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Announcing a New Initiative: Aging Matters, Locally and Globally
Author: Office of University Communications, 503.725.3711
Posted: June 24, 2008
The College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University is pleased to announce a new program of its Institute on Aging that will influence how we as a community address the issues of aging both here and internationally. Aging Matters, Locally and Globally will include two initiatives: one will develop innovative models for affordable housing with personal care services in supportive neighborhood environments in the U.S, and the other will address policies and services for older adults in developing countries.

Portland and Portland State University are uniquely situated to engage in these efforts due to their reputations in the arenas of urban planning and home and community-based services. The Institute on Aging has a successful service-learning program in Nicaragua aimed at improving quality of life for elders by collaborating with community and governmental partners on locally-identified projects.

Aging Matters will seek to challenge conventional wisdom and motivate researchers, educators, and service institutions to think creatively about how best to meet the needs and opportunities associated with an aging population. This will be achieved by researching and devising innovative ways of sustaining older adults and persons with disabilities in the community, by listening and responding to those whose words are not often heard by policymakers and researchers, and by blending education, practice, and research. The two parts of the initiative share the goal of creating a new vision of gerontology that is actively engaged in addressing issues that matter to older adults with limited economic and social resources. As the gap between financial resources and insurance coverage widens for the middle class, these challenges will grow.

The Institute on Aging at the College's School of Community Health will lead Aging Matters, Locally and Globally through the following activities:
* Expert workgroups
* Community-based research and demonstration projects
* Educational forums designed to meet diverse audience needs
* Service-based learning

This initiative is being launched by a generous gift from alumni Michael DeShane, Ph.D. '77 and Keren Brown Wilson, Ph.D. '83. The College will leverage funding for this initiative through other private donations, philanthropic foundations and university support, and by building on the extensive relationships PSU has with its community partners.

For questions, please contact Trish Hamilton at 503-725-5209 or thamilton@pdx.edu.