By the year 2020, more than 20 percent of the population is expected to reach the age of retirement. With the increase in the number of older adults living in Louisiana, there will come a greater need to ensure the successful aging of the population of our state. The Life Course & Aging Center faculty recognize that to ensure a successful outcome, attention to aging should begin at birth and continue through the rest of our lives. We are committed to identifying the keys to successful aging and educating the public about these important issues.
Our faculty is pulled from six different colleges at LSU, representing 14 departments/programs that are actively engaged in advancing our knowledge of the human life course and aging.
Current areas of research include the following:
- Cognitive Processes and Aging
- Early Childhood Development
- Education across the Lifespan
- Interpersonal Relations across the Lifespan
- Lifespan Development and Public Policy
- Physical Processes and Aging
- Sociological Aspects of Aging
Advancing Our Research Mission
LCAC has been awarded both externally and internally funded grants and is continually pursuing additional funding for our ground-breaking research.
Advancing Community Research
Dr. Amanda Staiano, adjunct faculty member of LCAC and Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, is leading a project with the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative to examine preschool children’s physical activity and screen-time in childcare centers and during out-of-school time. This project comes on the heels of Louisiana’s Department of Education (DOE) new regulations for children in childcare settings that now comply with national recommendations: 1) physical activity of at least 1 hour/day and 2) screen-time limited to 2 hours/day. The project will investigate the following aims: 1) to examine the physical activity and screen-time environment of licensed childcare centers before and after the enactment of new state regulations; 2) to examine the physical activity and screen-time behaviors of children enrolled in childcare centers before and after the enactment of new state regulations; and 3) to establish community strategies to improve young children’s health behaviors. Funding for this project is provided by the NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (U54MD008602) grant for the Gulf States Health Policy Center.
LCAC and Alzheimer Services of the Capitol Area developed a state approved dementia training curriculum in 2009/10. The curriculum has 8-hour, 4-hour, and 2-hour training modules developed in accordance with Act 571 which mandated specific levels of dementia training for all direct care staff who care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Louisiana. In response to input from our consumers, nursing home and assisted living facility administrators, we developed and implemented a 2-day Train-the-Trainer program in late 2010. Individuals certified as “trainers” can return to their facilities or communities and our state-approved dementia training curricula to those who needed it. As of February 2015, we have trained 14 “trainers”, who have trained an additional 1,741 employees of long-term care and assisted living facilities that care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias throughout Louisiana.
Dr. Katie Cherry teaches a 6-week course on Trauma and Long-Term Recovery with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program. OLLI is sponsored by LSU’s Online & Continuing Education and provides people who are 50 years and older a chance to investigate interesting topics and current issues in a relaxed but stimulating environment. Traumatic events that affect thousands of people capture national attention briefly, yet the psychosocial consequences of these events may haunt survivors for a lifetime. Dr. Cherry’s Trauma and Long-Term Recovery course examines different types of events associated with traumatic stress, the consequences of these events for individuals and families, and address long-term recovery. Based on an edited volume (Springer, 2015) the focus is on long-term recovery and healing from traumatic events.