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Science and Storytelling

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.

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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. 

 Science Storytelling Headshot Skoblow
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 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

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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.

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