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OU-Tulsa Event Addresses Aging in Place

OU-Tulsa Event Addresses Aging in Place

Lecturers speak to a seated audience at an Aging in Place event.

OU faculty from the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture and the College of Allied Health addressed a full house in Tulsa during a continuing education event focused on services, programs and policies centered around helping the elderly stay in their homes as they age – or age in place.

The panel, moderated by Julie Miller-Cribs (social work), discussed early evidence and examples of some promising practices, including inter-generational day care, inter-generational housing, aging-friendly design, dementia care, service animals, and attending to cultural factors that can enhance outcomes such as reducing isolation and loneliness, improving safety and functioning in the home, improving quality of life, and reciprocal benefits to others in the community.

Other topics discussed on the panel were universal design principles for creating more accessible communities, functional supports that can allow people with dementia to age in place, the reciprocal benefits of inter-generational housing, cultural considerations for aging in place for American Indians and the positive effects of aging in place with canines. 

Panel members were Dave Boeck (architecture), occupational therapist Kendra Orcutt, Dr. Carrie Ciro (allied health), Dr. Kimberly Cassie (social work), Carol Stewart (nursing) and Dr. Mary Isaacson (allied health). 

This event was organized by the Community Health Environmental Design Studio at OU-Tulsa, Michael Birkes and Shawn Schaefer. The CHED is a collaborative community resource that provides people with information and assistance to make their homes, neighborhoods and cities healthier through better design.


By Bonnie Rucker

Article Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2020