Aging Initiative

University of Maine to host second annual Aging Initiative Workshop

Orono, Maine — Major aging-related challenges in Maine and the state-based research being done to address them will be the focus of a panel discussion open to the public Aug. 22 as part of the second annual Aging Initiative Workshop at the University of Maine.

Speaker of the House Mark Eves will provide opening remarks at 10 a.m. in Wells Conference Center, followed at 10:15 a.m. by the panel discussion, “Today’s Compelling Aging-Related Challenges Facing Maine’s Communities and the Role of Research in Addressing Them.”

Expected to participate in the panel discussion: Michelle Hood, president and CEO, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems; Sean Faircloth, Bangor City Council chair and mayor; Dyan Walsh, executive director, Eastern Area Agency on Aging; and Shirar Patterson, senior vice president and COO, United Way of Eastern Maine.

Following this discussion at 11:00 a.m., successes of the Aging Initiative’s Aging Research and Technologies Seed Grant Program will be highlighted. UMaine researchers will present overviews of yearlong aging-focused pilot projects funded by UMaine’s Office of the Vice President for Research.

The Aging Initiative Workshop is sponsored by UMaine’s Office of the Vice President for Research and the Center on Aging.

Maine continues to have the highest median age of any state (44.7) and it is rising at one of the fastest rates in the nation. Changing demographics in Maine and nationwide are creating new opportunities and challenges associated with an aging population. To help address these needs, the Office of the Vice President for Research developed the University’s Aging Initiative, committed to leading aging-focused research, education and services to assist our aging population to live and thrive in Maine.

The Aging Initiative Workshop will connect faculty and staff across a broad range of disciplines and professions from all seven UMS campuses and will help shape the future of aging-related research in the state of Maine by tapping into the academic excellence throughout the University of Maine System.

Aging Initiative Meetings

Footage from the June, 2015 and August, 2015 Aging Initiative meetings is available for viewing. The Aging Initiative is supported by Dr. Kim and it plays an important role in the University’s research mission. The next Aging Initiative meeting will be on Monday, August 22nd.

2015 Aging Research and Technologies Seed Grant Program Awardees Announced

Over the past year, Vice President Kim has championed the Successful Aging Initiative for Living (SAIL) on campus and around the state.  Maine has been touted as the “oldest state in the nation” and, as demographics continue to change in our state and across the nation, many older adults and their caregivers are facing challenging quality of life issues.  The solutions to many of these issues could potentially be identified through aging research and the development of technologies that help older adults successfully age and thrive in place.  The purpose of this seed funding program is to enhance aging research capacity and interdisciplinary collaboration among UMaine faculty and address a very pressing issue for the State of Maine and beyond.

The Office of the Vice President of Research is pleased to announce the awardees of the 2015 Aging Research and Technologies Seed Grant Program. The program will provide seed funding for pilot research and technology development projects, enabling the early stages of data collection and project development.

Eleven multidisciplinary projects have been approved for preliminary funding (ranging between $10,000 and $50,000) and awardees will be required to submit a grant proposal to a federal funding agency by June 2016 to expand and sustain the pilot work.  There are nineteen different faculty members involved as principal investigators and/or collaborators and the awarded projects span eight academic departments, four colleges, and three research centers.  Further information on the awarded projects can be found online.

Vice President Kim Testifies Before Senate Special Committee on Aging

On May 6, Technology and Caring for aging seniors was the subject of a hearing before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, chaired by Sen. Susan Collins. Among the academics and experts asked to testify on technology advancements in caring for aging seniors was Carol Kim, UMaine vice president for research and dean of the graduate school. Kim testified about UMaine’s multidisciplinary initiatives focused on helping elders to age and thrive in place. The Committee testimony is on C-SPAN.

Vice President Kim Describes Inventions to Help Older Adults Stay at Home, BDN Reports

The Bangor Daily News published a report about Carol Kim, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at the University of Maine, testifying before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Kim spoke about UMaine’s multidisciplinary initiatives focused on helping elders to age and thrive in place. A lot of UMaine’s aging research focuses on helping to prevent seniors from falling and helping to mitigate injury upon a fall, according to the report. Kim testified at the hearing titled “Aging in Place: Can Advancements in Technology Help Seniors Live Independently?” at U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ request, the article states. MobiHealthNews also reported on the hearing.