Gerontology Institute faculty members conduct groundbreaking research designed to address the challenges of our aging society. Much of their work is focused on four inter-related areas: (1) Housing and Formal Long-term Care; (2) Social Relationships, Families, and Caregiving; (3) Diversity and Aging; and (4) Health and Aging.
1. Housing and Formal Long-term Care. Older adults today have a wide variety of housing options from aging-in-place to retirement communities to assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Research by our core and affiliate faculty members addresses the quality of life for older adults in a variety of housing options. This work examines where older adults live, what their experiences are in these settings, including how much control they have over their living environments, and identifies the factors that facilitate their ability to age-in-place. Additionally, our faculty members explore issues related to frontline workers in formal long-term care settings, including satisfaction, retention and training among this essential workforce.
2. Social Relationships, Families, and Caregiving. Increasing longevity means that social relationships, including those with family and friends, are lasting longer than ever before. At the same time, longer lives alongside changing gender expectations and patterns of marriage and divorce, also may require individuals to forge new relationships across the life course and into late in life. Research by our core and affiliate faculty members explores social relationships and family life, broadly defined, and examines sex, intimacy and older couples, peer relationships, informal caregiving for older adults, and intergenerational ties, including grandparents raising grandchildren.
3. Diversity and Aging. The aging population is more diverse than ever. The Gerontology Institute emphasizes issues of diversity in a variety of research programs. Research by our faculty members addresses issues of structural inequality and differential experiences of aging by race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexual identity. In addition to exploring diversity in aging populations of the U.S., our faculty members also research issues of aging from a global perspective
4. Health and Aging. Understanding and explaining the physical and mental health care needs of older adults and health care policy are core issues in the field of Gerontology. Our faculty members are engaged in a wide variety of research on health disparities, health care workforce, elder abuse and public health.
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