Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Free documentary screening explores issue of senior financial abuse

Jack Lybarger believed he had won a million dollars. And that's what the phone scammer wanted him to believe. Lybarger lost his home, his car and ultimately his life to this scam, an all-too-common occurrence among older Americans.

Senior financial abuse is on the rise. A 2010 survey by insurance provider MetLife estimated that seniors in the U.S. were losing $2.9 billion each year to financial exploitation and abuse. Unfortunately the trend continues to grow.  A new documentary titled Fleeced: Speaking Out Against Senior Financial Abuse aims to shed light on the problem. The public is invited to a free screening of the film on the University of Indianapolis campus.

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 Fleeced: Speaking Out Against Senior Financial Abuse
 Wednesday, November 13, 2013 -- 6:30pm
University of Indianapolis - Ransburg Auditorium
1400 E. Hanna Avenue  Indianapolis, IN 46227

After the 30-minute documentary, there will be a panel discussion. Panelists include
  • Dr. Ellen Miller, Executive Director, UIndy Center for Aging & Community (moderator)
  • Andy Frazier, Executive Director, Indiana Association for Community Economic Development
  • H. Ken Bennett, Elder Law Attorney
  • Kim Jacobs, Fleeced filmmaker
  • Lori Lybarger, Family member of Jack Lybarger, featured in the film

Attendance is free, but RSVPs are appreciated. Please click here to let us know you plan to attend.

Fleeced shares what can happen to older adults when their trust is undermined by con artists and unscrupulous salespeople out to steal not only their pension, saving and homes, but also their health, self-confidence and relationships with family and friends. In some cases, the perpetrators of the financial abuse are the family and friends of the victims.

In the documentary, Jack Lybarger's family tells the story of how he was exploited by a con artist. Also profiled are other victims who got caught up in complex mortgage frauds. Annette Smith tells how she got fleeced by a seemingly legitimate banking product. Some victims, like Smith, have become national advocates in the fight against financial fraud.

The documentary also features interviews with Skip Humphrey of the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Ramsey Alwin of the National Council on Aging.

FLEECED was funded by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and produced by WFYI Television with assistance from the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Register today for professionals' workshop on recreation & volunteerism in aging

The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community will host a workshop for aging services providers on Tuesday, October 15 from 9am to 3pm on the UIndy campus.  Helping Professionals Help Older Adults Embrace a New Purpose: Recreation & Volunteerism is designed to give people who work with older adults a better understanding of how to help their clients develop and pursue a full life through the pursuit of various leisure and volunteer activities.

As we age, our purpose in life changes. This may be a result of retirement, changing relationships with adult children, and a realization that we are moving into a new phase of life. Whatever the impetus for that change, professionals who work with older adults can help their clients navigate the changes and identify a new, fulfilling purpose for themselves.

 photo JeffGilbert_zpsbd48611e.jpgThe morning session of this workshop will focus on recreation. Jeff Gilbert, Manager of the Denton Senior Center in Denton, TX, will join us to explore the broad definitions of "recreation," how to encourage older adults to find recreational activities they love and to embrace new experiences. Jeff will also discuss trends in older adult recreation -- just what DO the Baby Boomers want, as well as addressing the topic of developing recreational opportunities for different cultural groups of older adults.

 photo PatGilbert_zps84a1d772.jpgThe afternoon session will be conducted by Pat Gilbert, Network and Civic Engagement Director for The Oasis Institute. As part of the senior management team at the national headquarters, Pat provides leadership for volunteer engagement throughout the OASIS network, which encompasses 43 cities in 28 states.  Pat has been a frequent presenter at the Aging in America Conference on volunteer engagement as a key strategy to increase organizational sustainability and social impact.

*CEUs will not be offered for this event, however each participant will receive a certificate of completion.

The cost of the workshop, which includes materials, continental breakfast and lunch is only $20. Students may register for $10. (Proof of student status required.) To register, click here.
These workshops were made possible by a generous contribution in memory of Nelle Worthington, long-time aging advocate and Indiana State Health Insurance Assistance Program employee.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Exercise is important for active aging, but are we selling it well?

This is Active Aging Week. While “active aging” encompasses seven dimensions of wellness (emotional, vocational, physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental), what often comes to mind first is the physical dimension. How are we doing "selling" exercise to older adults?

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In a recent phone conversation I had with Colin Milner (left), founder of the International Council of Active Aging (ICAA), he noted the importance of the physical aspects of active aging, but said society is looking through a distorted lens.

“Fitness is promoted as elitism. Look at the magazine racks. The images are by and large of attractive looking young people,” Milner said.

“The messages that get sent are either anti-aging or ‘super senior,’ neither of which rings true with the average 65 or 70-year-old. We have to help bridge the disconnect.”

Milner suggested that people consider a continuum of fitness, or functional levels, for older adults. 

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Tell me about now
For organizations looking to encourage older adults to embrace any dimension of active aging, including the physical, Milner recommended “Tell them how it’s going to impact their life and health today. Tell them they will sleep better, feel better, be able to play more with their grandkids. Listing the 10-year benefits to someone who isn’t sure they will be around in 10 years doesn’t really do much good.”

To support this, Milner pointed to an August 2012 article, “Changing Our Tune on Exercise,” by New York Times health writer Jane Brody. In the article, Brody cited research by Dr. Michelle Segar at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan.

Show me the journey
Milner also suggested that older adults are more motivated when they see a person’s journey. 

“Don’t just show a 90-year-old marathon runner. Tell the story about how they started walking, then jogging around the block, then running 5Ks, then on to marathons.”

Program for function
When it comes to creating programming designed to encourage active aging, organizations should ask themselves, “What can we do to help people function better.” Milner asserted that by helping people have a higher level of daily function, aging services providers can increase the quality of life for older adults. That means that some programs will address people who need ongoing assistance (see continuum above), while other programs might be targeted toward those who are already active – and all functional levels in between.

Challenges to active aging
When asked about what the greatest challenges are to active aging, Milner cited two. The first challenge is what he called the “status quo mentality.” 

“People are in denial. They think ‘I don’t need to do anything’ [about their health and fitness]. They are willing to wait for a magic bullet,” Milner said. “What they don’t realize is that the magic bullet is themselves, that the bullet requires effort.”

The second challenge Milner described is society’s “too slow” response to population aging. 

“There seems to have been a denial that there is a market for health and fitness products for older adults.” For instance, he pointed to the lack of footwear to accommodate foot issues that might keep an older adult from participating in a regular exercise program. Lack of safe walking paths and other community amenities that could encourage older adults to keep engaged and moving are also examples of slow response. 


Amy Magan
Communications Manager 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Never too old to chase a dream

The afternoon of September 2, 2013 marked a historic undertaking by Diana Nyad, a U.S. long-distance swimmer. Not only did she cover the grueling 110 miles between Cuba and Florida in 53 hours, but she was the first to do so without the protection of a shark cage.  

Did I mention she is 64 years old?  

The feat for Diana was a true testament to the resilience and perseverance of the human spirit.  But she also demonstrated to the world that age was not a limiting factor in achieving a goal that required great physical ability and mental strength.  According to Toughy and Jett (2012), “Resilient people ‘bend rather than break’ during stressful conditions and are able to return to adequate (and sometimes better) functioning after stress (“bouncing back”).”  This truth is evident in the fact that this successful swim was Diana’s 5th attempt at the record.

As Diana emerged from the water, completely exhausted, leaning on the shoulders of others, she had three lessons she wanted to share with the crowd and the world:

  1. Never ever give up
  2. You are never too old to chase your dreams
  3. It [the swim] looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team sport (so too is aging).

You can hear it in her own voice in this video:

While there are certainly varying challenges and changes that come with older age, if we prepare ourselves for the experience, older adulthood can be a time for continued growth, discovery, and achievement. 

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Emily Austin has a Master’s in Gerontology from the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community. She teaches health and aging and health promotion courses for Boise State University. In her spare time she is an avid endurance runner.

References: Touhy & Jett (2012). Ebersole and Hess’ toward healthy aging: Human needs & nursing response, pg 340. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Master's of Science in Gerontology candidates to present capstones

On Thursday, August 15, 2013, five graduate students will present their Capstone projects at the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community (CAC). 

The Capstone, completed by students pursuing a master's degree in gerontology, reflects a student’s cumulative experience and skills gained throughout their graduate academic program with CAC. Capstone projects demonstrate the ability to synthesize gerontological knowledge learned through academic and practical experience and reflect the interdisciplinary nature and theoretical perspectives of gerontology. 

Thursday's schedule of presenters is as follows:

WorldCafe photo kappel_WC_zpsd3819814.jpg9am - Katrina Kappel: "Developing a Business Plan for a Community TimeBank: Insights Gained from Zionsville, IN"

10am - Jenni Todd Kempson: "A Business Plan for an Adult Day Center: How to Start from Scratch"

11am - Debra Logan: "Thinking Inside the Box: Homeless Veterans Age 50+ in Marion County"

1pm - Debi Williams: "Advocating for Livable Communities: Training Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities to Advocate for Safe, Affordable Housing"

2pm - Jennifer Miller: "Intergenerational Connections for Organizational Wellness: A Case Study Based on a Mission Trip to Belize"

All presentations will take place at CAC's offices at 901 Shelby Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, Indiana. 

The Master of Science in Gerontology, offered completely online by the University of Indianapolis, addresses the needs of traditional, non-traditional and post-professional students who want to enhance their knowledge of aging populations and develop key skills needed for working with older adults. It has been named a Program of Merit by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

What you should know about older drivers

The latest edition of the Aging in Indiana e-newsletter gets behind the wheel on the subject of older drivers to share information about driver evaluation and rehabilitation, as well as resources you can use in your own family or community.

To subscribe to this free e-newsletter (topics change from month to month) click here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Registration deadline nearing for online aging studies courses

The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community offers undergraduate and graduate courses in aging studies in a completely online format. Registration for Fall 2013 courses is open through July 31.

Undergraduates interested in enhancing their degree program may pursue the Undergraduate Certificate in Aging Studies, which can be earned by taking four 3-credit courses. 

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People who have already earned a bachelor's degree can pursue a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology (18 credit hours), a Master's degree in Gerontology (36 credit hours) or a Graduate Certificate in Project Management for Human Services Professionals (9 credit hours). Click here for more information on all of our online programs.

A new cohort for the Project Management Certificate will begin in Fall 2013. Students who b begin the Project Management Certificate program in Fall 2013 can have the certificate completed, taking one course per semester, by Fall 2014. 

Other courses available in Fall 2013 include:

Undergraduate courses:

  • GERO 301: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Aging
  • GERO 305: Physical Dimensions of Aging
Graduate courses:
  • GERO 501: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Aging
  • GERO 505: Physical Dimensions of Aging
  • GERO 555: Applied Public Policy
  • GERO 585: Grant Writing
  • GERO 587: Project Management for Human Services Professionals I
To learn more about CAC's online courses in aging studies, visit our website at www.uindy.edu/cac or call (317) 791-5930.