Alzheimer's: America's Next Epidemic

In This Issue:
Upcoming Deadlines
Research & News
Funding Opportunities

Upcoming Deadlines

Hartford Faculty Scholars Applications Due February 1, 2011
Hartford Doctoral Fellows Program Applications Due February 1, 2011

Careers in Aging Week grant Applications Due February 10, 2011
Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting Proposals Due February 28, 2011
Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting Abstracts Due March 15, 2011

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GSWI Announces Free Careers in Aging Week toolkit for Social Workers
The Geriatric Social Work Initiative is pleased to announce a free toolkit to help you plan Careers in Aging Week (CIAW) activities. Support your students’ entry into the gerontological social work job market by participating in the 2011 CIAW, April 10th -16th.  The toolkit available at includes resources for organizing informal gatherings, panel discussions, poster sessions, career fairs, and film screenings. Geriatric social work ranks as one of the top 20 careers in terms of growth potential. The demand for geriatric social workers is expected to increase by 45% by 2015. Click here to help your students learn about social work jobs in aging by planning activities for Careers in Aging Week.

AGHE Announces small grant awards for CIAW activities
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education has announced that they will be awarding 10 small grants of $200 each to educational institutions who are planning Careers in Aging Week activities. CIAW ( April 10th - 16th) brings together universities and colleges around the world to participate at their schools or within their communities. Participants sponsor events such as networking receptions, panel discussions, job fairs, exhibits, and aging-related film screenings. Applications are due February 10th. Click here to access additional information including the application.

Submit a CEU-eligible proposal to the 2011 APM Gero-Ed Track!
It’s time to submit your aging-related proposal to the 2011 CSWE Annual Program Meeting, which will be held in Atlanta, GA from October 27-30, 2011. The Gero-Ed Track especially encourages abstract submission for CEU eligible sessions, which include curriculum and administrative workshops, panels, skills workshops, think tanks, faculty development institutes, and more. The Gero-Ed Track description provides guidance when considering your proposal. The deadline is Monday, February 28 at 11:59 pm ET.

AGHE’s First Annual Teaching Institute! Engaged Teaching for Engaged Learning
New to teaching? Veteran teacher? Looking for new ideas and techniques? A fresh approach to teaching about aging? This "first of its kind" pre-conference Teaching Institute will focus on the often hidden processes involved in engaged teaching and learning. The pre-conference will be held prior to the AGHE Annual Meeting, March 17th, from 1-5 pm. The cost is $60. To find out more about the AGHE Annual Meeting click here. To read more about the pre-conference institutes, click here.

GSA Welcomes 2011 Abstracts
The Gerontological Society of America is now accepting abstracts for its 64th Annual Scientific Meeting, taking place from Friday, November 18, to Tuesday, November 22, 2011, in Boston, MA. The new Call for Abstracts is currently available online. In the January issue of Gerontology News, President Donald Ingram, PhD, outlines his meeting theme, "Lifestyle → Lifespan." Mark your calendars now!

Alzheimer’s Association International Conference to be held in Paris
The 2011 Alzheimer's Association International Conference will take place in Paris France from July 16-21.  The theme this year is "Science is an art."  Registration begins in February 2011.  For more information, click here.

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Research & News

New National Goal: Defeat Alzheimer's in a Decade
Alzheimer's disease has become a generation's defining challenge. It is quickly becoming one of the greatest public and financial health issues of our time. The National Alzheimer's Project Act was signed into law this January by President Obama. The signing of this important piece of legislation was a first step toward development of a strategic national plan to fight the disease. Alzheimer's experts say the new legislation and the advisory council it calls for could make a significant difference. To read more, click here or watch this CBS newspiece titled "Alzheimer's and the Silver Tsunami: Is America Ready?"

MRI scans reveal brain changes in people at genetic risk for Alzheimer's
People with a known, high risk for Alzheimer's disease develop abnormal brain function even before the appearance of telltale amyloid plaques that are characteristic of the disease, according to a new study. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report in the Dec. 15 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience that these patients had a particular form of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene called APOE4. The findings suggest that the gene variant affects brain function long before the brain begins accumulating the amyloid that will eventually lead to dementia. To read more, click here.

Dementia is the brain mangling memories in the first place
A new study indicates that dementia is not necessarily about forgetting things, but rather about a problem with how your brain processes them in the first place. Scientists at Cambridge University believe that not being able to recall past events accurately is more likely to result from the brain forming incomplete memories that are easily confused over time. These findings could lead to new treatments, turn over traditional theories of forgetfulness, and suggest that making greater – more conscious – efforts to remember things in the first place could help dementia patients. To read more about this study click here.

New Progress Report on Alzheimer’s Disease Research Released
The National Institute on Aging’s latest annual report on Alzheimer’s disease research is now available. 2009 Progress Report on Alzheimer’s Disease: Translating New Knowledge, summarizes current scientific directions and highlights key findings from NIH-funded Alzheimer’s research related to the discovery of new genes that contribute to AD, earlier disease detection, links between Alzheimer’s and other age-related diseases, rapid translation of lab findings to potential treatments, and lifestyle factors that may protect against AD. The free report, includes a brief primer on AD, a summary of AD research funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and tables listing ongoing NIA-funded clinical trials investigating AD and mild cognitive impairment, and age-related cognitive decline.

Test Can Pick Up Signs of Dementia in Middle Age
Scientists at the Australian National University used a computer-based test to accurately predict which middle aged people had early warning signs of dementia. The test assessed reaction time and looked for erratic answering patterns; it raised red flags on those who were later found to have MRI scans that indicated dementia-related brain lesions. For more about this test, read the article in its entirety here.

England's Dementia Sufferers to Increase by 70% by the 2030s
The Telegraph reports that, in the next 20 years, dementia sufferers will increase by 70%. "The findings reinforce the scale of the challenge the country’s health and social care system faces as people live longer and require increasingly specialised support," writes Tim Ross. While England's population only has 614,000 people suffering from this disease in 2010, by the 2030s, it is supposed to increase to 1,055,000 people.

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Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities from NIH
The National Institute of Health has a number of grant opportunities, which include, but are not limited to the following:

Bioenergetics, Fatigability, and Activity Limitations in Aging
Mechanisms Underlying the Links between Psychosocial Stress, Aging, the Brain and the Body
Network Infrastructure Support for Emerging Behavioral and Social Research Areas in Aging
Active Aging: Supporting Individuals and Enhancing Community-based Care through Health Information Technology

For a more complete listing on the NIH funding available for aging-related research, please click here.

Health and Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health has released the following grant opportunity:
Translating Basic Behavioral and Social Science Discoveries into Interventions to Improve Health-Related Behaviors (R01) Grant

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NASUAD Issues Report Update on States Silver Alert Initiatives
When the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) issued their last report (March 2009) on state Silver Alert initiatives, only 18 states had such a program in place to protect elders with cognitive impairments. The most recent report, released in November of 2010 showed 28 states had such programs. The Silver Alert programs, similar to those developed for missing children called Amber alerts, inform the public of elders who have been reported missing so that states can utilize the public as a resource for identifying and assisting in locating missing adults. To access the full report, click here.

Survey Addresses Palliative Care For Patients With Dementia
The November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Volume 58, Issue 11) includes an article based on a survey of 426 hospice and palliative care program directors about the provision and challenges of providing palliative care to patients with dementia.  Some of the most common barriers to providing palliative care reported include a lack of awareness by family members and referring providers, the need for respite services, and reimbursement policies.  The most commonly cited needs were family information, assistance with caregiver burden, and behavioral symptoms.  Successful strategies included interdisciplinary teams, collaboration with community organizations, and alternatives to aggressive end-of-life care.  For more information, click here.

Next ASA Web Seminar to Focus on In-Home Care
The next seminar in the American Society on Aging (ASA)-sponsored Family Caregiver Support Web Seminar Series is scheduled for Wednesday, February 9 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. The topic will be How to Select an In-Home Care Provider. Attendees will learn how to determine when home care is needed, as well as how to have a conversation with older adults about the necessary extra care. Guidelines in selecting the best provider will also be discussed.
Click here to learn more about this web seminar and to register for the session.

New APA Resource to Assist Family Caregivers
The American Psychological Association’s (APA) is pleased to announce a new web-based resource titled the Family Caregiver Briefcase for Psychologists. The Briefcase can be used to assist family caregivers through individual and organizational practice, research, teaching, advocacy and community service. It is also useful for other professionals who work with family caregivers, psychologists facing caregiving challenges within their own families, and caregivers themselves. Briefcase components include:  Caregiving facts and figures, strategies for reaching family caregivers, caregiving interventions, assessment tools and much more. The Briefcase was developed by the members of the 2010 APA Presidential Task Force on Caregivers.

Children's Book Helps to Explain Aging Related Dementia
A new children's book titled "Tip-Tap Pop" uses a tap dancing child and her adventures with her grandfather to illustrate how the smallest act can spark memories for those with Alzheimer's disease. The author of the book Sarah Lynn Scheerger is a clinical social worker in California. To find out more about "Tip-Tap Pop," click here. To read more about Scheerger, visit her website.

2010 Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs
The 2010 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs survey provides national, statewide, and, in certain states (based on population), area-specific costs, average private-pay, daily rates for private and semi-private rooms in a nursing home, monthly base rates in assisted living communities, hourly rates for home health aide and homemaker services, and daily rates for adult day services. To view the survey, click here

Older Population in the United States: 2009
The U.S. Census Bureau released a series of data tables with information on a wide range of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of adults age 55 and older. Topics include marital status, educational attainment, nativity and citizenship status, labor force and employment status, occupation, earnings, poverty, and housing tenure.

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House Subcommittee Hears Testimony on the Challenges of Alzheimer's Disease
The US House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health has posted testimony from the December 9th hearing titled "Alzheimer's Disease: The Ongoing Challenges." Access witness statements, briefing materials and view the hearing in Flash Player format by clicking here.

Improving the Quality of Direct Care to LGBT Older Adults
Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), writes for the Direct Care Alliance Blog, about the importance of inclusion when discussing the care of elders. He writes about the services they need and the ways in which public policy can help them receive better care and points to the Direct Care Alliance's Issue Brief, Supporting Direct Care Workers in Caring for Aging Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals. Michael Adams explains, "This brief provides a succinct overview of the challenges that LGBT older adults face when attempting to access direct care services; namely, that they bear the burden of a lifetime of stigma; relationships that generally lack legal recognition; and unequal treatment under laws, programs and services designed to support and protect older Americans."

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Ripples, an e-newsletter, is designed to keep interested deans and directors, faculty members, students, practitioners and others informed about the work of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI). Please note that the information contained in Ripples comes from a variety of sources, including aging listservs, and social work and aging newsletters. In order to get this information to subscribers as quickly as possible, there is little to no additional verification of work or research of resources.

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