Peter Whitehouse MD-PhD is a Professor of Neurology and former or current professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Bioethics, History, Nursing and Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and President of Intergenerational Schools International. He is also currently a strategic advisor in innovation at Baycrest Health Center. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and MD-PhD (Psychology) from The Johns Hopkins University (with positions at Harvard and Boston Universities), followed by a Fellowship in Neuroscience and Psychiatry and a faculty appointment at Hopkins. In 1986 he moved to Case Western Reserve University to develop the University Alzheimer Center. He has consulted for numerous small and large pharmaceutical and information technology organizations, as well as NGO, academic and other nonprofits. He has worked on age/dementia friendly communities focusing on learning organizations, the continuum of long-term care, chronic disease management, and the role of integration of primary care and public health. In 1999 he founded with his wife, Catherine, The Intergenerational School, a unique public multiage, community school (www.tisonline.org). He is a geriatric neurologist, cognitive scientist, environmental ethicist, and photographer. He is active in visual arts, dance and music organizations globally, including the National Center for Creative Aging and Dance Exchange. He has created several multimedia and transmedia productions He is a transdisciplinarian and loves metaphors. He is coauthor of “The Myth of Alzheimer’s: what you aren’t being told about today’s most dreaded diagnosis.” (www.themythofalzheimers.com) and hundreds of academic papers and book chapters. He is part of the reimagine aging movement personally and culturally. He claims (accurately) to have led the invention of two words: intergenerativity (innovation through integration) and ecopsychosocial (models of health). He is a futurist with a deep interest in historical roots. He also occasionally performs as Tree Doctor, a metaphorical creature who educates humans about being healthy from the perspective of a tree in a forest.
ACTIVE AGEING THROUGH THE LIFE COURSE IN AGE FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad holds the title of Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University. He is the Ralph S. and Dorothy P. Schmitt Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and also serves as Professor of Global Health in the School of Medicine.
In a career spanning more than four decades, Hokenstad is recognized as a worldwide leader in social work education and research. He is a past president of the North American and Caribbean Region of the International Association of Schools of Social Work, and has served as president of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and chair of the International Committee for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). He has been a trustee of the National Council on Aging and the National Conference on Social Welfare.
Global aging has been a special focus of Hokenstad’s work. He is a member of the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization Committee on Aging, and served on the U.N. Technical Committee responsible for drafting the International Plan of Action on Aging. In 2002, he was named to the United States delegation to the U.N.s World Assembly on Aging.
His cross-national research projects have examined innovations in elder care and pension policies in countries throughout the world. He has led delegations of social workers and social work educators to China, Cuba, Japan, Russia, and South Africa, and has lectured and led workshops in those countries, as well as in the Philippines, India, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and throughout Europe.
A prolific scholar, Hokenstad has authored nine books and numerous articles, chapters, and monographs, in the fields of comparative social welfare, care of older people, and social work practice and education. In addition, he has served as editor-in-chief of The International Social Work Journal and co-editor of special issues of publications such as Ageing International, Social Policy & Administration, the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, and the Journal of Applied Social Sciences. He serves on the editorial board of several other scholarly journals.
Hokenstad earned his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, at Augustana College in South Dakota, his professional social work degree at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from Brandeis University. He was the winner of the 2006 International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award from the NASW, which has also recognized him as a Social Work Pioneer. He has received the CSWE’s Significant Lifetime Achievement Award, and, in 2004, the IASSW Katherine Kendall Award for a “Lifetime of Distinguished International Service to Social Work Education.” In 2009, he was named “Educator of the Year” by the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education, and a “Partner in Advancing Education for International Social Work” by the CSWE Global Commission.
This session will focus on Age Friendly Environments that facilitate Active Ageing through the life course. Emphasis will be given to approaches that optimize opportunities for life-long learning and the importance of learning organizations, such as schools, museums, and universities. Our program will give attention to the multi-age learning programs, particularly the concepts and practices of intergenerational schools in Cleveland and elsewhere as examples of effective programs for promoting deep learning and social engagement, as well as individual and community health.
Age Friendly Environments serve different purposes including access to physical activities, healthy food, social support, and transportation. The Global Age Friendly Cities Program in Cleveland, Ohio will be cited as an example of promoting active ageing through creating of age friendly environments. We will focus on their function in providing social engagement through life-long learning, in different roles such as volunteers or paid workers. Individual seniors often need or prefer to be active in different ways. Children can benefit from the individualized attention caring adults and elders can offer and in group activities.
Communities should support general health and well-being. Keeping the brain and body healthy obviously involve many of the same elements, like physical and cognitive activity. That said brain or perhaps better-labeled cognitive health seems most directly linked to learning. Education and cognitive health throughout the life course is also key to preventing dementia as we age but in fact at any age. Hence, we will review international efforts focusing on Dementia (cognitive health promoting) Friendly Communities as they relate to Age Friendly Communities.
A key aspect of healthier age-friendly communities is population and environmental health. Lead exposure and air pollution are two examples of how the environment that can affect how people age and whether they develop cognitive impairment. Lead in Cleveland is a huge population health issue that contributes to learning disabilities and likelihood of incarceration. Early exposure to lead and other toxins may also affect rates of late-life dementia. Climate change is increasingly leading to droughts, floods, hurricanes, fires and other disasters which disproportionately affect the already economically disadvantaged. Moreover, children and elders are at particular risk from these environmental catastrophes. Hence Age Friendly Communities should be nature friendly. Issues like places to play in nature, planting trees, public transportation, and community energy sources connect the health of children and elders to broader ecological concerns. Individual and population health are clearly but complexly connected to each other and health literacy. Thus Age Friendly Communities that become learning communities for all ages will be more resilient as the ecological and economic challenges continue to intensify in the future.