SEARCH! E-Newsletter Students Exploring Aging Related Careers in Health Fall 2010 Volume 7, Issue 7 New Brand Gerontologist By Helene Bumbalo Let’s play a game of discovery… Why would anyone choose to hire a Gerontologist to consult on the dilemma of returning elderly citizens to the community after time-served in prisons? Why not hire a social worker or a sociologist or a criminal justice professional or a public policy analyst? What added value can a Gerontologist provide that the others can’t? What does a Gerontologist offer that differ- entiates them from the competition?Do you think that a Gerontologist would be sought out for this role? Do youthink the hiring manager would even think to seek a Gerontologist?I attended the Richmond Forum on Prisoner Re-entry a few weeks ago.About 100 people listened to a panel of experts deliberate about the criti-cal issues, the needs of these returning citizens for employment, housing,voting rights, acceptance. When the audience was invited to write ques-tions for the panel, dozens of 3x5 cards were filled out and handed for-ward. In the end, there was only time left for one question…mine was se-lected by the moderator. “What is being done to address the overwhelm-ing needs of the elderly being released from prisons in Virginia?” The panelwas stumped. They expressed lots of concern, lots of recognition of thebleak reality of the situation, even genuine acknowledgement that this is anational problem…but little in terms of solutions. Some panelists and oth-ers in the general audience looked like they had never given this anythought before hearing the question. Could a Gerontologist on this com-mission help bring this issue to the forefront, create a comprehensivestrategy to plan and solve for this aging issue?Con’t on page 6...
Down at the DoG Unlike any film before, Gen Silent startlinglyDepartment of Gerontology discovers how oppression in the years before at the Premiere of Stonewall still affects generations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with Gen Silent feelings of distrust and dangerous isolation. Many who fought for equality are dying prematurely because they dont ask for help and are estranged from their families. This hour-long documentary also shows the wide range in quality of paid caregivers --from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT seniors feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum and places where LGBT elders face discrimination or conversion by paid care givers and bullying by other seniors. Memory Walk 2010Memory Walk is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alz-heimer care, support and research—and itcalls on people of all ages to take actions in the fight. Year-round our participants are leaders in the effort to defeat this devastating disease. Thank you to our fantastic Memory Walk participants!We had 14 team members walk and raised over $1,010.00!!
Gatherings MCV Foundation Brunch Given in honor of those students who received Endowed Scholarships, including Theresa Thomas, Iris Parham, Cathy Saunders Career Gerontologist Award, and Dementia Education Fund. 80% of our students receive scholarships.Without that support, education would not be possible, for many of them.
Student / Alumni Spotlight Takashi Ishizuki Takashi Ishizuki (MSG, 2006) with his family. I came back to my hometown this spring andstarted working at a nursing home, which is owned by my family, as a social worker. I also continue to study at Tokyo Metropolitan University. I have become a doctoral candidate this year, and now I am writing a doctoral dissertation. My research topic is “factors associated with long-term home care among severely disabled elders under the public long-term care system in Japan”.
Spring Classes 2011 GERONOLOGYUndergraduate Courses:12940 002 GRTY 410 Intro to Gerontology Blackboard WatsonCore Gerontology Courses:12944 901 GRTY 606 Aging & Human Values Welleford Tues 7:00-9:40 TROW 101524223 001 GRTY 606 Aging & Human Values Blackboard Welleford22012 901 GRTY 605 Research Methods Gendron Wed 7:00-9:4024221 002 GRTY 605 Research Methods Blackboard Gendron22014 901 GRTY 604 Prob, Iss, and Trends Cotter Thurs 7:00-9:40 TROW 101524222 002 GRTY 604 Prob, Iss, and Trends Blackboard CotterGerontology Practice/Elective Courses:25079 901 GRTY 619 Geriatric Care Mngmnt Pracitcum Bognar23138 901 GRTY 609 Career Planning 1 cr Bumbalo Wed 6:00-8:00 Jan 26th-Feb 23rd TROW25902 902 GRTY 613 GLBT and Aging 2 cr Witten Mon 6:00-8:30 Jan 24th-Apr 4th25080 902 GRTY 692 The Future of Aging 1 cr Waters Wed 6:00-8:40 Apr 5th-May 4th23112 801 GRTY 608 Independent Study Gendron Grant writing 2 cr24224 002 GRTY 692 Macro Topical Seminar 1 cr Cotter
Con’t from page 1To brand Gerontologists as THE right profession to engage in aging issues like this will re-quire three things from each of you reading this newsletter; you must know and articulatewhat is unique about Gerontologists, understand and take your message to the expandingtarget audience and honestly rank your profession against the competition.Careers in Gerontology can move beyond traditional roles addressing topics such as healthand long-term care and extend to the broader realm of issues for the aging population. Inorder to do so, however, the “NEW BRAND Gerontologist” must instantly conjure up a mes-sage that hits the target audience in the gut and lingers there as the only possible choice,not unlike BMW or Starbucks or iPhone. Discerning employers will realize that Gerontolo-gists are the required experts to hire for public commissions, as policy analysts, as market-ing consultants, as social educators, as product developers or any other role where whatyou know sets you apart.That is the challenge…can we discuss this? Please submit your responses and let me knowwhat you identify as your uniqueness as a Gerontologist. Some will show up in the next is-sue of SEARCH, so send in your BRAND STATEMENTS today! Let’s discover who you are andcreate what the “NEW BRAND Gerontologist” will be.Some questions to get you started…As a GERONTOLOGIST, What moves me? Where do I find joy? What do I consistently get recognized for? Why do I do what I do? What am I insanely great at doing? What do I want to be known for? If I ceased to exist, what difference would it make on the world? What can I unabashedly brag about? What emotions would I like my brand to produce in others? Am I a MAC or a PC? Helene M. Bumbalo, MS., Career Development Consultant & Gerontology Practice Faculty SEACH E-NEWSLETTER : Coordinators: E. Ayn Welleford, MSG, PhD , Chair & Associate Professor Department of Gerontology Tracey Gendron, MSG, Instructor/Clinical Coordinator Department of Gerontology ,Virginia Commonwealth University Editors: Kimberly Williams, Department of Gerontology Education Coordinator Assistant
Aging and Health Care Disparities A Fact Sheet by Ryan Duffy Important Facts about Aging, Mental Health, and Minorities Inform minority caregivers and families about Minorities will be the fastest growing portion of dementia and the full array of formal ser- persons 65 years of age and older vices available to them 20% of the population in 2010, 42% in 2050 Inform and familiarize individuals and families 1 in every 8 people over 65 years of age has with the health care system through pam- Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) phlets The most prevalent form of dementia Create information pamphlets using culturally across all ethnicities is AD relevant language and concepts for those African Americans experience a disproportion- from different cultural backgrounds ate amount of Vascular Dementia (VaD) Train health care workers to be culturally sen- and AD sitive and competent (more below) VaD is more prevalent for African Ameri- Encourage research participation in minority cans and Asians groups African Americans and Hispanics 85 years of age and older have the highest risks for AD To Address Disparities, Health Care Pro- Asians have a greater prevalence for dementia viders Can: than whites Develop a rapport with available members of Misdiagnosis and under diagnosis for dementia caregiver network are more likely to occur for minorities Communicate and clarify with caregivers what they need to know about patients Barriers and Disparities in Health Care Inform the patient’s family with pamphlets for Aging Minorities and internet resources about the cause of Minorities have trouble accessing mental dementia and about its progression health services Lack of knowledge about dementia and rele- What Can Practitioners Who Work with vant services Older Adults Do to Resolve Disparities? Due to trouble with access, education We can develop cultural competence, which is Some cultures view dementia as a normal the ability to provide care to persons with di- part of aging and do not seek medical verse beliefs, values, and behaviors and to tai- attention for the person with the condi- lor care to deliver to their linguistic, social, tion and cultural needs. Further, we can develop Minorities mistrust formal health care systems cultural humility, which is a full embrace and These first three barriers result in delayed understanding of cultural differences. These treatment of dementia, which exacerbates principles can be practiced by: health care costs and caregiver burden. Considering each person as both an individual Minorities are not well-represented in demen- and a product of their cultural background, tia research heritage, language, and family Elders and minorities are disadvantaged finan- Understanding the linguistic, social, and cul- cially and are often uninsured tural barriers that individuals from differ- Asians and Hispanics are the top two unin- ent backgrounds may face sured groups among persons over 65 Considering the culture’s typical perceptions of years of age aging, caring for the elderly, and cognitive impairment Recommendations for Addressing Understanding that there are ethnic differ- Barriers ences within a group Help locate dementia care in or near one’s Being conscious of cultural dynamics when cul- community tures interact Developing programs and service that reflect diversity!Check out these resources on the internet:National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) http://www11.georgetown.edu/research/gucchd/nccc/Alzheimer’s Association http://alz.org/index/asp