VOLUME 18 | JULY–AUGUST 2011 | IGSW at Boston University

From the Director


Worth a second look

Late Summer Reading

Scott
By Scott Miyake Geron

As late summer turns to fall, I read to be inspired. I found what I needed when I took a second look at Carol Levine's Always on Call: When Illness Turns Families into Caregivers (Vanderbilt University Press, 2004). The first time I read the book, I was impressed by the way Levine combined insightful policy analysis with compelling stories of caregiving. This achievement should not have been surprising—for more than 15 years, she was doing both.... Read more




Issues and Views


Practitioners' Question Time

What's One Thing You've Learned
That Helps You Do Your Job?



Listening. Part of my job is providing information and referral to older clients, but the most important part of that is for me to listen. Listening is the most Anthony Leeimportant skill—beyond any doubt. I'm Gen X. We have difficulty listening, but we need to listen if we're going to be ready to help and learn. The older people of this generation are profoundly wise and resilient. I think listening can be taught; you can enhance those skills.


—Anthony Lee, aging information specialist,
Aging Resources of Central Iowa (AAA), Des Moines


We also spoke to Maizie Ramkisson, Stephanie FallCreek, and Kelly Gessler. Read what they have to say.


IGSW on IOM training-needs panel

Treatable Mental Health Problems of
Older People Often Go Unaddressed


By Kathy Kuhn

KathyAlthough there have been significant advances in developing effective interventions for mental illness in older people in the past decade, treatable mental health problems of older adults too often remain unaddressed. A major reason is the lack of training in aging and mental health. According to the 2008 Institute of Medicine report Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce, there is a severe shortage of practitioners who are equipped to provide services to older people. In June, I represented IGSW on an IOM panel convened to recommend ways of developing the competent, well-trained workforce that is needed....

Kathy Kuhn, director of workforce development at IGSW, discusses the merits of competency-based training, and what the panel told the IOM. Read more




News to Note


'Motivational interviews'

Brief, Inexpensive Talk Therapy
Early After Stroke Reduces Depression



Introducing and beginning "motivational interviews," a form of talk therapy, early after a stroke reduces incidences of depression and increases survival rates among patients, according to new research published in the July 2011 issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association (vol. 42, no. 7).

Lead author Caroline Watkins, a professor at the University of Central Lancashire, England, stressed the importance of early intervention to combat depression and also the simplicity and brevity of the technique.... Read more



U.S. Department of Education

Study Reviews Online Learning vs. Face-to-Face


Researchers at SRI International found that "on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those in face-to-face instruction." These results came from Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education.

Lead author Barbara Means noted in The New York Times that "the major significance of this review lies in demonstrating that online learning today is not just better than nothing—it actually tends to be better than conventional instruction."... Read more



Incentives for training in aging

Caring for an Aging America Act Now in Committee


The Caring for an Aging America Act (S.1095), aimed at addressing the critical shortage of social workers, nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers trained to care for older people, has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The bill was reintroduced in May by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and cosponsors from both parties.... Read more