UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity
The UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity was approved in July 1994, by the Provost's Office as part of the Strategic Planning Initiative Awards Program. These special awards are to foster activities that address UCF's five strategic goals:
- Excellence in Undergraduate Education
- International Prominence in Graduate Study and Research
- Provide International Focus for Curriculum and Research
- Become More Inclusive and Diverse
- Be America's Leading Partnership University
The purpose of the UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity is to establish infrastructure to raise the visibility of gerontology at UCF, to coordinate the existing activities occurring across campus, stimulate new applications in teaching, research a
nd service, and forge important partnerships with the Central Florida health services and business community.
The UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity has a dual mission:
- Focus on traditional issues in aging to meet the needs of those who have suffered dysfunctional decline.
- For the majority of older adults, the focus is on prevention and health promotion through a holistic model--"preventive gerontology." As much attention must be directed to successful, productive aging as to those in need; to understand the important
differences between primary aging, those normal and inevitable age-related changes, and secondary aging, those decrements due to disease, disuse, and abuse.
The UCF INITIATIVE ON AGING AND LONGEVITY has multiple components in teaching, research, and service:
- Certificate in Gerontology
- This program is coordinated by the Department of Social Work and consists of a 15 semester hour program of four advanced undergraduate courses and a minimum 150 hour practicum/internship. This program is open to all undergraduate majors and post-bacc
alaureate students. For more information on course schedules, contact: (407) 823-2114.
- Learning Institute for Elders (LIFE) at UCF
- This program was established in 1990 to provide non-credit classes and lectures at UCF for elders in the greater Orlando area. Affiliated with the Elder Hostel Institute Network, LIFE at UCF is self-directed by members and offers interesting, provoca
tive lectures on varied, stimulating topics. For more information on membership, programs, and benefits, contact: (407) 823-5433.
- Continuing Gerontology Education for Professionals
- The Initiative is in the process of assessing needs and interests of area professionals for continuing education in gerontology. These activities will be coordinated through the Division of Continuing Education in cooperation with participating acade
mic departments. For further information and/or to indicate your interest in such programs, contact: (407) 423-6935.
- University Lecture Series on Aging
- Arrangements are being made to bring nationally known speakers to UCF during the 1996-97 academic year to present topics of interest both the academic and the broader Central Florida community. Funding for this series will be provided by the Initiati
ve in cooperation with area agencies. For further information, contact (407) 823-2566.
A key component of the Initiative will be the establishment of multiple research projects in conjunction with a variety of "partners" in Central Florida and the State. The Partnership Starter Grant Program on Aging would identify projects of mutual inter
est to the identified agencies and UCF faculty with funding for these efforts coming from the agency and the Initiative. It is expected that these initial efforts would serve as pilot projects for eventual external funding. There will be three focus are
as of research and development:
- Initiative on Aging and Technology
- At the same time as America is graying, many technological innovations can help older adults maintain their functional independence and reduce the need for caregiving. Electronic technologies can be used to provide computer-assisted health informatio
n, monitor and signal medication compliance, and control "smart" environments in the home and work settings. Furthermore, with the progressive aging of the work force, the need for training older computer-literate workers is bound to become more prevalen
t in office and factories of the near future. Activities will involve various academic units, including Psychology, Computer Science, College of Engineering, Institute for Simulation and Training, and the Center for Applied Human Factors in Aviation.
- For further information on research possibilities in this area, contact: Dr. Janan A. Smither, Department of Psychology, (407) 823-5859.
- Initiative on the Older Worker, Retirement, and Leisure
- With increased longevity, more workers will face re-training issues while others may seek early retirement and the pursuit of second careers. "Retirement" may now extend for more than 25 years, presenting challenges and opportunities. With increased
affluence of the nation's elders, new marketing and consumer issues need to be addressed by the business community of Central Florida. For further information about projects in this area, contact: Dr. Warren McHone, College of Business Administration,
- Initiative on Elder Health, Wellness, and Human Services
- The traditional approach to elder health and human services has focused on treating existing disorders. While treatment and intervention will remain important, for home-based and institutionalized care, this Initiative will also focus on prevention t
hrough life-style modification. Many of the disabilities associated with "aging" are found to be associated, at least in part, with "secondary aging." This Initiative will emphasize exercise, nutrition and behavioral change to prevent the premature onse
t of morbidity. For further information on projects in this area, contact: Dr. Frank Rohter, College of Education, (407) 823-2049.
As Central Florida's public university, UCF is committed to extending its knowledge beyond the classroom into the community. The teaching activities are designed to inform and train individuals and provide opportunities for applied experience in the comm
unity. Research projects will focus on applied, community-based issues. Thus "service" is integral to the UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity.
The following community/state agencies have indicated an interest in being partners with the Initiative:
- Alzheimer Resource Center
- Alzheimer Respite Care
- Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida
- Arthritis Foundation of Central Florida
- Columbia Healthcare-Winter Park Memorial Hospital
- Florida Department of Elder Affairs
- Florida Hospital/Premier Health
- Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging
- Senior Core of Retired Executives (SCORE)
- Walt Disney World Co.
- Winter Park Hospital Association
- Crosby Wellness Center
- Adult Day Care Program
- Miller Center for Older Adult Services
If your are interested in becoming a partner with the Initiative, and/or you desire further information, contact:
|Richard D. Tucker, Ph.D.|
Professor, Department of Psychology
Director, Initiative on Aging and Longevity
| University of Central Florida|
Howard Phillips Hall 302-D
Orlando, FL 32816-1390
|Phone - (407) 823-2566
Fax - (407) 823-5862