Winter 2022 Newsletter
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 to all of you from the Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative staff! As we have attempted to settle back into routines after the holidays, I suspect many of you may be struggling a bit, just as we are here at the AGEC. We had just begun to get back out into the communities with robust programming when Omicron decided to visit. Here we go again!
On the positive side, after almost two years, we have all learned new skill sets! We can effectively work remotely: we can teach and learn, we can conduct community education and exercise activities, we can “meet”, we can still deliver great outcomes, and most of all – we have learned that no one cares what we look like on Zoom!
Fall of 2021 was very busy for AGEC. We met with our HRSA project officer in October and reviewed our quarterly report where we were congratulated on all of our accomplishments, including our MIPS and age-friendly training with our clinical partner, ARcare. A special thanks and shout out to our lead partner at ARcare, John Beard, and Dr. Leah Tobey, here at the AGEC, for their tireless training and reporting which is required to meet objectives of this grant!
AGEC also continued with webinars with Dr. Lee Isaac in October where he presented Diversity in Dementia, and Dr. Jonathan Laryea who spoke in December regarding Older Adults and Constipation. Dr. Tobey and Ms. Spradley from the AGEC also spoke at the Reynolds Institute on Aging 5th Annual Dementia Update to caregivers, and I presented at the Dementia Update to the healthcare professionals regarding: What Matters Most: A critical part of the dementia care equation.
We had a plethora of special events during November that aligned with National Family Caregiver Month, and they were all very well received. AGEC Podcasts are doing well and Vanessa Lee & Laura Spradley spent time being guests on The Vine, a KTHV Channel 11 morning program, where they spoke about AGEC caregiver-related programs in November and appeared again in December.
As we buckle down for what are usually the worst winter months in Arkansas, January and February, let’s keep working and helping our older adults. Let’s keep learning and improving our knowledge and skills for them!
Stay warm and safe!