Innovations in Aging

We are excited about all of the interest that has emerged in the healthcare and long-term care arenas for new Research and Innovation Pilots – from narrative interventions in long-term care to redesigning medical education, to shifting doctor-patient and doctor-family interactions.  Equally exciting is a pilot called Enterprising Elders, we are looking for collaborators to bring this to life nationally.  Click here if you are interested in any of the projects and pilots below:

Research and Innovation Pilots

Currently, we are experimenting in many ways – below are few things that we think will shape the future of aging:

Narrative Interventions in Long-Term Care

One of the highest needs in long-term care is to integrate narrative interventions (like inquiry, dialogue, and storytelling) into care delivery for elders.  If professional caregivers (CNA’s, nurses, doctors, social workers, etc.) utilize open-ended and positively biased questions in patient care – quality of care will improve, along with patient and employee satisfaction. The
underlying assumption is that if the caregiver understands the patient better as a whole person— and not just as their disease or presenting symptoms—the caregiver will be able to provide more individualized, tailored care that matters most to the patient, thereby impacting the variables identified above.

Redesigning Medical Education

In collaboration with Brown University Medical School, we are redesigning curriculum for medical students for three specific modules:  Family Meetings, End of Life Conversations, and Difficult Conversations and Advanced Directives.  Again, the goal is to shift the interaction of the care-giver with the patient and his/her family to include more inquiry and dialogue-based practices and approaches.

Enterprising Elders

Tremendous opportunity exists for engaging and tapping into our elders’ wisdom, experience, and energy in ways that benefit them and society. Our multi-pronged approach focuses on Enterprising Elders – the intersection of workforce development, social enterprise, inter-generational connection, and life-long learning. This approach supports positive aging through active engagement at multiple levels, enabling elders to age in community with independence and meaning.  Pilots will focus on connecting the elder ecosystem to stimulate meaningful engagement in work (Elder Job training program and Elder Enterprise Incubator), inter-generational collaboration and life-long learning.