Data from the latest census shows that between 2000 and 2010 the population of older adults in the United States increased faster than the overall population.
According to Jamila Bookwala, professor of psychology and chair of a new interdisciplinary minor program in Aging Studies, this increase is unprecedented and, when added to an increase in life expectancy and a decrease in birth rate, brings “profound social and economic changes and challenges.” It creates a critical need to study and develop approaches that promote healthy aging while simultaneously meeting the needs associated with age-related disease and disability.
The minor is enhanced by the new Preminger Gerontology Scholar Program, made possible by a gift from Marc ’71 and Lynne Preminger, which funds students’ projects.
Under the program, Katie Graziano ’15, a psychology major, is working with Bookwala on a literature review of the role close social relationships play in promoting health in later life. Devon Palermo ’14, a neuroscience major, will explore elders’ nutrititional needs.