Mather Institute Announces Innovative Research on Aging Award Winners

September 2, 2022

Evanston, IL—Mather Institute, an internationally-recognized resource for research and information about wellness, aging and trends in senior living, recently announced the 2022 Innovative Research on Aging Award winners. Now in their seventh year, the awards recognize applied research that offers important implications for the senior living and aging services industries to help them improve the ways in which they serve older adults. With more than 55 awards given over the last seven years, the Innovative Research on Aging Awards have awarded more than $43,000 to researchers across the country since its inception.

“We’re working to bring research to real life. Sharing this important research reinforces our commitment to encouraging innovation throughout all areas that affect older adults,” said Cate O’Brien, Ph.D., vice president and director of Mather Institute. “We hope these findings and ideas will benefit the senior living industry across the country and around the world, as other organizations adapt the ideas and transform them into what we call ‘next practices’.”

Each year, Mather Institute reviews dozens of submissions from researchers across the country on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Health and well-being of senior living residents
  • Technological advancements for older adults
  • Aging in place
  • Staff training and empowerment

Mather Institute is the research area of service for Mather—a unique not-for-profit organization founded in 1941—that enhances the lives of older adults by creating Ways to Age Well. Award recipients are selected based on relevance to important problems, quality of research methods, usability of findings and recommendations, and ability to contribute to innovation in senior living.

Inspiring Next Practices, the report detailing this year’s 10 awards, provides insights into a wide range of topics on aging, including:

  • Offering golf as an approach to wellness for those with dementia
  • Examining ageist attitudes in future providers of mental health services
  • Tracking improvements in loneliness in older adults who walk their dogs

This year’s recipients are:

Gold Award Recipient:

  • Owen, R., Berry, K., & Brown, L.J.E. (2021): “‘I like to feel needed, you know?’: A qualitative examination of sense of purpose in older care home residents.” Aging & Mental Health (advance online publication).

Silver Award Recipients:

  • Pfund, G.N., Hofer, M., Allemand, M., & Hill, P.L. (2022). “Being social may be purposeful in older adulthood: A measurement burst design.” The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
  • Caskie, G. I. L., Patterson, S. L., & Voelkner, A. R. (2022). “Trainees’ clinical bias differs by older adult client health status: The relation with ageism and aging anxiety.” Clinical Gerontologist.
  • Nakamura, J.S., Delaney, S.W., Diener, E., VanderWeele, T.J., & Kim, E.S. (2021). “Are all domains of life satisfaction equal? Differential associations with health and well-being in older adults.” Quality of Life Research.
  • Shune, S. & Barewal, R. (2022). “Redefining the value of snacks for nursing home residents: Bridging psychosocial and nutritional needs.” Geriatric Nursing.

Bronze Award Recipients:

  • Hill, N., Fihosy, S. & Camic, P.M. (2021). “Exploring the effects of a golf programme on psychological and social wellbeing for people with dementia, careers and staff.” Journal of Mental Health & Physical Exercise.
  • Song, Y., Begum, M., Arthanat, S., & LaRoche, D.P. (2021). “Validation of smartphone accelerometry for the evaluation of sit-to-stand performance and lower-extremity function in older adults.” Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.
  • Carr, D.C., Friedmann, E., Gee, N., Gilchrist, C., Sachs-Ericsson & Koodaly, L. (2021). “Dog walking and the social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on loneliness in older adults.” Animals.
  • Ng, R., & Indran, N. (2021). “Role-based framing of older adults linked to decreased ageism over 210 years: Evidence from a 600-million-word historical corpus.” The Gerontologist.
  • Gilson, A., Gassman, M., Dodds, D., Lombardo, R., Ford II, J., & Potteiger, M. (2022). “Refining a digital therapeutic platform for home care agencies in dementia care to elicit stakeholder feedback: Focus group study with stakeholders.” JMIR Aging 2022.

Nominations will open in February for the 2023 Innovative Research on Aging Awards, with the submission deadline in mid-March 2023.

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