Jeremy Craig, 404-413-1357
ATLANTA — Georgia State’s Gerontology Institute and the North Fulton Hospital are sponsoring a day of health screenings, research presentations and educational sessions aimed at adults aged 50 or older on Feb. 25.
The free fair, in its ninth year, will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at GSU’s Alpharetta Center, 3775 Brookside Parkway.
Hospital staff will provide health screenings such as bone density, blood pressure and hearing, as well as professionals to discuss prescription medications and nutrition. The fair will offer multiple health presentations, including a session on Tai Chi led by Tai Wang, a professor of physical therapy at GSU.
The work of the GSU Gerontology Institute, which has spent more than 35 years in research and outreach into issues surrounding aging, has significant importance considering the impending retirement wave of the baby boom generation.
“The face of aging is changing drastically, as they demand services that have never demanded before,” said Carole Hollingsworth, a research coordinator for the institute who is helping to organize the fair. “The idea of long-term care is huge among seniors, and we all fear that we might not have enough money for it, or for how we’re going to be cared for, where we’ll live and what will give us the best quality of life.”
Boomers will demand customization in long term care living, she said, and they’ll want more than just a pleasant exterior and interior with nice furnishings.
“The elders don’t care about those kinds of trimmings alone; they want activities that are meaningful to them, personally,” Hollingsworth said.
Researchers from GSU’s Gerontology Institute conducted a three-year research study about the social relationships of older residents living is assisted living facilities. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health and the findings will help improve the health and well-being of seniors by allowing assisted living facilities, residents, and their families to better understand the unique relationships in these long-term care environments.
The institute offers a certificate in gerontology for undergraduate and graduate students, and a master’s program which prepares graduates for either research or work in the field, with many alumni working for associations or agencies addressing aging. Over 400 students have received certificates or degrees in gerontology.
“As a profession, gerontology has longevity because society is aging at a really rapid rate, and we need to understand what the health and social problems are, as well as how we as a society are going to deal with aging,” said Elisabeth Burgess, director of the Gerontology Institute.
While anyone may drop by the fair Feb. 25 to take part in activities, those wishing to have cholesterol or glucose tests should register first by calling 770-751-2660.
For more information about GSU’s Gerontology Institute, visit http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwger.