By Robin McAtee, PhD, RN, FACHE, Director, Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC), a Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging (DWR IOA)
Happy New Year and Happy New Decade from all of us at the Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative! I am excited to be writing to you as we begin a brand new decade! Here at the AGEC we have an exciting year planned as we being programs for healthcare professionals and students, community members, caregivers, and older adults.
Reflecting back on the last 3 months of 2019, we had several very successful programs. These included: a 2 day train-the-trainer program where six individuals were recertified in Ageless Grace and 32 individuals were certified to be lay leaders. They can now go to their perspective audiences all over Arkansas and conduct Ageless Grace classes. We also hosted our fall webinar which featured Dr. Masil George who presented on Palliative Care for People with Dementia. Attendance was great with 78 attendees. Another exciting event was National Family Caregiver Month in November where we brought in Mr. Don Guess (an advocate of older adults from the Arkansas Farm Bureau) to conduct an interview that was shown on Facebook as a video. It has had over 6,400 views! We also launched a Caregiving Tips video series that will continue throughout 2020. The AGEC also launched our First Responder Dementia and Elder Justice Online Training and have had over 70 completers to date!
As we look to the first few months of 2020, we will sponsor Geriatric Grand Rounds January 28th with Margaret Pauly, MS, RD, LD and Stephan Dehmel, MD whose program will be titled Gut Check: Are you prescribing the right foods for your elderly patients?. We will also be working closely with our clinical partner ARcare in England, AR. We will be learning with them as we endeavor to help them become the first Age-Friendly Health System in AR. “Age-Friendly Health Systems” is an initiative of the John A. Hartford foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The initiative’s goal is to rapidly spread the 4Ms Framework (Medication, Mentation, Mobility, and what Matters to the older adult) to 20% of the US hospitals and medical practices by the end of 2020. We are excited about this challenge as is ARcare!
Our academic partners completed another great semester of training the next generation of healthcare providers and our five Geriatric Student Scholars began their work with the AGEC.
Thank you for all you do for older adults in Arkansas and we look forward to continuing to partner with many of you to expand and improve services and programs.