Center on Aging

The Center on Aging promotes and facilitates lifespan activities on aging in the areas of education, research and evaluation, and community service to maximize the quality of life of older citizens and their families in Maine and beyond.

The center’s goals include providing opportunities for older citizens to engage in productive activities that enhance the quality of their own lives and provide meaningful benefits to the communities in which they live; making research and evaluation expertise on aging-related issues available to the state’s public, voluntary and proprietary organizations; promoting aging-related education and training programs at the undergraduate, graduate and continuing-education levels; and serving as a direct link between the university and Maine residents to expand the range of learning opportunities and practical experiences for UMaine students preparing for careers working with Maine’s older adults.

Center on Aging research, education and community service areas include:

  • Community-engaged interdisciplinary research and evaluation in the field of aging
  • Focus on and expertise in educating current and future professionals in the field of aging
  • Volunteering, leadership development and education programming for older adults

Center on Aging research and outreach contributions include:

  • Delivering a range of programming for older adults including opportunities through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Encore Leadership Corps and Penobscot Valley Senior College
  • Providing continuing educational opportunities in the field of aging for social service and health care professionals, as well as learning opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students via certificate programs, aging specializations and internships
  • Providing research and evaluation expertise on aging-related issues
  • Promoting collaboration and partnerships between UMaine and public and private service providers with aging-related interests throughout the state, including other University of Maine System institutions, the region, and in Canada
  • Serving as a consultative resource and clearinghouse for aging information and training needed by the business, health and human service communities throughout the state and region

Center on Aging points of pride include:

  • Designated as one of the 16 research units at the University of Maine by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Center on Aging is Maine’s only research center dedicated solely to aging issues
  • The center’s programming directly engages and supports more than 500 older Mainers from across the state in community service and lifelong learning
  • Since its inception, it has successfully competed for approximately $10 million in research, evaluation, education and training grants and contracts including those funded through federal and state agencies, private foundations, private companies and community agencies
  • The 2013 launch in partnership of an exclusively online 12-credit interprofessional graduate certificate in gerontology designed to increase the knowledge, skills and abilities of health and human service professionals who provide care to older adults and their caregivers
  • The center provided leadership in the successful effort to establish aging research as an emerging area of excellence at UMaine in 2014
  • The establishment of specialized graduate and undergraduate programs of education in leadership in rural gerontological practice at the School of Social Work
  • The center was awarded a $380,000 National Institutes of Health grant to study a self-initiated falls prevention program for older adults with visual impairment conducted with the University of New England and the Iris Network
  • The center hosts 98 staff, students, contractors and affiliated researchers including 23 undergraduate and graduate work-study, interns and research assistants

Unique facilities and tools include:

  • A broad network of community and state partners
  • The Penobscot Valley Senior College, which includes the RSVP program and ENCorps that together engage hundreds of older adults in lifelong learning, civic engagement and leadership development activities throughout the state
  • Aging data resource center for the Senate Special Committee on Aging and others throughout the state and nation seeking current data and resources on aging-related issues

Visit the Center on Aging website for more information.

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