27th annual Gerontology Conference scheduled at OSU

April 2, 2003

CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will hold its 27th annual Gerontology Conference, "Creating New Insights into Aging," April 29-30 at the CH2M-HILL Alumni Center on the OSU campus.

The conference is aimed at gerontology professionals, policy makers and care providers. It is co-sponsored by the OSU Extension Service Family and Community Development Program, OSU College of Health and Human Sciences, Oregon Geriatric Education Center, and Cascades West Senior Services Foundation.

Presentations on topics ranging from long-distance caregiving to grandparents raising grandchildren are among the 40-plus sessions included in this year's conference.

Tim Nay, an Oregon elder law attorney, will present information on how the state budget crisis may affect older adults and persons with disabilities or mental illness.

"Oregon is now at the leading edge of national healthcare rationing resulting from the recession," said Nay. "Other states in our region, including Washington, Idaho and California, are also rethinking the viability of the social safety net."

Dr. Nancy Vaughan, of the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research at Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center, will present her research on how age-related changes in the brain can affect higher level processing that may play an important role in an older adult's difficulty understanding speech.

A number of conference sessions will focus on the changing structures of the families of older adults and their children.

Experts say 4.5 million children in the United States live in grandparent-headed households, and about one-third of these children have no parent present in the household. Grandparents face legal, social and psychological challenges as they take on the role of surrogate parents. A panel of local grandparents will discuss this issue and share their experiences on the rewards and challenges of raising children again.

The fee for the two-day conference is $135 for participants registering by April 11. The registration fee will increase after April 11. For more information, visit the conference Website at: www.osugero.org or call 1-800-587-0238.

Author: Bob Rost
Source: Sally Bowman