USM Aging Initiative

January 2018

What We've Been Doing

Steering Committee Meetings
Due to the end of the semester and busy holiday schedule, we did not hold a December meeting. In January, the Steering Committee met to discuss the Aging Symposium and an Aging Initiative website. The January 2018 Steering Committee meeting minutes are located here

Aging Initiative Outreach

What Do You Want?

The Steering Committee is divided into two work groups to focus on our stated goals of creating a website and hosting a symposium. If you would like to contribute your thoughts on how the Aging Initiative can serve your needs through a website, you can take the short survey here.

We are compiling the information as we receive it, but you can see a summary to date. Your input on the best ways to curate aging-related work at USM would be enormously helpful in developing the right kind of online space that has some practical utility for our work and for our broader community.

Engage  Connect  Promote @ Aging USM

Aging-related activities at USM
We would love to hear about your work and feature it in this section. Please feel free to promote your work and email
The ElderTech Collaborative, a pilot project of the UMaine Center on Aging, is seeking researchers and faculty who are interested in participating in on-site learning and research projects for spring 2018. See the following message for more information:

"This lab represents a unique partnership between the University of Maine, ElderTech, and Phillips-Strickland House, a Bangor-based continuing care community offering independent living and assisted living arrangements for older adults. The Collaborative has been established to create a real-world laboratory where technologies, products, approaches, etc. can be developed and tested with older adults, caregivers, and healthcare staff members."

The ElderTech Collaborative is offering two opportunities for the upcoming semester:

  1. Course-related student projects and activities: We are currently looking for course opportunities that would bring undergraduate and graduate students into the lab to meet student learning needs in aging-related fields. In particular, the lab can offer access to older adults in groups or one-on-one to build student learning around aging, healthcare, and product development. This is an exciting opportunity to extend student learning beyond the classroom and bring students into a real world living environment. If you have an idea for how you could make use of the lab in your course, please be in touch to discuss further.
  2. Research piloting: The ElderTech lab will offer access to potential research subjects including older adults, caregivers/family members of older adults, and healthcare staff who can assist with research pilot testing of products, methods, care approaches, research concept development, etc. If you have a product, device, concept, approach, or intervention that you would like to test with any of these subject populations, we can work with you to assist with subject recruitment and on-site research implementation.
If you are interested in either opportunity, contact Silas Walsh at with your ideas about how you would like to use the ElderTech laboratory. 

What We're Reading

Noteworthy aging-related events and publications
"A Generation in Japan Faces a Lonely Death" by Norimitsu Onishi in the New York Times. Onishi describes the changing family structures in Japan that have come with the aging population, and the loneliness that many older Japanese adults face as they age alone in Japan's housing complexes built after World War II. 
Read Here

"Life Lessons From a Year With 'The Oldest Old'" on NPR's Fresh Air. New York Times report John Leland joins host Terry Gross to talk about stories from his reporting on six individuals above the age of 85 that informed his new book Happiness is a Choice You Make
Listen Here

"Rural Aging in America: Proceeding of the 2017 Connectivity Summit" in Population Health Management. This report details activities from the 2017 Connectivity Summit on Rural Aging, funded by Tivity Health, Health eVillages, and the Tramuto Foundation. Contents include three roundtable discussions, recommendations to promote collaboration between sectors that intersect with rural aging, and a 6-12 month action plan. 
Read Here

Who We Are

The USM Aging Initiative is a new campus-level initiative created to connect faculty, staff, and students who have research and scholarship interests in any aspect of the aging field. The goal is three-fold: to foster engagement on the experience of aging at the individual and system levels; to connect those faculty, staff, and students who have similar areas of interest in ways that support scholarly inquiry; and to promote aging-related scholarship that is already taking place on campus. The USM AI has received funding through the USM's Title III Faculty Interest Group (FIG) program for the 2017-2018 academic year in order to develop an initiative website that will serve these goals and to host a symposium in Spring, 2018 that will feature USM scholarly work related to aging.
What are you up to?
Send us your ongoing projects, ideas, or specific interests in the aging field to add to our growing inventory of activities at USM!
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USM Aging Initiative
34 Bedford St
Portland, ME 04101

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