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New systematic review: Intergenerational programs

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By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Do intergenerational programs that include youth and older adults improve connectedness? The BCTR's Research Synthesis Project addressed this question in their latest systematic translational review (STR).

The aim of the review was to find out if middle and high school students who interact with older adults became more comfortable and changed their attitudes toward older people. It also evaluated whether older adults who participated in these programs changed their perceptions about youth.

The analysis helps to guide programming and evaluation studies for the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) and the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging (CITRA).

The review found that youth and older adults’ attitudes toward each other improve after they participated in intergenerational programs. They also found that youth engaged in more behaviors to benefit others and were more likely to rate themselves as healthy. Older adults who participated reported improved wellbeing and concern for others.

Researchers did find that the body of evidence on intergenerational programs is small, and more research is needed to draw strong conclusions and understand the impact fully.

The BCTR Research Synthesis Project supports the development of high-quality evidence summaries on topics suggested by researchers or practitioners.

STRs help researchers and extension associated understand the broad body of evidence on a topic so they can put that information into practice in real-world settings.

A full listing of past STRs can be found here.

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Connecting retirees to conservation

(0) Comments  |   Tags: aging,   CITRA,   collaboration,   environment,   Karl Pillemer,   media mention,   RISE,   volunteering,  
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retirees and solar panels

Retirees learn about sustainable energy during recent field trip to a solar-powered residence.

A new partnership between the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging and The Nature Conservancy is responding to two critical trends in society todaymounting concern about environmental sustainability and an aging population.

The Conservation Retirees in Service to the Environment program, an environmental education and leadership training program for adults over 60, is a new collaboration between the two organizations that builds on the original Retirees in Service to the Environment program (RISE), seeking to create environmental leaders who will play an active role as conservancy volunteers and environmental stewards in their communities.

“This program addresses the critical intersection of two important issues – environmental sustainability and an aging population,” said Karl Pillemer, the Hazel E. Reed Professor of Human Development, professor of gerontology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.

“Retirees are an underutilized resource who have the time, talent and skills to help address issues like climate change, air and water pollution, waste management and the protection of natural areas.”

Bill Toomey, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Health program, said, “The Nature Conservancy is excited to be partnering with Cornell to creatively engage older adults in the conservation actions that they can take individually or as part of a community in the care and stewardship of trees and natural habitats in their own backyards, neighborhoods and community.”

Program organizers conducted an extensive review of the research literature, focus group studies with older adult retirees and a pilot evaluation study. Based on the best available research evidence and practices in the field, including research conducted on aging and environmental issues at Cornell, the project provides 30 hours of training over a six-week period, culminating in a capstone volunteer project.

The training consists of a full-day introductory workshop, four weekly environmental workshops and a capstone stewardship project in the community and provides knowledge from expert speakers on climate change, water quality, soil contaminants, waste management and energy use.

“Through training in leadership and communication skill development, our objective is to improve participants’ effectiveness as environmental volunteers,” Pillemer said. “The educational component of the program also includes hands-on learning experience, such as field trips.”

The conservancy is interested in engaging community members of all ages in the care and stewardship of trees through the Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities program. “We are also looking to support individual and community action through our Habitat Network program to create and maintain local habitats including pollinator, rain and food gardens that can help support wildlife populations and connect people to nature,” Toomey said.

According to Pillemer, the program provides more than environmental improvements to local communities, it also benefits the volunteers themselves.

“It provides potential physical and mental health benefits to participating older adults, including physical activity, exposure to nature and social opportunities, as well as a greater sense of purpose through the chance to improve the world for future generations.”

The Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging promotes translational research on aging, including the development, implementation and dissemination of innovative, evidence-based intervention programs. A focus of the institute, housed in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, is to promote the social integration of older people in the form of meaningful roles and relationships.

New partnership connects retirees to conservation - Cornell Chronicle

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Climate change and vulnerable populations

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filibertoThe elderly are one of the most vulnerable populations during a natural disaster. They are more likely to be disabled, have fewer resources, and struggle more during harsh weather. The extreme weather brought on by climate change impacts elderly populations to a greater degree.

David Filiberto, who studies aging and the environment in the BCTR, was quoted in a recent article on vulnerable populations and climate change:

David Filiberto, PhD, a research associate at Cornell University’s Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, whose work focuses on how climate change affects vulnerable populations, said the aging population has doubled globally since 1980 and is projected to reach 2 billion by 2050.

“As you age, prevalence for disability increases,” Filiberto told The Nation’s Health. “Heat-related, cold-related and other weather-related deaths have the potential to show a substantial increase for people age 75 and older as the frequency of these events increases.”

David Filiberto is involved in research focused on aging and the environment, currently implementing and disseminating the Retirees in Service to the Environment (RISE) program in the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging in the BCTR. He is an evaluator and social scientist with expertise in research methods, particularly the design and administration of survey instruments. David’s research focuses on sustainability and the effects a changing climate has on vulnerable populations.

 

Vulnerable populations at risk from effects of climate change: Public health working to find solutions - The Nation's Health

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2012 BCTR Student Showcase, Monday, May 7, 2012

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BCTR Student Showcase
BCTR student research assistants

Monday, May 7, 2012
12:00-1:30pm
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



The BCTR offers students across campus the opportunity to learn about and participate in research techniques, data collection, and analysis as research assistants in several programs, such as ACT for Youth, Self-Injurious Behavior, and HIV AIDS Education. Today they will showcase their work with the BCTR.

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Programs for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention in New York State
Christine Heib, College of Human Ecology, Human Biology, Health, & Society, 2012
Molly Glantz, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2012
ACT for Youth

Recovery from Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI): A Qualitative, Exploratory Study of Benchmarks
Rebecca Morgan, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2013
Patricia Rothenberg, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2013
Stephanie Shea, College of Human Ecology, Human Biology, Health, & Society, 2012
Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behaviors

Keeping Youth Engaged: A Qualitative Study of Factors that Promote/Deter Active Participation in Urban After-School Programs
Helen Badu, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Biological Sciences, 2012
Caroline Gross, College of Human Ecology, Biology and Society, 2012
Lily Picon, College of Arts and Sciences, Biology and Society/Spanish, 2013
The Complementary Strengths Research Project

The Independent Living Survey Project: Identifying the Scope and Nature of Youth Homelessness in Tompkins County
Michael Smith, College of Arts and Sciences, Biological Sciences and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, 2012
Christine Heib, College of Human Ecology, Human Biology, Health, & Society, 2012
The Independent Living Survey, with ACT for Youth

Assessing the Efficacy of the Friend2Friend Program
Maggie Diu, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2013
Akane Otani, College of Arts and Sciences, English and psychology, 2014
Stephanie Shea, College of Human Ecology, Biology and Society, 2012
Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behaviors

Recommendations for Future Research in Pain Disparities among Older Adults
Meghan McDarby, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2014
Jessie Boas, College of Arts and Sciences, Sociology, 2013
Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging (CITRA), Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL)

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Across the Lifespan
Stephanie Shea, College of Human Ecology, Human Biology, Health, & Society, 2012
Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behaviors

 

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: ACT for Youth    CITRA    Complementary Strengths    CRPSIB    students    TRIPLL   
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