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The E-Newsletter of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI)
Volume 8 Issue 2

February 23, 2009


Upcoming Deadlines:
Gero-Ed Specialized Gerontology Program Funding: April 10, 2009
Hartford Pre-Dissertation Awardees: May 1, 2009

In this Issue…
Research & News
Funding Opportunities

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Gero-Ed Center Seeks Proposals for the 2009 CSWE Annual Program Meeting
The Gero-Ed Center is now accepting proposals for the 2009 Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting. To submit your aging-related proposal for the Gero-Ed Track, visit CSWE’s conference website where you can submit your proposal online until Sunday, March 29 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. CSWE’s 55th Annual Program Meeting will be held in San Antonio, Texas, November 6-9. The Gero-Ed Center will continue its tradition of hosting several special sessions and exciting events, including the popular Film Festival. For more information on the Gero-Ed Track, visit the APM Gero-Ed Track page.

The Social Work Leadership Institute is launching Region 5 and a new website for normalizing the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education
One goal of the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education (HPPAE) is to be the norm in aging education at all MSW programs.  Normalizing this model will help the social work profession address the demands of a rapidly aging population and anticipated workforce needs by training aging-competent leaders in the field. In striving toward this goal, the Social Work Leadership Institute has engaged with 15 MSW programs in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Mississippi, which consist of “Region 5”, to launch the normalization of the HPPAE.  Partnering with currently funded HPPAE programs in Texas and utilizing their expertise in implementing the program to share knowledge, information, and resources with the schools new to this unique approach to geriatric education, this is the first region in the country to begin the normalization of the HPPAE. To learn more about creating a HPPAE at your school, this website, provides all the tools and resources you may need. 

The Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education’s Alumni and Student Committee on Leadership in Aging
The Committee on Leadership in Aging (CLIA) was convened in October 2008 to spearhead the effort to create a network that supports the on-going leadership development of HPPAE students and alumni and to enhance the awareness of the social work profession in aging, overall.   This committee consists of seventeen HPPAE alums or current students who applied and were selected for their talent, demonstrated leadership capacity, and dedication to the field.  In only a few short months, this CLIA has established three primary mechanisms to network and communicate with the 1,000+ graduates of the program. First, to bolster communication, an alumni and student listserv, Facebook, and MySpace pages have been utilized to promote information sharing and social networking.  Please visit us at any or all three. For the listserv, go to
Be a friend on or , Name: Swli Hppae. Second, a tri-annual newsletter has been created, called HPPAE Happenings, to keep you informed, up-to-date, and linked in on things HPPAE relatedTo read the first issue, click here . Third, an e-journal has been created to foster and reward scholarly efforts of HPPAE alumni and students and to create a vehicle to contribute knowledge for advancing social work leadership in aging.  This journal is called Generativity: Advances social work leadership in aging.  A call for submissions is currently open, .  To learn more about the Social Work Leadership Institute and HPPAE’s Committee on Leadership in Aging, please visit .

New Profiles in Social Work: Charles Emlet, PhD
Check out this month’s profiles in social work, featuring Charles Emlet, PhD. Profiles in social work is dedicated to highlighting social workers who have benefited from Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiative programs. To read this month’s profile, click here.



Study Shows Need for Standardizing Nursing Home Social Worker's Credentials
Qualifications of nursing home social workers vary greatly in part because of low federal standards and inconsistent state laws, the first national study on nursing home social workers reveals.  The study, led by University of Iowa assistant professor Dr. Mercedes Bern-Klug, found that only half of nursing home social workers have a degree in social work, and 20 percent do not have a four-year degree. Nursing home social workers advocate for residents and watch for signs of stress and depression. They also connect residents and families with resources in and outside the nursing home and facilitate transitions such as hospice, a hospital stay or a return to independence. The analysis of laws on nursing home social worker qualifications was published in the fall issue of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work. Results of the national survey will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of American Medical Directors Association. The UI School of Social Work has started a national listserv about nursing home social work and has resources for nursing home social workers on its Web site. For more information, click here .

Eldercare Workforce Alliance Formed
The Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA) is coalition of 25 leading organizations representing older adults and the eldercare workforce, including family caregivers, healthcare professionals, and direct-care workers that have joined together to address the critical shortage of healthcare providers and caregivers who are adequately prepared to meet the unique care needs of older adults. The Alliance was formed in direct response to a 2008 Institute of Medicine report that concluded that America’s eldercare workforce is dangerously understaffed and unprepared to care for the rapidly growing number of older adults in the U.S.  The Alliance is a project of the Tides Center and the Tides Advocacy Fund and will be directed by Alice H. Hedt, formerly the Executive Director of the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform. The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John A. Hartford Foundation provided funds for the development of the Alliance. For more information about the Eldercare Workforce Alliance, visit

Older Americans Month 2009 Theme: “Living Today for a Better Tomorrow” 
May is Older Americans month and the US Administration on Aging (AoA) recently announced this year’s theme “Living Today for a Better Tomorrow”.  AoA provides this theme to assist National Aging Services Network’s of state, tribal, area agencies on aging, and community services providers in planning for activities that take place during May or throughout the year.  The theme reflects AoA’s continued focus on prevention efforts and programs throughout the country that are helping older adults have better health as they age and avoid the risks of chronic disease, disability and injury.  For more information about the history of Older Americans Month and Older Americans Month 2009, please visit: .

New Study Questions Effectiveness of Brain Exercise Program
A new study featured in last month’s issue of Alzheimer's & Dementia - the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, found that there was no evidence that structured cognitive interventions or "brain exercise" programs delay or slow progression of cognitive changes in the healthy elderly. There is much research on the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation strategies among elderly who already experience mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease, as well as on the positive impact of physical exercise. The researchers, led by senior author Peter Snyder, PhD, wanted to evaluate current research that would focus on the impact of cognitive interventions in the healthy elderly population. Such brain exercise programs, which have been made popular by games such as Nintendo’s Wii video game system, are reportedly a $80 million per year industry in the US. For more information, click here .

In Honor of Valentine’s Day
This touching article from the Washington Post newspaper offers us a look at love – revisited. Writer Abigail Trafford investigates how longevity and love, go hand and hand. The article also features an interview with noted gerontology expert, physician and author Dr. Robert N. Butler, who found love again at 80 years old. Cupid never ages! Click here to read the article in its entirety.




Transdisciplinary Research on Fatigue and Fatigability in Aging (R01, R21)
The National Institutes of Health encourages submission of research grant applications on fatigue and fatigability in aging. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is intended to promote research studies employing transdisciplinary approaches that could lead to increased understanding of mechanisms contributing to, assessment of, or potential interventions for, increased fatigue or fatigability in older persons. Up to $275,000 in funding is available. R01 deadlines are June 5 and October 5 and R21 deadlines are June 16 and October 16. For more details on this announcement, visit: .

Funding Opportunity from the National Institute of Justice
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is soliciting proposals for research and evaluation in the areas of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals over the age of 60 (“elderly”), including individuals who reside either in the community or in residential care facilities. The deadline for applications is April 10, 2009. NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a component of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). NIJ provides objective, independent, evidence-based knowledge and tools to enhance the administration of justice and public safety. Click here for more information.



A New Resource for Hartford Program Grant Recipients

The HGSWI Publicity Kit has been developed for Hartford Doctoral Fellows and Faculty Scholars and provides guidelines and tips for creating effective communication materials. The Kit provides examples of Hartford related logos and boilerplate language. The document provides guidelines on how to use the resources for posters, papers, PowerPoint presentations, press releases and other projects. The publicity kit can be found at both the (under resources for Geriatric Social Workers and (under the “What’s New” section) websites.

New Edition of Aging and Diversity Published
The 2nd edition of Chandra M. Mehrotra and Lisa S. Wagner’s text Aging and Diversity is now available. The new edition has been completely rewritten and addresses key topics in diversity and aging such as: research methods; health beliefs, behaviors, and services; inequalities in health; informal and formal care of older persons; work, retirement, and leisure; religious affiliation and spirituality; and death, dying, and bereavement. The authors aim to provide a fresh perspective that helps readers develop a clearer understanding of how the aging experience is affected by elements of diversity such as gender, race or ethnicity, religious affiliation, social class, rural/urban community location, and sexual orientation. For more information and/or to order, click here.

Three Part Series on Home Health Care Featured on Aging Blog
“The New Old Age”, an online blog created by Jane Gross of The New York Times featured a three part series examining home health aides in January. The articles help give prospective clients and family caregivers a better understanding of home health care agency services. To read these articles, click here.

PBS Documentary on Parkinson’s Disease
"My Father, My Brother, and Me," is a Frontline documentary that examines one family's experience with Parkinson's disease, as well as current research and treatments for the disease. Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain that leads to body tremors (shaking) and causes difficulty in walking, movement, and coordination. The number of people in the United States with Parkinson’s disease is estimated to be between 500,000 and one million and is common in persons over the age of 65, according to the National Parkinson Foundation. For information on broadcast schedules, as well as access to the full documentary, go to:



Economic Recovery Package to Help Poor Older Adults
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.  The legislation contains key investments that will prevent loss of health coverage, promote prevention programs and lower health care spending for our nation during these challenging economic times.  The ARRA includes $100 million for meals and nutrition services for older Americans to help them maintain their health and independence, $120 million to train low-income older Americans and help them find jobs, as well as measures that would increase one-time Social Security Insurance payments. These funds will assist communities most in need at a time when the demand for services is increasing due to the economic downturn and the growing number of older adults. In related news, The Urban Institute examines the effects of the economic recovery package that was just passed by congress, particularly those provisions that aid older Americans. To read more, click here.

DTV Transition Delayed
Congress extended the DTV (Digital Television) transition date from February 17, 2009 to June 12, 2009 to allow more time for American consumers to prepare for the switch from analog television. The extension comes in response to the 3.2 million people who are still on the waiting list for government-issued converter box coupons, as well as a Nielsen report showing that at least 6.5 million Americans rely on analog TV sets and remain unprepared for the switch. This additional time will assist vulnerable Americans, including many older individuals, to get ready for the biggest change in television since colorization in the 1950's. The Administration on Aging (AoA) will continue to work with its Federal partners - the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and others, as well as the national aging services network of state, tribal, local and community-based organizations to assist in this massive outreach and assistance effort. To read the NTIA press release, please visit:





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 Katherine Carter, Program Coordinator at If you have been forwarded this newsletter by a colleague and would like to subscribe, please reply to this e-mail and type the word “subscribe” in the subject line. Please be sure to visit our website at This newsletter has been sent from The Gerontological Society of America, 1220 L Street, NW, Suite 901, Washington, DC 20005-4018. To unsubscribe to Ripples, click here and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

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