We frequently hear about the problems and perils associated with old age: dementia, depression, rising rates of substance abuse. But we also know from research that in general, older people have high rates of life satisfaction, healthy relationships, and much to offer. So what gives?
Perhaps older adulthood is both a period of real opportunities and real challenges. If older adulthood is a period characterized by newness and loss, how do we capitalize on a person's strengths while supporting them through difficult transitions?
AgeWell Lab aims to embrace these contradictory qualities in a manner that honors the full range of the human experience. This phase of life is one of both loss and resilience, and perhaps it is the capacity to navigate this paradox that allows a person to age well. Our mission is to equip older adults and their care providers with the skills and perspectives needed to do just that. Whether near Virginia Tech or nationally, we partner with universities, community partners, and families to help people age well through research and practice.
Our focal areas include:
Increasing the number of counselors who serve older adults and are specifically trained in age-related issues.
Promoting a framework for understanding the aging process that is rooted in wellness and resilience.
Expanding Medicare coverage to include licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists.
Educating caretakers, professionals, and entire communities to help prevent suicide among older adults.