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GSWI

Active Aging

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

Upcoming Deadlines

Hartford/VA Scholars Letter of Intent (to apply) due November 1st
Early Bird Registration for the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Conference ends December 2nd.
Hartford Faculty Scholars Application Due February 1st, 2012

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Announcements

Active Aging Week: September 25th to October 1st
Now in its ninth year, Active Aging Week, September 25–October 1, promotes the benefits of active, healthy lifestyles for adults over 50. Host sites invite older adults in their local communities to experience free wellness activities and exercise in a safe, friendly and fun atmosphere. Linked here are some insights from veteran organizers as well as some general planning tips for participating in this kind of health promotion event.
 
National Women’s Health & Fitness Day: September 28th
The Women’s Health & Fitness day (always the last Wednesday in September) is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages. This unique national program — with participation by local organizations throughout the U.S. — focuses attention on the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women. For more information, including helpful resources, please visit the National Women’s Health & Fitness Day website.

AGHE Welcomes Officer Nominations
Do you know of a colleague who would be suited for a leadership position in the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE)?  Or are you interested in serving as a leader within AGHE? If so, AGHE’s Nominations Committee would like to hear from you. The Nominations Committee is seeking nominations of colleagues or self-nominations to fill the AGHE ballot for the following four positions:  Secretary and three Members-At-large. There will be two (2) candidates chosen for each position with elections taking place in late October 2011. Nomination forms may be obtained from the AGHE office at (202) 289-9806 or from AGHE’s websitePlease submit your nominations by September 28th.

Mark Your Calendars: 2011 Gero-Ed Track
The Gero-Ed Track at CSWE's 2011 Annual Program Meeting will be held in Atlanta, GA from October 27–30. This year’s special events include the Gero-Ed Track Kick-Off with keynote speaker Deborah Amdur from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the AGESW Reception featuring Atlanta’s first senior pro dance team. Other not-to-miss events include the 6th annual Gero-Ed Film Festival and a presentation by Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen on findings from the first NIH-funded study on health disparities and resilience among LGBT older adults. 

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Research & News

Exercise Counteracts Aging Effects
As we age, our bodies change in ways that challenge athletic ability. But exercise also can slow down — and in some cases even prevent — some of the physiological ravages of time. "A lot of things that we thought were just inherent to the aging process and were going to happen no matter what don't really have to happen if you maintain an appropriate lifestyle," says Jim Hagberg, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Maryland in College Park. Read the full article to learn about how exercise biologically protects against the degenerative effects of the aging process.

Accomplishing Amazing Athletic Feats – in their 80s and 90s
Healthy Aging is an important facet of achieving a high quality of life – eating right, exercising, and striving for wellness are all valuable goals. These elders however, take their fitness and health to the next level. Read about the amazing feats some of our eldest are able to accomplish here, and here.  

Want to Stay Sharp? Skip the salt, but not the Workout
In a food culture where eating too much salt and failing to exercise is the norm, we are all at a higher risk of heart disease, but according to a new study from Canadian researchers, we’re also doing damage to our brains. With some 4 million Americans suffering from some form of dementia, it’s important to eat right and exercise in order to decrease one’s risk. To learn more about the effects of salt on aging brain health click here to read the article.

World Alzheimer's Report 2011: Start Earlier Diagnosis and Intervention  
Alzheimer's Disease International released its third annual report focused on Alzheimer's and the authors suggest that earlier diagnosis and intervention is preferred by people, may allow for more effective interventions, and may make better economic sense.  The authors explain that most people receive a diagnosis later in the stages of the disease (if at all), creating a "treatment gap." Recommendations to address this gap include every country developing a national dementia strategy to promote early diagnosis and a continuum of care after diagnosis.  In a review of economic analyses, the authors suggest that earlier diagnosis could create savings of up to $10,000 per patient in high-income countries.  The authors also recommend all primary health care workers being trained in early detection of dementia, and where feasible, establishing specialist diagnostic centers for both diagnosis of Alzheimer's and formulation of care plans.  For more information, read Az’s report.   

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Funding Opportunities

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program provides two years of support to postdoctoral scholars at all stages of their careers to build the nation's capacity for research and leadership to address the multiple determinants of population health and contribute to policy change. The program is based on the principle that progress in the field of population health depends upon multidisciplinary collaboration and exchange. Its goal is to improve health by training scholars to: investigate the connections among biological, genetic, behavioral, environmental, economic and social determinants of health; and develop, evaluate and disseminate knowledge, interventions and policies that integrate and act on these determinants to improve health. Application Deadline: September 30, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) and Coordinating Center (P30) Grant
This FOA invites applications from qualified institutions to create or continue Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) and a RCMAR Coordinating Center. The RCMAR Programs mission is to address the national priority of reducing health disparities with special emphasis on health disparities in an aging population. The RCMARs will organize themselves so as to create an infrastructure that will: (1) increase the number of researchers focusing upon the health and well-being of minority elders and (2) enhance diversity in the professional workforce by mentoring diverse academic researchers for sustained careers in minority elder health-related research. 

NCOA: Grants To Implement Benefits Enrollment Systems
The National Council on Aging is funding 5-10 grants of $50,000 to $100,000 for the implementation of significant innovations that improve benefits enrollment systems and community-based assistance for seniors and adults with disabilities.  The grant is for 12 months and the deadline is October 31.

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Resources

Webinar: Focus On Texas: Caregiver Assessments: September 20th, 12pm Central
Does your state or organization assess family caregivers?  Have you ever considered making changes to the assessment tool or changing how data from the assessment is used?  If so, join Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) in an upcoming webinar on September 20th. During this interactive webinar, participants will learn about: the legislative history behind the creation of an assessment tool used in Texas; the development and implementation processes; how the tool is used and administered; challenges and lessons learned; and future plans for assessing the program.  The webinar is scheduled for 12pm Central Time (10am Pacific, 11am Mountain, 12pm Central, 1pm Eastern).  To register, visit this link. For the Caregivers Count Too! toolkit that accompanies this webinar click here.
   
Conference: 2011 National Lifespan Respite Conference, November 1-4
This year's 2011 National Lifespan Respite Conference will be held in Glendale, Arizona from November 1-3, 2011, followed by a Lifespan Respite Grantee/Partner Meeting on November 4, 2011for Lifespan Respite Grantees and designated partners only.  The conference is being hosted by the AZ Caregiver Coalition in collaboration with the ARCH National Respite Network. The theme of this year's conference, The Many Faces of Respite, will celebrate cultural diversity among family caregivers and will explore innovative and culturally responsive respite services to support caregivers. Early bird registration ends this Friday, September 16, 2011. For more information visit the conference’s website.   

New AARP Fact Sheet on How Older Americans Live
A newly released fact sheet describes how the future has changed for many Americans 65 years of age and older. The recession has left millions with high expenses, lower incomes, depleted savings, and reduced home equity or homes lost to foreclosure. Long term trends have also had a negative impact and ten facts including how many elders live in poverty, median income, and out-of-pocket health care costs, are specifically addressed. To learn more, click here.

Fact Sheet on Mild Cognitive Impairment
The New York Times recently addressed research on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a condition that is not as severe as Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, but it might be a predecessor to these diseases.  A recently published study suggests between 10 and 20% of people older than 65 have mild cognitive impairment.  Family Caregiver Alliance recently updated its MCI Fact Sheet with information for family caregivers and their loved ones with tips about MCI, necessary transitions, and community resources. To access the NYT article, click here.

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Policy

Long-Term Care Fundamentals: Medicaid Waivers and Medicaid HCBS
The Scan Foundation released two briefs earlier this month.  The first brief, "What is a Medicaid Waiver?" provides an overview of the state application process for a waiver (to CMS), the different types of waivers, and also explains the Medicaid waivers currently operating in California.  The second brief, "Medicaid-Funded Home and Community-Based Services" provides an overview of HCBS, with a focus on California.  Because the programs have evolved over time in California, they are administered by several different state agencies and consumers must meet eligibility requirements and be approved by each program individually.  In addition, the authors explain that Medicaid's bias towards institutional care means that HCBS programs are more likely to be cut during lean budget years.  Scan also released a Data brief with a color-coded map of the U.S. that shows the percent each state spends on institutional care vs. HCBS. 

Leaked List of $500 Billion In Potential Cuts For Medicare Program Over 10 Years
Congressional Quarterly reported earlier this month that the House Ways and Means Democratic staff has prepared a list of possible cuts for the Medicare program in preparation for potential cuts being considered by the supercommittee.  Some of the cuts have been previously recommended by MedPac, and include raising the eligibility age to 67 ($125 billion savings), requiring drug companies to pay rebates for drugs ($120 billion), and charging higher premiums to high-income Medicare patients for Part B and Part D benefits ($14 billion).  The Kaiser Foundation released a brief that explains the process and timeline for the supercommittee, as well as potential consequences to Medicare if the supercommittee can't agree on how to trim $1.3 trillion, or if Congress won't support their proposals. 

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Ripples, an e-newsletter, is designed to keep interested deans and directors, faculty members, students, practitioners and others informed about the work of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI). Please note that the information contained in Ripples comes from a variety of sources, including aging listservs, and social work and aging newsletters. In order to get this information to subscribers as quickly as possible, there is little to no additional verification of work or research of resources.

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.