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Volume 17, No. 1
UAB Study Finds Cognitive Training Can Reduce Crash Risk Among Older Drivers
With the number of licensed U.S. drivers aged 65 and older expected to steadily
increase in the coming decades, this group faces unique challenges in maintaining
functional cognitive abilities necessary for competent driving and the avoidance
of automobile collisions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
the rates of motor vehicle collisions among U.S. drivers aged 70 and older have
increased 13% over the past 30 years; equally significant is the fact that older
drivers are more likely to be found at fault when involved in automobile collisions.
Groundbreaking research conducted at UAB offers the potential to improve the performance
of older drivers through cognitive training. The study – a randomized, controlled,
multi-site clinical trial called ACTIVE – found that cognitive training can reduce
the risk of at-fault car crashes among older drivers by half. The results of the
study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society in November 2010,
provide clear evidence that cognitive training can improve functional abilities
such as driving. “We believe these results offer the potential to help older drivers
maintain their independence and quality of life by extending the period of safe
driving,” explains the paper’s first author Karlene Ball, Ph.D., chair of the UAB
Department of Psychology and director of the UAB Roybal Center for Research on Applied
Gerontology. “Significantly, this study represents the first large-scale, randomized
trial to show that cognitive training improved cognitive function for relatively
healthy older adults for up to five years.”
Building on Previous Research
Earlier research has established that speed of information processing is one of
the first abilities to decline with age. “Reaction time while driving a car is greatly
affected by one’s ability to process information quickly,” says Dr. Ball. Read more...
Deep South Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR)
The Deep South Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) Advisory Committee
will meet April 7-8, 2011, on the campus of Tuskegee University. Five RCMAR scholars
will be giving oral presentations about their research and career development plans:
Cathy Dawson, Instructor, Tuskegee University, Yvonne Eaves, Assistant Professor,
UAB, Kathleen Foley, Assistant Professor, UAB, Cassandra Ford, Assistant Professor,
University of Alabama, and Lonnie Hannon, Assistant Professsor, Tuskegee University.
Drs. Ford and Hannon have Diversity Supplement Awards funded by the National Institute
on Aging through the RCMAR. These Diversity Supplements provide two years of at
least 75% protected time to pursue career development activities related to health
disparities and aging.
Robert Weech-Maldonado, PhD, Professor of Health Services Administration at UAB, will give
a presentation entitled, “Cultural Competency and Patient Experiences with Care”
at a dinner meeting on April 7. Carmen Renee Green, MD, Professor, Anesthesiology,
Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Health Management & Policy at the University of
Michigan in Ann Arbor will be the guest speaker at noon April 8. Her topic
will be, “Pain and Health Care Disparities: Improving the Health of an Aging and
The RCMAR Advisory Committee meets every six months at one of the partnering institutions:
Morehouse School of Medicine, Tuskegee University, The University of Alabama and
The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
- Cathy Dawson, BS, OT/MPA — Tuskegee
“The Effectiveness of Personal Legacy Items on CNA Attitudes”
- Yvonne Eaves, PhD — UAB/Nursing
“Development and Psychometric Testing of the Long-Term Care Decision-Making Instrument”
- Kathleen Foley, PhD — UAB/Occupational
“Comparison of Toileting Disability Among Black and White Older Women”
- Cassandra Ford, PhD — University
“Effect of Psychosocial Factors on the Management of Hypertension: A Comparison
of African Americans and Whites in the UAB Study of Aging (Preliminary Analysis)”
- Lonnie Hannon, PhD — Tuskegee University/Sociology
“Community Built Environment, and Neighborhood Physical Activity Among Older African
“Dancing with the Silver Stars” Awards Dinner
The Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging hosted the inaugural, “Dancing with the Silver Stars Awards Dinner” on
Monday, November 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm at The Club. This community-wide salute to seniors
was attended by approximately 400 people. Samuetta Nesbitt accepted the New Horizons
Award on behalf of United Way of Central Alabama. Esther Schuster was recognized
with the Bynum Award and John Beard was recognized for his leadership on behalf
of the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging with the McCallum Award. View photos from the event.
The 2010 Dancing with
the Silver Stars event raised nearly $80,000 to support specific program
needs including assistive hearing devices for geriatric patients seen by our UAB
doctors, expansion of the Alzheimer Family Program for caregivers, undergraduate
and graduate scholarships for students pursuing mentored research in aging, faculty
training in Geriatrics and new faculty recruitment. Thanks to the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging
Board of Advocacy, our Star Dancers, dance professionals, sponsors and community supporters
for making this an event such a success! The Board of Advocacy is currently planning
to hold the 2011 Dancing with the Silver Stars event on November 7.
Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging Annual Meeting held in Conjunction with External Advisory Committee
Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, October 14 at the
Hill University Center Great Hall on the UAB campus. Faculty awards for Outstanding Service and Teaching
were presented. Clare Hays, MD (Gerontology) received the 2010 Faculty Award for Service.
Lillian Mitchell, DDS (School of Dentistry) received the Faculty Award for Teaching.
Two other Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging faculty members received certificates of honorable mention
for service including Patricia Drentea, PhD and Kellie Flood, MD. Certificates of
honorable mention for teaching were awarded to Ali Ahmed, MD, MPH and Caroline Harada,
MD. Dr. Albert Siu, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics
and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine delivered the keynote
address, “Can we avoid a taxpayer ‘bailout’ of Medicare?”
In combination with the Annual Meeting, the External Advisory Committee (EAC) conducted its
review of the Center. External Advisory Committee Members included: Dr. William
Hazzard, University of Washington School of Medicine; Dr. Christopher Callahan,
Indiana University Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging Research; Dr. Stephen Kritchevsky, Wake Forest
University Health Sciences; Dr. Thomas Prohaska, University of Illinois at Chicago;
Dr. Charlotte Peterson, University of Kentucky, and Dr. Albert Siu, Mount Sinai
School of Medicine.
EAC summarized its findings about the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging in the following
“Despite the accelerating urgency of the challenge to accommodate the needs of our
progressively aging population, few within leadership positions of academic health
centers have themselves been educated in Gerontology or Geriatrics. It is a tribute
to UAB, its forward-thinking leaders, and the state of Alabama that the UAB Center
for Aging has received the appropriate multi-disciplinary, multi-department support
for addressing the challenge of geriatric care and the health and welfare of the
elderly. This broad, sustained support is a precious tradition at your institution
and receives the hearty endorsement of this EAC for the productivity and excellence
of the Center on Aging at UAB. It is a national treasure and deservedly a source
of pride for your faculty, your institution, your community, and your state.”
The EAC identified a number of opportunities and made recommendations that the leadership
of the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging will review and implement in the coming years.
Geriatric Education Center
Nominations for the 2011-12 cohort of UAB Geriatric Education Center Faculty Scholars
Program are now being accepted. This faculty development program focuses on the
training and retraining of faculty and preceptors in the Care of the Complex Older
Adult. The 160 hour program incorporates a mixed curriculum of in-person and online
learning opportunities and offers scholars an opportunity to collaborate with faculty
working in Geriatrics. This opportunity is open to faculty in the State of Alabama
from the following disciplines: dentistry, medicine, nursing, nutrition, occupational
therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy and social work. Other disciplines
will be considered if space is available. To apply for the FSP, please contact Channing
R. Ford, MPA, MA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2nd Annual University of Alabama at Birmingham Geriatric Education Center Interprofessional
Geriatric Education Conference focused on the Care of the Complex Older Adult. The
two-day event was held in January at the Hill University Center and attended by
over 225 healthcare professionals from across Alabama. Thirty-four speakers from
UAB, Emory University and the healthcare community provided attendees with a comprehensive
look at working effectively with older adults. Mark your calendars for the 2012
conference, scheduled for January 19-20.
Gerontology Education Program
The Gerontology Education Program is pleased to announce that the UAB Center for
Aging will award four research scholarships of $2000 for aging-related research
during the 2011-2012 academic year. Graduate and undergraduate
students meeting the following requirements are eligible:
- Undergraduate students enrolled in
Honors programs (University or Departmental) or having a GPA of 3.5 or higher in
- Graduate students in good standing in their departments.
The proposed research project should examine some aspect of the aging process or
a major biological, clinical, behavioral, social science, or health policy problem,
which jeopardizes the health and well-being of a significant segment of the elderly
population. It is anticipated that two graduate and two undergraduate awards will
be made for the 2011-2012 academic year. Applications are due June 6. For more information
download the flyer (PDF). This program is made possible by our community supporters.
2011 Public Policy and Aging Conference
“Paving the Way: A Roadmap for Ending Hunger and Food Insecurity” is the title of
the Fourth Annual UAB/AARP Aging Policy Conference to be held on April 15th, 2011.
The Drive to End Hunger is one of the major initiatives that AARP is undertaking
with its’ partner, NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon. The Aging Policy Conference will kick-off
a weekend of activities slated to take place across Alabama that will also feature
the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Talladega Superspeedway. Senior hunger
is a growing concern throughout the United States and especially in Alabama. The
conference will bring together leading national experts and local stakeholders to
explore the problem of older adult food insecurity and identify possible solutions.
As always, the focus of the conference is on policy. For more information, view the conference brochure (PDF).
AgeWell.com is a consumer-friendly
online resource of information and advice dealing with issues facing today’s older
adults. The content is provided by expert gerontologists and geriatricians affiliated
with the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, and relayed in a way that is easy for the lay population
to understand and digest. AgeWell.com is a useful resource for aging adults, their
caregivers and family members, as well as clinicians and researchers. Recent articles
include interviews with:
- Richard Powers, MD, UAB Neuropathologist and Brain
Reseacher, Disaster Planning for Older Adults and
Learn the Facts about Elder Abuse and Neglect
- Marisol Lance, DO, Assistant Professor, UAB Division
of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Communicating with Your Doctor — 5 Key Tips
- Cecil Betros, D, Sc, Instructor/Course Master, UAB
Department of Communication Studies, Improving Communication with Older Adults — Tips for
Family Members and Caregivers
- Gerald McGwin, Jr., PhD, Professor and Vice Chair of
Epidemiology and Associate Director, Clinical Research Unit, Department of Ophthalmology,
Preventing Injuries in Older Adults — What You Can
CCHA Donor List (January 2010 - December 2010)
We thank the following people for their generous support of the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging
and its programs: 500th Bomb Squadron Association, Mr. and Mrs. Harold
L. Abroms, Louise N. Abroms, Colleen P. Adams, Alabama Dental Alumni Association,
Alabama Medical Directors Association, Inc., Alabama Nursing Home Association, Alabama
Retired State Employee Association Foundation, Alacare Home Health & Hospice, Leigh
Hill Allison, Dr. and Mrs. Richard M. Allman, American Legion Auxiliary #171, Freddi
L. Aronov, John B. Bagby, Dr. and Mrs. William C. Bailey, M.D., Philippa Bainbridge,
Julian Watts Banton and Dr. Carol Z. Garrison, Baptist Health Foundation, Inc.,
Karen Eastman Barger, Bernice H. Barstein, Hunter R. Barton, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey
A. Bayer, Gail S. Bayer, Mr.and Mrs. John G. Beard, Sr., Becker Sonnabend Foundation,
Evelyn Beltz, Emily Bentley, Dr. and Mrs. Neal Berte, The Birmingham Jewish Foundation,
Rosalyn Bloomston, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Jane N Bluestein, Mr.
and Mrs. Herman D. Bolden, Dr. Laurence A. Bradley, Dr. William A. Bradley, Bradley
Arant Boult Cummings Charitable Foundation, Elizabeth M. Brasfield, Paul E Brooks,
Susan B. Brouillette, Betty Brower,
Andrew P Campbell, Elizabeth T. Campbell, Lynn Campisi, Dr. Eli I. Capilouto and
Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto, Judy S. Carpenter, Sammy N. Cashman, Lydia C. Cheney,
Church & Stagg, Mrs. Alfred Cohn, Liranda Coleman, Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Collat,
Sr., Pamela T. Collier, Bettye Fine Collins, Elenor Conn, Rita C. Constantine, Charlotte
S. Corenblum, Dr. Martha Regina Crowther, Timothy Horace Crutchfield, Sharon R.
Cutter, Charles William Daniel, Dr. W. Andrew Daniel III, Stewart M. Dansby, Charles
H. Davis, Sidney Davis, Betty M. Deese, Torrey Van Antwerp DeKeyser, James A. Dowdy,
Jr., Rachel K. Drennen, Julia B. Dunne, Rose M Durham, Dr. Andrew S. Duxbury, Mr.
and Mrs. Marvin R. Engel, James H. Estes, Erskine R. Faush, Jr., Kellie L. Flood,
M.D., Sydney F. Frazier, Jr., Connie S. Frazier, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Friedman, Mr.
and Mrs. Eddie Friend, Travis W. Goff, Betty Allenberg Goldstein, Dr. Patricia S.
Goode, Susan Goossens-Barnacastle, Dr. and Mrs. Adam Gordon, Dr. Susan Marie Harding,
John B. Harper, Martha E. Hartselle, Maria P. Hawkins, Leonard M. Held, Ginger B.
Held, Elizabeth N. Henry, Mr. Anthony A. Hernandez, Dr. Heather L. Herrington, Mr.
and Mrs. Donald E. Hess, Ronne & Donald Hess Foundation, Mrs. S. Richardson Hill,
Jr., IRA Group, Inc., Ireland Trust Agency, Beverly S. Jackson, Erum Jadoon-Khamash,
M.D., Janis M. Kashuba, Margaret K. Kelly, Sherry L. Kidd, Dr. and Mrs. Robert P.
Kimberly, Robin R. Kolber, Robert R. Kracke, Mrs. James Coleman Lee, Jr., Jean W.
LeGrand, Faye C Levin, Dr. John L. Lewis, Jr., Joyce K Lichtenstein, Dr. Julie L.
Locher, Virginia Gilbert Loftin, Mr. and Mrs. James H. Lott, Jr., Martha J. Loveland,
William E. Matthews, IV, MC Associates, Betty McAnnally, Ann P. McCaleb, Patty McDonald,
Ellen L. McWhorter, Frances Holley Medford, MedPlan Recruiting Inc., Mr. and Mrs.
Edward P. Meyerson, George N. Mickwee, J. George and Willine Mitnick Foundation,
Morgan Stanley, MPT Operating Partnership, L.P., William F. Murphy, National Committee
To Preserve Social Security and Medicare, New Horizons, The Rev. Joy O. Phipps,
Ervin Pope, Arthur G. Powell, II, Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer S. Poynor, Elizabeth A. Prosch,
Mr. and Mrs. William T. Ratliff, III, Mary O. Roebuck, Sherri Romanoff, Judy Rotenstreich,
Pete Roth, Mr. and Mrs. William J. Rushton III, Varina G. Rushton, Gail Schuster,
Esther Schuster, Eugenia Smith Selby, Self, Maples & Copeland P.C., Seniors Helping
Seniors, LLC, Roberta J. Shapiro, Katherine G. Sharp, Robert W. Shepherd, Catherine
Jones Shepherd, Barbara W. Shepherd, Judy B. Shepura, Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Sherrill,
Stuart N. Shevin, Susan G. Shiland, Sandra S. Simpson, Dr. Richard V. Sims III,
Dorinda M. Smith, Gloria T. Smith, Jerry R. Sokol, Bari Sokol, Sam P. Sox, Jr.,
James Max Spann, Jr., Deborah K. Strauss, Peggy D. Striplin, Dr. Roger C. Suttle,
Jr., Paula A. Thompson, Sandra Legrand Tilt, The UAB Educational Foundation, The
UAB Health System, Marcia Unger Design Services, Inc., United Way of Central Alabama,
University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, Doug Unkenholz, The Unus Foundation,
The Rev. Hillard C. Vance, Frances V. Verstandig, Harry G. Vickers, Dr. Cameron
M. Vowell and The Honorable J. Scott Vowell, Jack T. Waller, Mr. and Mrs. C. Lee
Walls, Sr., Emily I. Walton, Dr. and Mrs. Ray L. Watts, Patricia P. Weil, Lydia
Wilbanks, Dr. Beverly Rosa Williams, Carlen B. Williams, Jane Fulton Williams, Jane
Kaul Wilson, Lynn L. Woehle, Dr. Lesa L. Woodby, Dr. Grace Y. Wu, Timothy W. York
Insight on Aging is a publication of the UAB Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging. You can
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