Current Research Projects

Designation of Excellence in Person- Centered Long-Term Care 2021

While a shift towards person-centered care has taken place over the last few decades in long-term care, there is no definition or standard guidelines for such care. This research project seeks to move person-centered care from a model that is medically or task-driven, to care that is driven largely by resident preferences, which are often not considered in the delivery of long-term care services. In this first phase of research, The University of Maine Center on Aging, and The Cedars in Portland, Maine, a nonprofit senior community, will work together to better define high quality person-centered care and optimal strategies for implementing such care.

This research will entail gathering data, literature, and expert input from a range of stakeholders including older adult residents and their families to frontline staff and national leaders in long-term care. This information will then be used to construct a broad framework from which person-centered care can be understood and implemented in long-term care settings.

AgingME Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Project (GWEP) 2019-2024

The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (lead org) in collaboration with the University of Maine (UMaine) will develop and lead the Aging Maine Transformation Collaborative (AgingME) which will focus on improving the health and wellbeing of Maine’s older adults through training enhancements and practice transformation processes at the primary care level. This innovative partnership brings together practitioners, health professions students, and educators from across the state to improve primary care for older adults and their caregivers.

The Center on Aging will serve as the lead evaluator for this statewide, 5-year, geriatrics training initiative collecting process and outcome measures from students, partners, older adults, and caregivers.

Nutrition Innovations 2019-2022

Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Senscio Systems, and St. Joseph Healthcare will establish and test an innovative, technology-driven nutrition enhancement and self- management program for older adults with multiple chronic diseases. The goal of this three-year project is to improve the nutritional and health status of rural adults 60 and older with multiple chronic conditions immediately following hospital discharge. The Center on Aging will be responsible for performing all research and evaluation functions associated with this project.

Lifelong Maine AmeriCorps Program (2021-2024)

Maine’s Lifelong Communities support healthy aging by addressing barriers to health and well-being in the physical, social, and service environments. Through the Lifelong Maine AmeriCorps Program, each full- or part-time AmeriCorps member, with mentorship from an experienced lifelong community leader, will work with local residents to increase the capacity of a Lifelong Community initiative to meet its mission, vision, and implementation goals. The result will be a more resilient, healthier, safer, and more engaged community.

Lifelong Communities Fellows 2019-2022

The Lifelong Communities Fellows (LCF) program was developed as a partnership between the University of Maine Center on Aging’s Encore Leadership Corps and Maine Community Foundation. “Lifelong communities” are defined broadly to include various models of intentional planning that mobilize older adults and other community members to advocate for community changes or implement programs and services that benefit residents of all ages, but especially older residents.

The LCF program recruits established lifelong community leaders (fellows) and works with the Fellows to develop trainings to enhance their skills. The Fellows provide technical assistance to communities with short-term (8 months or less) lifelong communities projects. Projects vary based on community needs—from assessment to implementation projects.

Kinship Navigator Program Evaluation Ongoing

The UM Center on Aging is partnering with Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine to evaluate their statewide kinship navigator program that provides services and supports to Maine’s kinship families. Evaluation services will include implementing a survey with service recipients and enhanced data tracking to better identify and report outcomes associated with receiving kinship navigation services.

Maine Gerontological Society Ongoing gerontological-society

The Center on Aging currently serves as the coordinating entity for the Maine Gerontological Society, a statewide association of individuals and organizations interested in issues that affect older adults in the state of Maine. The society has the charge of serving as the leading interdisciplinary association on aging.

MGS emphasizes the offering of education and training opportunities for its members so that as a society and in our professions we may be well informed and play an active role in shaping aging policy and services in Maine in the years to come.

Members receive a periodic newsletter and discounts for educational events