In order to advance our mission of improving the health of older adults, Hartford Foundation staff and grantees use the power of convenings, educational programs and publications to develop and disseminate new ideas, opportunities and best practices. We encourage you to explore the News and Events section for the latest breaking information and innovations related to the care of older adults.
A recent New York Times op-ed features Beeson Scholar Dr. Jason Karlawish's thoughts on aging in the 21st century, "Too Young Too Die, Too Old to Worry." Here he presents the question, "When should we set aside a life lived for the future and, instead, embrace the pleasures of the present?" Dr. Karlawish describes advances in the science of forecasting life expectancy. For example, physician researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and at Harvard, (including fellow Beeson Scholars Drs. Sei Lee and Mara Schonberg) have developed ePrognosis, a website that collates 19 risk calculators that an older adult can use to calculate her likelihood of dying in the next six months to 10 years. He argues that websites like these can be a convenient vehicle to disseminate information to patients, but that complex actuarial data — including its uncertainties and limitations — are best conveyed during a face-to-face, doctor-patient conversation.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation engaged the American Institutes for Research and an eight-member steering group of healthcare leaders to bring together a diverse group of individuals and organizations with broad experience in healthcare, and patient and family engagement specifically, to create a unified vision for how we meaningfully engage patients and their families in the delivery of care. This group included patients, advocates, clinicians, researchers, payers, funders and policy makers. The result is a Roadmap for Patient and Family Engagement in Healthcare Practice and Research.
Applications for the 2015 Paul Beeson Career Development Awards in Aging Research Program are currently being acceted. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), The Atlantic Philanthropies (USA), The John A. Hartford Foundation, and the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS) are collaborating on this initiative to sustain and promote the research careers of clinically trained individuals who are pursuing research careers in aging. It is anticipated that five to seven awards of $600,000 to $800,000 will be granted in 2015. Deadline for application receipt date is November 7, 2014. More information can be found here.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is now accepting applications for the Grants for Early Medical Surgical Subspecialists Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) Program, which provide critical research support to physician-scientists pursuing research concerning the care of older adults. Recipients can qualify for up to $150,000 of direct research funding. The Jahnigen Career Development Award and the T. Franklin Williams Award offer funding for a Professional Development Plan (PDP) to complement the GEMSSTAR award mechanism. The GEMSSTAR application deadline is October 28, 2014.
For years, studies that examined the use of sedative-hypnotics have caused concern for researchers who looked at the link between Alzheimer's disease and the intake of such medications. A study released this month through the British Medical Journal (BMJ) concluded that benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Malaz Boustani, a geriatrician at Indiana University Health and former Beeson Scholar, co-authored an accompanying article arguing for the need for proper surveillance system for cognitive side effects by prescribers and patients.