The mission of the Gerontological Society of America is: 1) to promote the conduct of multi- and interdisciplinary researchin aging by expanding the quantity of gerontological research and by increasing its fundingresources; 2) to disseminate gerontological research knowledge to researchers, to practitioners,and to decision and opinion makers; and 3) to promote, support, and advocate for agingeducation, and education and training in higher education.
The GSA and OADN are now partnering to bring more resources to nursing education programs that can enhance the competency of the workforce in different aspects of gerontological care.
Approaches and tools for primary care providers
This comprehensive toolkit is focused on the KAER model developed by the GSA Workgroup on Cognitive Impairment Detection and Earlier Diagnosis. The workgroup identified valuable tools and resources to implement the four steps in the KAER model. The resulting toolkit provides options for each of the steps so that PCPs, health plans and health care systems can select the approaches and tools that fit best with their existing primary care structure, organization, and procedures.
The toolkit is broken down by each section of the KAER model to allow quick and easy access:
- Kickstart the cognition conversation
- Assess for cognitive impairment
- Evaluate for dementia
- Refer for community resources
Each step in the model will help the PCP initiate conversations about brain health, detect and assess cognitive impairment, diagnose dementia, and provide post‐diagnostic referrals for education and supportive community services for persons with dementia and their family caregivers.
There also is a free companion webinar, "How to Use the GSA KAER Toolkit: A 4-step Process to Detecting Cognitive Impairment and Earlier Diagnosis of Dementia."
The Gerontological Society of America launched an oral health initiative with the goals of enabling older adults to maintain their oral health as part of a healthy aging process and to assist researchers, educators, practitioners, and policymakers to identify areas of needed activity and research on the topic of oral health in older adults.
A key focus of the initiative is advancing the belief that helping older adults maintain good oral health involves oral health professionals and also an interprofessional team of “oral health champions”, including primary care and specialty physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and others who can advocate for, educate about, and provide direct care supporting oral health.
This multi-faceted initiative is comprised of a variety of interrelated elements including:
- The Oral Health Workgroup, a team of experts charged with increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of appropriate oral care and strengthening the impact that all members of healthcare and caregiver teams have on ensuring good oral care for older adults. The GSA Workgroup on Oral Health seeks an interprofessional approach to improved oral health for all older adults.
- The GSA Oral Health Interest Group, providing an opportunity for persons interested in the issue of oral health as an essential element of healthy aging to meet, exchange, information and resources, and make contacts with persons who have similar interests.
- The development and publication of the What's Hot newsletter, "Oral Health: An Essential Element of Healthy Aging." Intended for an interprofessional audience, this publication discusses the impact of poor oral health in older adults, relationships between oral health, systemic conditions, functional abilities, and healthy aging, as well as current challenges and potential opportunities in the area of geriatric oral health.
- The convening of an Oral Health Forum in March 2017 of leading experts and key stakeholders committed to healthy aging to identify solutions and create a roadmap to improving the interprofessional oral health care of older adults. More than 40 participants from industry, government, academia, research, practice, and not-for profit membership organizations attended. Recommendations of the participants were incorporated into the July 2017 white paper (see below).
- The July 2017 white paper, "Interprofessional Solutions for Improving Oral Health in Older Adults: Addressing Access Barriers, Creating Oral Health Champions," which features the recommendations of the Oral Health Forum participants. The goal of the paper is to improve clinical and other outcomes in older adults by focusing all members of the health care team (medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and allied health professions) on whole-person, interprofessional care that recognizes the inherent connection between oral and systemic health and is valued in the health care system.
- A symposium at the IAGG World Congress on July 24, 2017 in which members of the Oral Health Workgroup discussed the White Paper and presented the findings of the Oral Health Forum.
This infographic provides an overview of the GSA Oral Health Initiative.
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