The Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has received a five-year grant of $3.74 million to provide geriatric training.
The funding will provide training for geriatric health care professionals, primary care practitioners, first responders, caregivers, older adults and those who provide services to older adults. Robin McAtee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Geriatrics, leads the collaborative.
“The grant will enhance and expand training and education to improve care for older Arkansans,” McAtee said. “We will address gaps in health care information for older adults and promote age-friendly health systems and dementia friendly communities while working with community-based organizations to assist them to work more effectively with the older adults they serve.”
The collaborative will continue to work with multiple partners at colleges and state universities as well as community-based organizations operating in all regions of Arkansas.
All programs are free to health professionals and the community through funding of the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program grant.
The programs will provide education and training programs covering Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, elder justice, older adults and opioid use/misuse, chronic pain, diabetes management, physical activity/exercise, healthy cooking, and many others.
A variety of methods will be used, including web-based training, live streaming, free continuing education programs, interactive videos, social media health communications, podcasts, storytelling, support groups, caregiver workshops, older adult special topic educational forums and educational print materials.
Other main objectives include working with rural primary care providers to improve their geriatric knowledge and practices and partnering with community leaders to make their communities more age and dementia-friendly.
“Through education and training of faculty and other health professionals practicing and living in rural, medically underserved areas, we can improve the quality of care provided to older adults and the wonderful individuals who tend to them,” said Jeanne Wei, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.