Symposium

C. difficile Infection in the Older Adult

November 11, 2021

An industry-supported symposium presented during the GSA 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting Online for a live audience. Sponsored by Pfizer.

C. difficile is a public health threat that is often under recognized and under diagnosed in patients around the world. In older adults aged 65+ years, C. difficile infections take the lives of 1 in 11 patients within a month of diagnosis. Commonly thought of as a disease associated with hospital settings, community-associated C. difficile infections are on the rise. It is important to understand the prevalence and persistence of C. difficile and how C. difficile disproportionately affects adult patients. During this symposium, a panel of experts will discuss the risks and clinical considerations regarding the management of C. difficile.

Faculty:

  • Erik R. Dubberke, MD, MSPH, Professor of Medicine, Clinical Director, Transplant Infectious Diseases, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri (Chair) 
  • Fayola Delica, BSHSE, BSN, RN, MSN-FNP(s), D. Min (Hon), Fayola Delica, LLC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida \
  • Ruth Carrico, PhD, DNP, FSHEA, FNAP, FAAN, Executive Director, Norton Infectious Diseases Institute, Norton Healthcare, Professor, gratis faculty, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Stefan Gravenstein, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Health Services Policy & Practice, David S. Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Director, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Associate Director, COIN-LTSS, Providence, VAMC

GSA manuscript writing and reviewing in gerontology, professional development, and career enhancement resources

Reframing Aging

GSA's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Celebrating GSA’s 75th Anniversary, this limited series highlights the expansive field of gerontology—featuring GSA members and some of the most consequential research findings in our discipline as well as innovations that contribute to healthy aging and promising future endeavors to improve the lives of older adults.

Subscribe to the GSA on Aging Podcast Series on:

 Listen on Apple PodcastsGoodle Podcastsspotify podcaststitcher subscribe buttonSubscribe to GSA On Aging on Pocket CastsRSS

 

Older Adults and Housing: Perspectives on the Past, Present, and Future

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In this episode, Len Fishman, JD, the newly retired Director of the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, visits with hosts Danielle A. Waldron, PhD, and Jo-Ana D. Chase, PhD, to reflect on pivotal moments he watched unfold in field of aging during his fruitful career. Fishman shares his thoughts on the introduction of assisted living in the United States and what these new living options meant for older adults, the nursing home industry, and other relevant stakeholders. He identifies activists behind this effort as well as the meaning behind this cultural shift toward less restrictive, more independent housing options for older adults. After reviewing the past, he envisions how future directions in housing and health care may enhance the lives of older adults.  

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Guest:  Len Fishman, JD (Bio)

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Hosts:  Jo-Ana D. Chase, PhD, APRN-BC (Bio)—Associate Professor, University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing; and Danielle A. Waldron, PhD (Bio)—Assistant Professor, Healthcare Administration Department at Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts.

 This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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Rural Aging

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In the United States, 10 million older adults live in rural communities. Rural older adults often face unique health disparities related to limited finances, public transportation, and access to health and support services. However, describing challenges alone does not address health disparities. Improving the health of rural people requires community input and innovation to tackle the social determinants of health. In this episode, podcast co-hosts Dr. Juanita-Dawne Bacsu along with doctoral candidate Rita Xiaochen Hu and doctoral student Kaleigh Ligus sit down with Dr. Carrie Henning-Smith for a conversation about rural aging and some key challenges and actions for moving forward.

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Guest
:  Carrie Henning-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW (Bio)—Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

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Hosts:  Juanita-Dawne Bacsu, PhD (Bio)—Postdoctoral Fellow, Rural Dementia Action Research Team, University of Saskatchewan, and Research Associate, Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit, University of Regina, Canada; Rita Xiaochen Hu, MSW (Bio)—Doctoral Candidate in Social Work and Psychology, University of Michigan; Kaleigh Ligus, MA (Bio)—Doctoral Student, University of Connecticut.

 This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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Mentorship in the Field of Aging

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Mentorship plays an important role in our professional and personal development. Mentors guide us, connect us, and advise us as we navigate the path towards our goals. In this episode, Dr. Keith E. Whitfield shares his mentorship experiences, both as a mentor and mentee, in the field of aging. Listen in to hear more about how mentorship has shaped one of the most distinguished careers in aging.

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Guest:  Keith E. Whitfield, PhD, FGSA (Bio)—President, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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Hosts:  Jo-Ana D. Chase, PhD, APRN-BC (Bio)—Associate Professor, University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing; and Danielle A. Waldron, PhD (Bio)—Assistant Professor, Healthcare Administration Department at Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts.

 This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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Stigma of Dementia

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Stigma of dementia is one of the greatest barriers for people living with dementia and their care partners. It can lead to low self-esteem, poor mental health, and a decreased quality of life. Research shows that older adults fear dementia more than cancer, stroke, and heart disease combined. Despite this knowledge, few studies focus on actions to improve understanding and reduce stigma of dementia. In this episode, Dr. Marc Viger sits down with podcast host Dr. Juanita-Dawne Bacsu to chat about stigma of dementia and discuss some key actions for challenging this issue and improving the quality of life for people living with dementia and their care partners. 

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Guest: Marc Viger, MD (Bio)—Family Physician and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

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Host
: Juanita-Dawne Bacsu, PhD (Bio)—Postdoctoral Fellow, Rural Dementia Action Research Team, University of Saskatchewan, and Research Associate, Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit, University of Regina, Canada.

 This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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In Sickness and in Health: Romantic Relationships, Health, and Well-Being

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Most of us know we should exercise and eat well for optimal health but caring for our social relationships also benefits our physical, mental, and cognitive health. In this episode, Dr. Christine Proulx sits down with host Hanamori Skoblow to discuss how positive relationships protect and negative relationships strain. They also discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on close relationships and Dr. Proulx’s path from first-generation college student to GSA fellow—a recognition of outstanding work in gerontology. 

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Guest: Christine M. Proulx, PhD, FGSA (Bio)—Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Science, University of Missouri. 

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Host
: Hanamori F. Skoblow, MS (Bio)—Doctoral Student in Human Development and Family Science, University of Missouri.

 This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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End-of-Life Conversations and Bereavement as Normal Parts of Life

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Conversations about death and dying are difficult for everyone, but they are especially important for older adults. In this podcast episode, Dr. Deborah Carr and host Brenda Olmos discuss how to bring up these topics in a way that is sensitive, culturally appropriate, and efficient for both patients and providers. Along the way, they talk about their personal experiences related to end-of-life issues, how those experiences led to their interest in gerontology, and how they can bridge the gap between research and practice in end-of-life care. 

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Guest: Deborah Carr, PhD, FGSA (Bio)—Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, and Senior Fellow, Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy, Boston University. 

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Host: Brenda Olmos, MSN, APRN, FNP-C (Bio)—Reynolds Scholar, University of Oklahoma, Reynolds Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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Family Caregiving and Older Adults

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Approximately 42 million family caregivers in the United States provide unpaid care for an older adult. Family caregivers can spend countless hours engaging in complex activities—such as medication management, wound care, and care coordination—that can influence their own financial security, health, and well-being. In this episode, Dr. Susan Reinhard talks with host Dr. Jo-Ana Chase about the science and policies impacting family caregiving in the United States and how Dr. Reinhard’s nursing practice influenced her path to science and policy making. 

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Guest:
Susan Reinhard, RN, PhD, FGSA, FAAN (Bio)—Senior Vice President and Director, AARP Public Policy Institute, and Chief Strategist, AARP Center to Champion Nursing in America and Family Caregiving Initiatives. 

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Host: Jo-Ana D. Chase, PhD, APRN-BC (Bio)—Associate Professor, University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing.

This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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Older Adults Are Essential Workers: Ageism and Productive Aging

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Older adults are essential workers, caregivers, and volunteers. They provide many services in the community as volunteer drivers for Meals on Wheels, tutors and mentors for school programs, and other meaningful roles. Ways to shape social policies and programs to optimally engage the growing human capital of the older population is a compelling issue. In addition to discussing her research career path as a social worker, Dr. Nancy Morrow-Howell talks with hosts Rita Xiaochen Hu and Hanamori Skoblow about why older adults are essential and productive members of the community and how we as a society can resist ageism. This podcast episode was inspired by the GSA 75th Anniversary Spotlight Article by Dr. Morrow-Howell and Ernest Gonzales, MSW, PhD, “Recovering From Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Resisting Ageism and Recommitting to a Productive Aging Perspective,” published in Public Policy & Aging Report.

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Guest: Nancy Morrow-Howell, MSW, PhD, FGSA (Bio)—Betty Bofinger Brown Distinguished Professor of Social Policy, Washington University in St. Louis.

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Hosts: Rita Xiaochen Hu, MSW (Bio)—Doctoral Candidate in Social Work and Psychology, University of Michigan; and Hanamori F. Skoblow, MS (Bio)—Doctoral Student in Human Development and Family Science, University of Missouri.

This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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Health Disparities and Equity

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Many people assume that pain is a normal part of getting older. Although pain is not inevitable, it is a serious concern for those who experience it. Yet older adults with pain are likely to receive different qualities of treatment depending on their race and/or ethnicity. Dr. Tamara Baker talks to host Brenda Olmos about disparities in treatment for pain management and why it is critical to acknowledge the realities of pain in older adults without equating pain with aging. Along the way, they discuss how personal histories can guide professional work, bridging the gap between research and practice, and the power of diverse representation in leadership at The Gerontological Society of America.

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Guest: Tamara Baker, PhD, FGSA (Bio)—Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Host: Brenda Olmos, MSN, APRN, FNP-C (Bio)—Reynolds Scholar, University of Oklahoma, Reynolds Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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Disability and Aging

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In our youth-centric culture, people tend to dread the prospect of getting older. But why do we shy away from aging, which is certainly the most natural human experience and can be a beautiful part of life? When it comes down to it, most of us will encounter aging firsthand—or so we hope! About one in four adult Americans also experiences disability, with disability becoming more common as people age. In this episode, our podcast host Dr. Danielle Waldron sits down with Dr. Michelle Putnam to chat about aging, disability, and how a little more inclusion and a little less “othering” can improve life for everyone.

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Guest: Michelle Putnam, PhD, FGSA—Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program in Social Work, School of Social Work, College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice at Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Host: Danielle A. Waldron, PhD—Assistant Professor, Healthcare Administration Department at Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts. 

This podcast episode is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund: 75th Anniversary. 

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Trailer

Download the Episode

Welcome to Science and Storytelling: A GSA on Aging Podcast Series that celebrates The Gerontological Society of America’s 75th Anniversary. The show will highlight the expansive field of gerontology—the study of aging. In each episode, we’ll sit down with one of GSA’s 5,500 members—including researchers, educators, and practitioners—to discuss some of the most consequential research findings in our discipline as well as innovations that contribute to healthy aging and promising future endeavors to improve the lives of older adults. And, we’ll do it all while showcasing the people behind the work by exploring: What brought today’s gerontologists to this field? What inspires and galvanizes them? What’s the story behind the science?

 

The GSA on Aging Podcast Series is supported by the GSA Innovation Fund.

GSA Grant Chats

grant chatsHow to Register for a GSA Grant Chat

  • Click the white “Login” button on the top right corner of the page.
  • Enter your GSA username and password.*
    • If you have forgotten your password, select “Forgot your password.”
    • If you do not have an account with GSA, you may create one.
  • Once logged in, click the white “My Account” button on the top right corner of the page.
  • Click “My GSA Dashboard” and then “Register for an Event” to begin the registration process.

*If you have previously been active with The Gerontological Society of America, you should have an existing account. If unsure, click “Forgot your password” to see if your e-mail address is in the system.


Upcoming Grant Chats

Developing a Research Trajectory

December 2, 2021
2 to 3 p.m. ET
See registration instructions above
(Free for members; $25 for nonmembers).

Grant funding is an indispensable step to conduct the work needed to advance the science of gerontology and promote optimal experiences of aging. Obtaining funding can protect precious time to pursue the topics that are of greatest interest to you, advance your career, facilitate training, and improve your prospects for future grant funding. This grant writing series of 1-hour virtual sessions is designed to help you win grants through bolstering a broad range of grantsmanship skills specifically tailored to your work as a gerontologist researcher. GSA Grant Chats will feature panel discussions with peers, experienced researchers, and leaders in gerontology and will offer the opportunity to connect with and learn from a wide spectrum of experts in aging science. Topics range from developing a research trajectory that looks beyond a single funding opportunity to insider tips for successful applications. Join us for what promises to be engaging and rich conversations with takeaways for gerontologists at all career stages.

Presented by:

  • Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, FGSA, FAAN, Dean and Distinguished University Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University
  • Lyndsey Miller, PhD, RN, Early Career Investigator, ORCATECH; Assistant Professor, School of Nursing; Oregon Health & Science University
  • Elvin T. Price, PharmD, PhD, FAHA, Victor A. Yanchick Associate Professor; Director, Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Program, Department of Pharmacotherapy & Outcomes Science; Co-Director, Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry, and Innovation (iCubed): Health and Wellness in Aging Populations Core; Virginia Commonwealth University

Developed by the GSA Grant Writing Program Workgroup:

  • Patricia W. Slattum, PharmD, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Virginia Commonwealth University and GSA Visiting Scholar
  • Zachary G. Baker, PhD, Robert L. Kane Post-Doctoral Fellow, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • Gail L.Towsley, PhD, NHA, FGSA, Associate Professor, University of Utah College of Nursing

GSA Grant Writing in Gerontology, Professional Development, and Career Enhancement Resources

Reframing Aging

 Supported by the GSA Innovation Fund.

GSA Publications

Obesity in Older AdultsOverweight. Obesity. Severe obesity. What do these terms mean, and how are people diagnosed with these conditions? What causes weight gain, and why it the situation worsening so quickly?

People’s body sizes have increased greatly over the past four decades. In 2017 and 2018, among Americans aged 60 years or older, 42.2 percent of men and 43.3 percent of women had obesity. This GSA publication reviews the evaluation, consequences, and clinical management of obesity and overweight in older adults.

Support for this publication was provided by Novo Nordisk.

Momentum Discussions

Obesity in older adults impacts morbidity and mortality, quality of life and increases the risk of institutionalization. Weight loss interventions can effectively lead to improved physical function. Diet-alone interventions can detrimentally impact muscle and bone physiology and without interventions to affect these elements, can lead to adverse outcomes. Understanding social and nutritional issues facing older adults is essential. This session will address the physiological changes that put older adults at risk for obesity and the specific impact of obesity on chronic health conditions, including COVID-19. The panelists will also discuss the impact of stigma associated with obesity and the role of an interprofessional team in ensuring the safety of older persons with obesity.

Moderator:

  • John A. Batsis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine and Gillings School of Global Public Health

Panelists:

  • Shenbagam Dewar, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan
  • Ted Kyle, ConscienHealth
  • Kathryn N. Porter Starr, Duke University School of Medicine and Durham VA Medical Center

Support for this Momentum Discussion was provided by Novo Nordisk.

Podcasts

The vexing problem of the increasing weight of Americans has grown to epidemic proportions in recent decades. As millions of people enter older adulthood, they bring with them added pounds and the challenges of excessive body fat. Now recognized as a chronic medical condition, obesity is associated with serious health problems that increase morbidity and mortality, stigmatization at work and in social settings, decreased physical function, lower health-related quality of life, and increased direct and indirect health care costs. When combined with common aging-related challenges, obesity can create complex clinical situations without easy solutions.

In this episode, Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford (Obesity Medicine Physician Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School) speaks with Dr. Tamara A. Baker (Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), addressing the issue of obesity and specifically how the prevalence of obesity is different in communities of color versus majority communities in the United States. Dr. Stanford reviews the different factors that contribute to the high burden of obesity in racial and ethnic minority populations, why there appears to be worsened outcomes in patients who have obesity and COVID-19, and strategies that can be utilized to address excess weight in communities with high prevalence of obesity, especially in older adults.  The interview closes out with a review of barriers to receiving treatment and an overview of legislation has been proposed to help address the epidemic of obesity in our communities.

Guest:

  • Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FTOS, Obesity Medicine Physician Scientist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Host:

  • Tamara A. Baker, PhD, FGSA, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Support for this podcast was provided by Novo Nordisk. The content was developed by The Gerontological Society of America.

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