warnings Questioned
A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine examines the impact of a safety warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration for commonly prescribed antipsychotic medications. The results show the warnings resulted in a decline in usage among the elderly with dementia, yet raise the question as to whether the FDA's system of communicating these warnings is sufficiently targeted and effective. Warnings that involve off-label use of medications create a complex set of problems for regulators and physicians. In an accompanying editorial, it is noted that the elderly are historically under-represented in clinical trials, which places physicians in the uncomfortable position of generalizing evidence obtained from one population to another population where the risk to benefit trade-off may be different.  For more on the study and implications of FDA warnings, please see the original release on EurekaAlert.

Sexually Active Men Less Likely to Have Heart Attacks
Men who have active sex lives are less likely to have heart attacks according to a new study. Scientists at the New England Research Institute in Massachusetts tracked the sexual activity of men aged between 40 and 70 who were taking part in a long-term project called the Massachusetts Male Ageing Study, which began back in 1987. They found that men who had sex at least twice a week were up to 45 per cent less likely to develop life-threatening heart conditions than men who have sex once a month or less.

German Study Finds Exercise Has Long-Term Anti-Aging Affect at Cellular Level
A study at Saarland University found that long-term physical activity affects telomeres which are the protective caps on chromosomes that keep a cell's DNA stable but which shorten with age. Telomeres shortened less quickly in key immune cells of athletes with a long history of endurance training. For more information on the study, please see the original article published by BBC News.

Japanese Retirees Reclaim Parks in the Name of Fitness
A new trend in Japan has elders taking over parks previously populated with young mothers and children. While faced with the longest life expectancy in the world, elderly Japanese are taking control of their health and fitness by using just a few pieces of equipment in order to improve their posture and balance and strength their muscles. The Japanese hope that efforts like this will keep older people out of hospitals and nursing homes and in their own homes, cutting health care costs. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, these parks also provide a crucial social service in a country where many older people are living alone.

Denmark Leads the Way for United States in Digital Care
In Denmark, older patients are able to meet with a doctor without even leaving their houses. No, this isn't a throwback to the days of house calls, it's a new set of services with digital care. The New York Times reports that patients can use web cameras and Blue Tooth enabled medical test devices to share information and meet with doctors. Paperless prescriptions are available to all pharmacies in the country, doctors are available to answer questions via email messaging services, and Denmark is heading in the direction of electronic record keeping in hospitals as well as in phsyicians' offices. Denmark's "telemedicine" has been an inspiration to the United States and policy makers are studying the process to analyze whether it could be replicated with success across the country as part of the health care system's overhaul.

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Funding Opportunities

BSW Funding from the Gero-Ed Center
The CSWE Gero-Ed Center encourages you to apply for the second cycle of the BSW Experiential Learning (BEL) Program! The BEL Program aims to recruit undergraduates to gerontological (gero) social work by involving students in direct interaction with older adults through experiential learning activities. It provides up to $4,000 over two years for BSW programs to create experiential learning projects for students to interact with older adults. The RFP, FAQ, a Sample Application, and a link to request the official application are now available. The deadline for applications is April 23, 2010 and applications will only be accepted online.

New Funding Opportunities from NIH
The National Institute of Health has a number of grant opportunities, which include, but are not limited to the following:

Active Aging: Supporting Individuals and Enhancing Community-based Care through Health Information Technology
Critical Illness and Injury in Aging
Clinical Trial Planning Grants for Critical Illness and Injury in Aging

For a more complete listing on the NIH funding available for aging-related research, please click here.

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Resources

New Gero-Ed Center Website
The Gero-Ed Center at the Council on Social Work Education has launched a new website. The CSWE Gero-Ed Center Website includes some great resources, such as teaching infusion resources, which offers an interactive "filter and search" capability for course location and has updated and all new resources. The new students page includes career information for students and resources for faculty and Admissions Staff for recruiting students to gero social work. In addition the recently released Advanced Gero Social Work Practice Guide can be found on the site as part of the gero competencies page.

Profile of Older Americans Available Online
The Administration on Aging now provides statistics and narratives with information on older Americans on their website. A Profile of Older Americans 2009 is only available online and can be found here, along with data sets from previous years.

National Legal Resource Center at Administration on Aging
HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee has launched a new Web site for the National Legal Resource Center (NLRC).  The NLRC was created in 2008 by the Administration on Aging (AoA) to empower legal and aging services advocates with the resources necessary to provide high quality legal help to seniors who are facing direct threats to their ability to live independently in their homes and communities. The new Web site can be accessed at http://www.nlrc.aoa.gov/
.

What’s Hot
What's Hot, a recently launched newsletter with a focus on aging, is the newest item in GSA’s publications catalog. The premiere issue deals with two pressing societal concerns — the economic downturn and health care reform — from the perspective of older minority adults. Download your free issue at http://www.geron.org/Publications/whats-hot.

Medicare Part B Services During Non-Part A Nursing Home Stays: Enteral Nutrient Pricing
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General has released a report evaluating Medicare Part B services with regard to nutrient payments during non-Part A nursing home stays in 2006. They found that Medicare's fee schedule amounts for nutrients provided during non-Part A stays exceeded prices available to nursing home suppliers and other purchasers by more than 50 percent. To download the entire report, click here: http://www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-06-07-00590.pdf.

Global Action on Aging
Global Action on Aging at the United Nations in New York reports on older people's needs and potential within the global economy. Some of their recent resources include: Voice of Older People: Annual Report 2008/2009, a report on the Further Implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002, and Research Highlights in the Demography and Economics of Aging. You can also subscribe to a newsletter update on the website's main page here: www.globalaging.org.

Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics Continuing Education Program
The Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics, a free, online, peer-reviewed journal by the publisher of The New Social Worker, now offers continuing education credit. Beginning with the Spring 2007 issue of the journal, you are able to read selected articles and then take an online exam and receive continuing education credit. See http://www.socialworker.com/jswve/content/view/57/52/ for complete details of this program. CE credits for the Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics are offered in cooperation with CE-Credit.com. To see a complete listing of the 600+ courses that CE-Credit.com offers, go to: http://www.socialworker.com/cecredit.html.

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Policy

Center for Economic and Policy Research Releases Report on Free Trade in Health Care
The Center for Economic and Policy Research has released a new report entitled Free Trade in Health Care, which discusses the gains of globalized Medicare and Medicaid. The authors argue that older US citizens could benefit financially if they could use Medicare and Medicaid for health care from providers located in other countries.

Fiji Refuses to Pay Pensions of Dissenters
The Prime Minister of Fiji Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama announced this month that the government would be stopping pension payments for those who oppose Fiji's government. When Bainimarama took over in 2006, he asked all citizens to work together for a more unified Fiji, but hopes that this measure will help convince dissenters to rethink openly criticizing the government.

Poland Cuts Pensions for Ex-Communists
About 40,000 people will be denied pensions on the grounds that they violated human rights as communist-era officials and secret police officers. The new law took effect January 1 and cuts monthly payments by more than fifty percent. A special court will rule later this month whether the law is unconstitutional.

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Ripples, an e-newsletter designed to keep interested deans and directors, faculty members, students, practitioners and others informed about the work of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI). We welcome your feedback and encourage you to contribute any story ideas, stories, resources, news and other content to subsequent issues of the newsletter. To make a contribution, please contact us via email at gswi@geron.org.

For archived issues of Ripples, please click here.