USM Aging Initiative

 December 2017

What We've Been Doing

Steering Committee Meetings
The November 2017 Steering Committee meeting minutes are located here.

The Steering Committee has been divided into two work groups to focus on our stated goals of creating a website and hosting a symposium. Members have been asked to reach out to colleagues using a short e-survey to determine interests, needs, and website functionality. You can take the short survey here.

Website Development
We are currently using the free Wix platform to develop an Aging Initiative website concept that can later lead to a more fully developed website using a more sophisticated platform. We have developed a site outline structure that can be seen here. There is significant drill-down on the topic areas, since aging touches nearly every aspect of our lives and communities. Please feel free to provide feedback on gaps or other ways to represent the broad array of our areas of interest and expertise. At the moment we are working on the 2nd tier of information and thinking about what people, projects, or links each of us would want to know about or find if we clicked on a topic area such as "Biology of Aging" or "Studio Arts". Please send your feedback!

Aging Initiative Outreach

What Do You Want?

We would love for more of the USM community that is interested in any aging-related topic to take the short Google Forms survey linked above, but here it is again (it only takes a a couple of minutes). We are compiling the information as we receive it, but you can see here a summary to date. Your input on the best ways for us to find one another and keep tabs on what aging-related work we are doing or thinking about would be enormously helpful to developing the right kind of online space that has some practical utility for our work and for our broader community.

What We're Reading

Noteworthy aging-related events and publications
"Eldercare: How to Talk About Taking Care of Aging Loved Ones" on NPR's On Point. Ann Kaiser Sterns, Katie McInnis-Dittrich, and Tien Tang join host Anthony Brooks to discuss the importance of having conversations with family members about eldercare, and provide tips on how to approach them with compassion and love. 
Listen Here

"Framing Strategies to Advance Aging and Address Ageism as Policy Issues" by the FrameWorks Institute. The FrameWorks Institute is making headlines for its groundbreaking work changing the conversation on big social issues like aging and elder abuse. See more of their work at
Read Here

"Are You Old? Infirm? Then Kindly Disappear" Here is a poignant NYT opinion piece by Frank Bruni about how older people with infirmities become invisible in our youth-obsessed culture. 
Read Here

Engage  Connect  Promote @ Aging USM

REC 390, Topics in Recreation and Leisure Studies - Elder Care, is a class that will be taught by Holly Bean during the Summer 2018 semester. Students will travel to Ireland for one week in June to explore issues affecting older adults in Ireland. They will look at the various services available in Ireland to promote well-being in older adults, and learn how to evaluate models of service delivery, and understand the policies that regulate them and the many social, economic, and political conditions that influence service delivery. 

'My Mother's Clothes Are Not My Mother' written and performed by USM Guest Lecturer Elizabeth Peavey has  revised her acclaimed one-woman show that discusses caring for her aging mother. The new version of the play ran in Lewiston at The Public Theater in November. Peavey plans to publish the play so that other theater companies can put on the show. Be on the lookout for 'My Mother's Clothes are Not My Mother' coming to a theater near you!

"Financial Exploitation of Maine's Older Adults" Eileen Griffin, Cathy McGuire, and Kim Snow of the Muskie School published a report this month examining trends in financial exploitation occurring in Mainers aged 60 and older by analyzing Adult Protective Services and Legal Services for the Elderly records. The report can be accessed on Digital Commons here. The report was also covered on Maine Public Radio

Aging-related activities at USM
We would love to hear about your work and feature it here. Please feel free to promote your work and email or add a note on our Google+ page (see G+ button below).

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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