Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine

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Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care

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Center on Aging and Behavioral Research

The mission of the newly established Center on Aging and Behavioral Research at Weill Cornell Medicine, directed by Dr. Sara J. Czaja is to enhance the quality of life for older adults and their families and address the current and emerging challenges of aging through research, education and services to our community. Dr. Czaja and her team are developing and testing innovative strategies and interventions that strive to keep older adults independent and engaged, socially, intellectually and professionally. 

The Center has a commitment to serving diverse and underserved populations. Unique features of the Center are a multidisciplinary approach to the issues of aging and the integration of technology as a mechanism to bring services and programs to older adults.

An intregal part of the Center for Aging and Behavioral Resarch is the Center for Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). CREATE is a multi-site, multidisciplinary Center funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA) that involves collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology and Florida State University. CREATE, originally funded in 1999, is dedicated to studying issues surrounding interactions between older adults and technology. The overarching goal of CREATE is to ensure that current and future generations of older adults are able to successfully use technology and the benefits of technology are realized for older adult populations. The focus of CREATE is on technology systems within the domains of health, work and living environments.

For more information, contact Adrienne Jaret at 646-962-7153 or adj2012@med.cornell.edu.

Current projects currently in the recruitment process at Weill Cornell Medicine:

A Non-pharmacological Intervention for Patients with Alzheimer s disease and Family Caregivers  Care Partners

This innovative study, funded by NIH, will develop and test the efficacy and feasibility of a dyadic-based intervention (DT) program, delivered through state-of-the art computer technology (laptop). A novel feature of the investigation is its focus on both the early stage family caregiver and the patient with AD and the integration of an augmented evidenced-based caregiver intervention and evidenced-based cognitive/functional training for the patient. Hispanic, African American and White/Caucasian dyads will be enrolled in the project across the five boroughs. If eligible, participants will be compensated and get to keep the laptop.

Financial Capacity and Financial Exploitation (FE) in Diverse Older Adult Populations  

This study is a longitudinal prospective study of multiple types of FE in a diverse sample of older adults (including African-American and Hispanic older adults). Examination of pathways to FE among the oldest old and in large ethnically diverse samples in a longitudinal design; inclusion of detailed cognitive function, financial skills/advice and support, and psychosocial factors; use of simulations of “real world” financial tasks and scam scenarios; and use of audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (A-CASI) to enhance privacy/reduce potential barriers to reporting FE are innovative and can inform interventions to help detect, prevent, and reduce FE in older adults. If eligible, the participant will be compensated.

A Personalized Health Behavior System to Promote Well-Being in Older Adults   Fittle Silver

The objectives of this NIH funded study are to examine the usability and efficacy, for diverse older adults, of a new tablet-based intervention, the Fittle Silver System (FSS), that will provide: personalized behavior-change programs for improved diet and increased physical activity and online social interaction and support. The participants in this study will include a total of 213 older adults aged 65+ years (71 in each of three ethnic groups: White American, Hispanic and Black/African American) who are socially isolated and at risk for cardiovascular disease. If eligible, participants will be compensated and get to keep the tablet.

A Personalized Reminder & Information Management System to support older adults with MCI

This study builds on CREATE’s ongoing PRISM 2.0 study and will involve evaluating the feasibility and usability of the PRISM 2.0 system for individuals with early amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI). The PRISM 2.0 system is a specially designed software system (designed by the CREATE team), which is intended to enhance cognitive and social engagement, knowledge of and access to resources, and provide memory aids and support. The PRISM 2.0 builds on the PRISM 1.0 system, which was successful in enhancing social support, wellbeing, and decreasing isolation among older adults at risk for social isolation. If eligible, participants will be compensated and get to keep the tablet.

Elder Abuse

The Division is internationally renowned for its expertise in the field of elder abuse and neglect and the NYC Elder Abuse Center is a project of the Division.

Division faculty bring scientific rigor to the study of elder abuse and neglect and numerous studies have been conducted on risk factors for abuse, prevalence and outcomes of mistreatment.

The Division’s research spans the elder justice field, including:

  • Domestic elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, involving family members, paid or informal care providers, or other individuals.
  • Elder abuse and neglect occurring in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living, or other short-or long-term care facilities.
  • Crime committed against older people in the community.
  • Self-neglect in older adults.

Palliative Care

The Division's innovative palliative care research encompasses both health care and community settings. Research initiatives are directed towards developing new models of palliative care delivery in patient populations that have historically not had access to palliative care, e.g., patients receiving hemodialysis. The Division works actively with various homecare agencies to understand and develop improved models of delivery in palliative and end-of-life care. These efforts include developing educational curriculum for diverse provider groups. Palliative care research is galvanized with robust partnerships with community agencies and organizations.

The Translational Research Institute for Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL) 

TRIPLL is an NIA-funded Edward R. Roybal center with a focus on the prevention and management of chronic pain in older adults. The TRIPLL Center fosters collaboration between investigators at Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell-Ithaca, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Hospital for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) and Council of Senior Centers & Service of NYC, Inc.

TRIPLL’s mission is to improve the prevention and management of pain in later life, thereby increasing the health and well-being of older adults. This mission is accomplished by working towards the following goals:

  • To build evidence-based pain prevention, reduction and management practices, treatments and interventions.
  • To extend research-based knowledge into diverse communities and disciplines.
  • To develop and translate research-based methods, tools and strategies that facilitate successful translation of evidence into practice.
  • To develop and maintain an effective infrastructure for conducting translational research on aging and pain in NYC.

TRIPLL faculty and staff are currently working on a variety of research studies.

 Examples include:

  • A pilot study focused on examining whether mobile health technology can improve outcomes in adults with chronic non-cancer pain.
  • A pilot study focused on the use of a mobile phone sensor application to help users identify and track their daily physical activity patterns.
  • A project geared at understanding communication and treatment planning among older adults experiencing chronic non-cancer pain. 
  • A needs assessment study focused on understanding the palliative care needs of older adults in the East and Central Harlem communities and a second study focused on establishing the feasibility of implementing a palliative care training protocol for community-based case managers in NYC. Both projects are being done in partnership with the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College and Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. 

To learn about ways to collaborate on our research projects, intern, volunteer or for more information, visit http://tripll.org/

Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medicine New York, NY