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Pre-Conference Workshops: Come Early and Get Intensive

If you want to build muscle and strength, there’s no substitute for intensive workouts. When it comes to building and strengthening your professional career, the same is true for intensive workshops. Pre-Conference Workshops are rigorous, skill-developing sessions intended to build on the attendee’s knowledge of aging. These full or half-day sessions complement the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting Program while allowing attendees to further cultivate their professional toolbox in a specific area. Pre-registration for all workshops is required. All workshop fees are nonrefundable. Continuing Education is not awarded for pre-conference workshops.

 

Wednesday, November 2nd

All-Day Workshops: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Building Blocks for Successful Community-Based Research & Practice in Loneliness and Isolation

This full-day pre-conference workshop, will provide a brief overview of the individual and societal benefits of addressing loneliness and Isolation and the importance of conducting applied research with community stakeholders in real-world settings. The workshop includes several panel presentations followed by small group discussions and practical exercises. Panelists from diverse communities will provide real-world examples from research activities in community-based settings, which will offer practical guidance about partnership development and strategies to address loneliness and Isolation. There will be an emphasis on supporting older adults who have been disproportionately impacted by systemic inequities. Success stories, lessons learned, challenges, and unavoidable pitfalls will be shared from the perspectives of researchers and community collaborators. This workshop is designed to encourage group thought, brainstorming, and collaboration to advance the field for action.

Reimagining 'Productive Aging' for a Post-COVID World: Critical Reflections and New Directions

The Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work and the Grand Challenge to Advance Long and Productive Lives will conduct a workshop focused on gaining a better understanding of the social contexts that support choice and opportunity in later life in terms of retirement, carework and community engagement in a post-COVID world. Workshop participants will be challenged to think critically, and from an intersectional lens, about how social inequalities over the life course shape these later life choices and opportunities. They will then engage in a vision-generating session to reimagine the terrain of research on paid and unpaid work in later life/productive aging and set an agenda for new research, practices, and policies. The discussion will lead to the identification of topics and potential authors to be included in a Handbook on Productive Aging that focuses on critical and intersectional perspectives and new directions.

Pathways to Equity-Based Aging Research and Practice

While solutions to address barriers to equity-based research and clinical practice are forthcoming, “real” progress is taking place and researchers and clinicians are at the forefront of this change. This workshop will convene advanced students and early career researchers, practitioners, and advocates interested in addressing epistemic harm that can be perpetuated through research and practice. Participants will broaden their perspectives on new and emerging trends in equity-based research and practice, which will highlight how addressing these trends can assist in recalibrating their research programs and clinical practice. This interactive workshop will include small group sessions with diverse speakers who will share their experiences with incorporating an equity lens in their research design and clinical practice, working with community stakeholders, non-harmful reporting of research findings, and grant mechanisms that have been successful in furthering their research careers. In addition, the workshop will foster networking and building connections among participants and panelists.

Pragmatic Intervention Trials with Diverse Older Adults

Given the underrepresentation of diverse populations of older adults in many traditional clinical trials, there is an increasing need to improve the awareness of and skills necessary to conduct pragmatic clinical trials. This pre-conference represents a collaborative endeavor of the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research together with the Health Care Systems Research Network-Older Americans Independence Centers AGING Initiative. It will focus on the pragmatic clinical trial as an exemplar of an innovative research design that can foster the performance of trials in real world settings, with representative patient populations, and outcome measures that “matter most” to patients and caregivers. Leaders of funded projects will describe how they applied pragmatic trial principles in study design and implementation. The advantages and challenges of conducting pragmatic clinical trials with diverse populations of older adults, including those living with Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias (AD/ADRD), will be discussed.

Half-Day Workshops: 8:00 a.m. – noon

Resilience and Aging

*No Additional Fee

Physical resilience declines with age as revealed by the decrease in the ability of an organism’s molecular, cellular, and systemic levels to return to homeostasis after exposure to a stressor. This decline might contribute to the emergence of clinically relevant diseases and conditions observed with aging. This workshop will explore two topics: (1) possible stressors and responses as metrics of resilience; (2) whether such metrics in midlife may be predictors of later-life healthspan and even lifespan. The 2022 premeeting report will be published open access with Journals of Gerontology Biological Sciences, one of GSA’s scientific journals (Anderson Co-Editor in Chief), to ensure broad dissemination to the research community at large.

Securing Pilot Research Funding: Strategies for Success Through the NIA Supported Center Programs

Obtaining the research funding needed to build a research program can seem daunting. One source of support for pilot work to get started and obtain data needed for larger applications is pilot grants available through the NIA supported Center programs. NIA funds a variety of Center programs that offer pilot grants as part of their scope of work. This workshop will introduce these programs, offer opportunities to engage directly with Center directors and staff in small groups, and provide tips and strategies to develop competitive applications. Successful applicants will share how they have leveraged these pilot grants to build their research programs.

Health and Retirement Study: New Data on Genetics, Biomarkers, Covid-19, and Life History

The Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a large and complex panel study of the population over age 50. This workshop will provide guidance on the basic design and content of the study and use of the data. Presentations will also provide in-depth coverage on new data resources in genetics and life histories as well as recently added content on responses to COVID-19. New genetic data resources include APOE and serotonin transporter alleles, polygenic risk scores, candidate genes, and epigenetic clocks. New life history data resources provide detailed information on experiences in child and young adulthood including residences, education, partnerships, jobs, and caregiving. COVID-19 data include direct experience of COVID-19 and effects of the stimulus payments and of COVID-19 on health care access, work and business, living arrangements, and caregiving. Research examples will illustrate how the data can be used in gerontological research.

Free Census & Survey Data for Aging Research: An Introduction to IPUMS in an International Context

IPUMS offers free, harmonized census and survey data from the U.S. and around the world for aging research. These data can be used to study many aging related topics, including caregiving, social isolation, disability, health, families, disparities, and work. The workshop will review the data available through IPUMS, demonstrate how to use our online data access system to create customized datasets, provide hands-on experience using the data, highlight tools and data for studying aging in the international context, and allow for consultation with IPUMS data experts on individual research projects. The workshop is hosted in partnership with the Network for Data-Intensive Research on Aging (NDIRA) initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Life Course Center. NDIRA is committed to building and supporting a diverse community of aging scholars and offers additional training resources designed to lower the barriers to leveraging complex and underutilized data for aging and life course research.

Teaching about Aging through the Lens of the Arts and Humanities

As the field of gerontology embraces competency-based education and the AGHE Gerontology Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education celebrate seven years of implementation, educators little training or experience applying the humanities to their pedagogy may be unsure of how to teach students strategies to synthesize multiple ways of knowing, including the myriad forms of richness humanities perspectives can provide. Similarly, humanities faculty may not immediately think of aging or the experience of being older as a useful lens through which to teach their content. Drawing on presenters with different levels of knowledge and expertise in various humanities-based approaches to understanding aging, we designed this workshop to serve those newly approaching this perspective and those with more extensive knowledge and experience of humanities and aging. We will share knowledge, expand participants’ repertoire of resources for classes, consider how to incorporate faculty and scholarship from arts and humanities into gerontology/geriatrics programs (and vice-versa), conceptualize/develop new courses or modify existing courses with humanities and content, and facilitate faculty members guiding students to think critically about the ways cultural representations of aging serve to reinforce or counter ageism.

Using the National Health and Aging Trends Study to Study Late-Life Disability, Dementia and Care

The proposed workshop is designed for new users and those who want to learn more about using the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) and the National Study of Caregiving (NSOC). The workshop will provide an overview of the study design and content of NHATS and NSOC. The workshop will cover study content on disability, dementia, and caregiving as well as supplemental content on COVID-19. Presenters will introduce user resources available through the NHATS website including annotated instruments, content documentation, and technical papers. More advanced topics, such as weighting, survey design adjustments, sub-population analysis (e.g., analysis for different race / ethnicity groups), and using metadata will also be covered. An interactive session will answer users’ questions and provide analysis advice.

Half-Day Workshops: 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Upping your Writing Game: Manuscript Writing Tips and Practice

experienced scholars. Using samples of their own writing, participants will work on improving communication clarity and effectiveness for manuscript writing, revising, and responding to reviewers.

Creating a Public Resource: O*NET Job Characteristics Dataset for Use with the Health and Retirement

This workshop will describe the new O*NET-Census 2010 data linkage, give researchers an overview of what the O*NET measures are and why they are useful for scholars in aging, and provide examples using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). This new O*NET dataset uses an occupation codeframe (Census 2010) often used in general population survey data, and provides new opportunities for scientific advances that may promote more equitable work environments and later-life health and wellbeing. We describe what kinds of measures are in this new dataset and how they offer value in measuring work behaviors relative to more subjective measures. Presentations will describe the complexities of linking these O*NET measures with general population survey data, how the linkage is created, and how these data may be used. As an application, this session will discuss the HRS O*NET linkage and its potential uses.

Patient/Person Engagement in Research: Embracing Diversity

Many approaches to patient engagement exist. Models range from single session consultation to team science including patient/person co-leadership. Likewise, engagement can be used in any single or all stages of research. Engagement can also be used to address the whole of the research plan or focused on a single issue, such as participant recruitment. Funding applications often refer to the section detailing this detail as the “Engagement Plan.”

In this workshop, experienced engaged researchers use their projects with older adults (Rachel Lessem and Katherine Abbott), people living with dementia (Martina Roes), and rural persons (Carol Geary) to introduce engagement approaches. Experienced patient partners will also be available to consult with participants on their own research plans. At the conclusion of this half-day workshop, participants will be prepared to apply learnings to the development of an appropriate patient engagement plan for their own research.

ABOUT GSA

The Gerontological Society of America is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. GSA’s principal mission — and that of our 5,500 members — is to promote the study of aging and disseminate information to scientists, decision makers, and the general public. Founded in 1945, GSA is the driving force behind advancing innovation in aging — both domestically and internationally. Our members come from more than 50 countries. To further fulfill our mission, GSA assembles more nearly 4,000 professionals from around the world to an Annual Scientific Meeting. This monumental event now features more than 500 sessions each year. Additionally, we publish the field’s preeminent peer-reviewed journals.

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