Pressing issues facing the elderly focus of Nov. 7 aging symposium at Yale

The complex issues facing the growing elderly population and their families will be discussed at a symposium in celebration of two decades of aging research by the Yale Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center.

“Aging Research at Yale: Past, Present and Future” will be held Nov. 7 at the Anlyan Center auditorium, 300 Cedar St., from 3 to 6 pm. 

Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute of Aging, and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) will join Yale School of Medicine Dean Robert Alpern and Pepper Center Director Thomas Gill in presenting opening remarks. Featured speakers include aging experts Mary Tinetti, Sandy Chang, Nicholas Christakis, and Stephen Strittmatter. The symposium ends with a panel discussion moderated by Jocelyn Maminta, News 8 medical reporter and a veteran journalist who has covered stories on a variety of health and science topics including geriatrics.

The symposium will address a variety of topics including social and medical needs of elderly to the latest in cancer and Alzheimer’s research. The topics reflect the great breadth of interests of the researchers at the Pepper Center, which recently received its fifth round of National Institutes of Health funding, which will keep the center operating through 2018.

Read about the symposium highlights in "The Science of Living Better & Longer."

The Yale Pepper Center was first established in 1992 to investigate complex geriatric conditions. Researchers employ laboratory and clinical findings to discover root causes of geriatric conditions. The goal is to develop and test preventative treatments and to help doctors make better decisions when dealing with elderly patients.

For instance, as a part of the largest clinical trial of its kind the Pepper Center is investigating whether physical activity and exercise can prevent major disabilities that diminish quality of life for many seniors and are a major healthcare burden.

“This is a landmark study that could provide the evidence needed to establish exercise programs more widely throughout the country, in senior centers, YMCAs and other community settings,” Gill said.

Pepper Center researchers also focus on preventing falls, which are a leading cause of disability in the elderly. Mary Tinetti, an international leader in geriatrics and director of the Pepper Center in its first 19 years, has successfully tested and implemented fall prevention strategies in “real World” practices throughout Connecticut. Her work is serving as a model for Yale investigators studying other geriatric conditions.

 (Image via Shutterstock)