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Research and Publications

The Institute on Aging faculty is composed of a multidisciplinary group of nationally and internationally recognized scholars. Substantive and theoretical perspectives are represented from such social science disciplines as psychology, sociology, political science, urban studies, economics, social work, speech communication, and public administration.

Here is a sampling of some of the research currently happening at the Institute on Aging:

Oregon Community-Based Care Project

Resident and Community Characteristics Report 2014These reports describe the results of three studies based in community-based care settings in Oregon. One study describes characteristics of residents in assisted living, residential care, and memory care communities; the second study describes characteristics adult foster care home residents and staff; and the third describes Medicaid clients who lived in one of these types of community-based care settings. Data were collected and analyzed in 2015 with support from Oregon Department of Health and Human Services.

Connect to all of the most recent Community-Based Care Reports

Consumer Satisfaction with Aging & Disability Resource Connection of Oregon - Final Report 2015

Diana White, PhD, Sheryl Elliott, MUS

Consumer Satisfaction with Aging & Disability Resources Connection of OregonThe report describes the fourth round of consumer satisfaction surveys that were conducted with people who had been in contact with the Information & Referral/Assistance (I&R/A) Call Center or received Options Counseling (OC) services of Aging and Disabilities Resource Connection (ADRC) of Oregon. Data for this survey were collected in November 2014. This Executive Report summarizes and presents data on overall satisfaction, conclusions, and recommendations for the ADRC program. More information

Older Adult Behavioral Health Investment Project

Diana White, PhD, Linda Dreyer, MSW, MPH, Julie Reynolds, PhD, Alice Scannell, PhD, Serena Worthington

Senior Mental Health Specialist Investment

Awarded a contract from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) In July 2014, the IOA interviewed stakeholders to better understand how older adults with mental and behavioral health needs are served in Oregon. Following that report, the IOA developed a plan to address training needs of mental health and aging services providers, as well as primary care providers and the general public. Working with content experts, the IOS is developing a training program for these audiences and will begin offering training spring of 2015. The OHA is now in the process of placing Older Adult Behavioral Health Specialists (OABHS) in local communities or within regional organizations in the State of Oregon to improve services for older adults. The IOA will provide support to the OABHS through a variety of community capacity building activities. Coming Soon - link to trainings and a project resource Webliography


AARP - Evaluating Your Age-Friendly Community Program. A Step-By-Step Guide

Dr. Margaret B. Neal and Iris Wernher, MS.

Evaluating Your Age-Friendly Community ProgramDeveloped for AARP, This guide is part of AARP's Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities "Toolkit".


Coalition for a livable Future's 12th Annual Regional Livability Summit - 2014

Dr. Margaret B. Neal and Iris Wernher

Presentations on "Aging and Equity in the Region" from the Institute on Aging - Drs. Alan DeLaTorre and Dick Lycan - with community partners Bobby Weinstock (NW Pilot Project) and Lee Girard (Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services).

Student Research

Here are some examples of research done by IOA students:

  • The effect of work-based training on direct care workers’ job satisfaction. (Cynthia Lopez, graduate student)
  • How neighborhood-based social networks affect the quality of older persons’ lives. (Gretchen Luhr, doctoral student)
  • How direct care workers use humor to improve the care of persons with dementia who reside in assisted living facilities. (Ann McQueen, doctoral student)
  • Intentional communities for elders who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. (Kathleen Sullivan, PhD)
  • State policy responses to manufactured home closures in Oregon. Mobile homes are an important form of affordable housing for many older persons. (Andree Tremoulet, PhD)
  • "Challenges, Experiences, and Future Directions of Senior Centers Serving the Portland Metropolitan Area."(Dissertation, Melissa L. Cannon, Ph.D.)