- Doors Open at 4:00 for light refreshments
- Screening begins at 4:30
- Video segments will be followed by panel discussions with the Experts in their own Aging
- Continue networking and talking with the experts, and sharing refreshments until 6:30.
The Origin of Experts in Their Own Aging
In July 2014, the Oregon Health Authority asked Portland State University (PSU) Institute on Aging (IOA) to conduct a needs assessment and prepare a report on behavioral health needs of older adults in Oregon. This report laid the groundwork for the development of the Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative. Twenty-four Older Adult Behavioral Health Specialists (OABHS) were hired across Oregon to build capacity in their communities to address gaps in services.
Multiple needs were identified, including the need for a more knowledgeable workforce. According to the needs assessment, many health, behavioral health, and aging services providers lack basic understanding of behavioral health of older adults. This included an understanding that the vast majority of older adults enjoy good mental health and adapt well to age-related changes.
PSU/IOA developed training materials to support OABHS in their work as trainers, including a module on the everyday experience of aging. Interviews were conducted with a diverse group of 15 older adults who agreed to share their experiences in video-taped interviews. They talked about a typical week, and the surprises, pleasures, and challenges of getting older.
Only a small segment of these rich and thoughtful interviews could be included in the module. We asked Cynthia Lopez, a gerontologist and documentary film maker, to review the 11 hours of interviews and create small segments that could be used to cover topics in more depth. Ms. Lopez conducted additional interviews, and added film of people leading their lives. The result is a DVD with segments covering 9 themes that emerged from the interviews:
2. Age-friendly City
3. Selectivity, Optimization, and Compensation
4. Life Course Perspective
5. Surprises of Aging
6. Pleasures of Aging
7. Messages to Providers
8. Difficulties of Aging
9. Rural Aging