Minnesota and many communities around the world are grappling with the rapid aging of their populations. By 2020, older adults — those 65 years of age and over — will for the first time outnumber those aged 5-17 in Minnesota. By 2030, 1-in-5 Minnesotans will be an older adult. With these changes come challenges, including an increased prevalence of multiple chronic conditions, a higher demand for professionals to care for the elderly, gaps in long-term care services and supports, and a growing responsibility for family members.
Such challenges also present multiple opportunities in science, education, and outreach. To meet them, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health is relaunching and redesigning its Center on Aging beginning in September 2019. The director of the center is Dr. Joseph E. Gaugler, the School of Public Health’s Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair in Long-Term Care and Aging. The center’s associate director is Dr. Tetyana Shippee, associate professor and national expert in aging, quality of life, long-term care, access to care and other related areas.
“Our hope is that the Center on Aging will galvanize faculty, students, and community stakeholders to better leverage existing opportunities related to the aging of Minnesota, the U.S., and the world,” said Dr. Gaugler. “If successful, the center will advance the interdisciplinary study of aging science, craft intensive educational experiences in aging, build and sustain forward-thinking care practices in aging, and establish vibrant community, governmental, business, and individual partnerships to benefit the healthy aging of Minnesota and beyond.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on September 20