Optimal Aging Institute

Optimal Aging Institute launching initiative to tackle opioid problems among older population

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Even in retirement, Nancy Orel stuck by some of a gerontologist’s favorite reading – obituaries and the coroner’s report. In the listing from the coroner’s office, she noticed something interesting. Of the six people listed as dying from opioid overdoses, three, were over 50. Yet when she went to see what programs were available to help address the toll the opioid epidemic is taking on older Americans, she couldn’t find any. She mention it to those engaged in the battle against opioid addiction, and they would not have given older Americans any thought. True the greatest number of addicts are under 50, but the rates of addiction and abuse are raising faster among those 54 and older. The federal Center for Disease Control doesn’t even keep tabs on how many older Americans die from opioids, she said. (The Wood County Health District does a better job, she said.) So when interim Dean Sue Houston, of Bowling Green State University, called Orel in to see if she maybe wanted to come out of retirement, she said “yes.” She’d retired as associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services less than a year before….


Optimal Aging Institute offers Ukulele for Beginners class

From OPTIMAL AGING INSTITUTE Bowling Green State University’s Optimal Aging Institute will offer a two-session Ukulele for Beginners class, co-sponsored by Bowling Green Parks and Recreation. The program will take place on March 22 and 29 from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Simpson Garden Community Center at 1291 Conneaut Ave. Learn how to strum, play a few chords, and sing familiar songs, all in a fun and relaxing environment with Lisa Gruenhagen, Ph.D. Dr. Gruenhagen is an associate professor of music education at BGSU. While studying flute and music education at Eastman School of Music, she became involved with the New Horizons International Music Association, which provides entry points to music making for adults that are age 50 and over. Gruenhagen has been playing the ukulele for approximately five years and has taught people of all ages. Along with other basics she will be teaching how to hold and tune the ukulele as well as how to balance playing within the group regardless of experience level. “Music makes you think. Music is thinking in sound. You are thinking about fingerings, chords, playing in tune, and balancing your sound with others. While playing ukulele, you are strumming to the pulse and…


Registration for inaugural Optimal Aging Community Fair underway

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Registration is now underway for Bowling Green State University’s inaugural Optimal Aging Community Fair. The fair, which will be held Aug. 1, will include an international keynote speaker who will focus on active aging, plus panel discussions, interactive breakout sessions and health screenings, all emphasizing the seven dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, cultural and occupational. Colin Milner, chief executive officer of the International Council on Active Aging and founder of the active-aging industry in North America, will serve as the keynote speaker. Recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of “the most innovative and influential minds” in the world on aging-related topics, he will discuss the seven dimensions of wellness and the nine principles of active aging. The fair will also include remarks from Dr. Marie Huff, dean of the College of Health and Human Services; Kathy Golovan of Medical Mutual of Ohio; and Paula Davis, project administrator for the Optimal Aging Institute; a panel presentation on trends in aging and caregiving and personal stories of resiliency moderated by Denise Niese, Angie Bradford and Danielle Brogley from the Wood County Committee on Aging. The afternoon will offer a variety…


Optimal Aging Institute hires administrator & schedules community fair

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS BGSU’s new Optimal Aging Institute (OAI) is moving ahead. Its inaugural project administrator has been recently named and a community fair is planned. Paula Davis has been named project administrator effective July 11, Dr. Marie Huff, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, has announced. Currently serving as BGSU’s director of corporate and Foundation relations, Davis served as both the assistant director and outreach coordinator of the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute from 2012-15. In addition, she successfully completed the Geriatric Scholar Certificate Program sponsored by the Columbia-New York Geriatric Education Center in 2013. “Paula’s many years of experience in marketing and fundraising, along with her experience in gerontology, make her uniquely qualified to lead the Optimal Aging Institute,” Huff said. “We look forward to collaborating with her and our community partners and other individuals on campus to develop our long-term strategic plan and beginning to provide engaging programs and resources for the community.” Davis will also be a speaker at the institute’s Optimal Aging Community Fair, to he held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1 in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The fair is open to all ages but does…


BGSU launches Optimal Aging project with $1 million from Med Mutual

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University has a new $1 million baby – an initiative to help older area residents age more gracefully. Officials from Medical Mutual of Ohio, which made the $1 million donation, and BGSU officially delivered the new project at a press conference Monday morning at the College of Health and Human Services. That’s where the Optimal Aging Institute will have its offices. Its services, though, will be offered throughout the area, wherever older folks want and need help make their lives easier, healthier and fuller. In announcing the project, Health and Human Services Dean Mary Huff said: “Optimal aging is defined as living at one’s highest potential, whether or not we are living independently and in excellent health, or coping with a chronic illness or disability. Optimal aging is a focus on what is possible, not on the impossible.” The initiative, Huff said, will have three major goals: • It will create and expand programs and activities for middle-age and older adults. • It will assist those doing research in aging and assist those needing supportive services for themselves or others. • It will educate and train students, service providers, health care…