State University of New York at Oswego

Upcoming Senior Walk July 29th

Wednesday Walk for Seniors, Families, & Friends!


The Active Aging and Community Engagement (AACE) Center has joined with a number of other local organizations to sponsor the downtown Wednesday Walks, bi-weekly downtown walking tours with themes, such as downtown murals and downtown parks. The other sponsors of the Wednesday Walks are the Downtown Committee, Cornell University Cooperative Extension Onondaga County, American Heart Association, Metro Fitness, City of Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department, Onondaga Civic Development Corporation, the Downtown YMCA, and Fleet Feet Sports.


On July 29, 2015, the SUNY Oswego Metro Center and its partners are sponsoring a special Seniors and Friends Walk, which features a performance by the Stan Colella All-Star Jazz Ensemble in Armory Square.  According to Danielle Masursky, the AACE Center’s Associate Director, “Our Seniors and Friends walk is a wonderful opportunity for older adults to discover the many charms of the downtown area, as well as meet other active adults.”


The walk will begin in Downtown Syracuse, on the Clinton St side of Clinton Square (by the Jerry Rescue Monument), at 12 noon. After a short (less than 1 mile) tour of some of the downtown parks, the group will stop at Shot Clock Park, in front of Starbucks, at the corner Franklin and Walton Streets, to listen to the band play.


All the walks, including the Seniors and Friends Walk, are completely free and open to the public. Some downtown businesses are providing discounts and coupons for walkers, and all participants in the Seniors and Friends Walk will receive a free gift – a pedometer provided by the SUNY Oswego Metro Center.


For information about the Seniors and Friends Walk, contact Danielle Masursky, 399-4100

For information about the Wednesday Walk, visit their website:\wednesdaywalks

For information about the Stan Colella Jazz Ensemble, visit their Facebook page:

For information about this and other events in Armory Square, visit their website:

For information about this and other downtown events, visit the website of the Syracuse Parks and Rec Department:


Wednesday Walks Schedule

Syracuse is a vibrant city with an abundance of things to do and see-even on your lunch break!

Step away from your desk, get some exercise, and enjoy the sunshine during a Wednesday Walk!

July 22nd Downtown Parks
July 29th Downtown Parks (Senior Day)
August 5th Murals
August 19th Parking Garages
September 2nd Meeting Spaces
September 16th Architecture Tour
September 30th Meeting Spaces
October 14th Parking Garages

Follow us on Twitter at @metrocenter for more information!

National Senior Health & Fitness Day

SUNY Oswego’s Active Aging and Community Engagement (AACE) Center in the Downtown Syracuse Metro Center joined hundreds of local groups to celebrate the 22nd Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day (NSHFD) on May 27th, 2015.

As an official host site, the AACE Center held a Senior Fitness Fair. Participants were part of thousands of seniors across the country choosing an active, healthy lifestyle through physical fitness, good nutrition, and preventive care.

The Fitness Fair was held in the Atrium Building, in Downtown Syracuse, on Clinton Square, in SUNY Oswego’s Metro Center, from 12 noon to 2 pm. Many local organizations and businesses were there, providing information about healthy living and handing out free samples. There were also several door prizes.

The AACE Center plans to hold this event annually, and to have another event in the fall for National Women’s Fitness Day on September 30.

Innovation Event for Careers in Aging Week (April 6 – 10, 2015)

by Kim Armani Over 75 students, faculty, and community members met at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center, located in downtown Syracuse, for a luncheon, panel discussion, and networking event about regional entrepreneurship and innovation opportunities related to the aging demographic as part of Careers n Aging Week, an annual event sponsored by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE).  The panel featured Rob Simpson, CenterState CEO; Andrew Maxwell, Syracuse Office for Innovation; David Eilers, Life Reimagined Institute, AARP; Indu Gupta, MD, Onondaga Co Health Commissioner; and Seth Mulligan, Innovation Services, Tech Garden. The highlight of the day was a contest where participants presented their “big, new ideas” for products and services to meet the needs of aging Baby Boomers.  The contest was judged by a panel of local experts, including Brian McLane, award-winning disabilities activist and Startegic Advisor to Syracuse University’s Inclusive Campus Initiative; Paul Beyer, the State Director of Smart Growth Planning; Laura Brown, professor of Human Development and Gerontology at SUNY Oswego; and JoAnn Spoto Decker, the Onondaga County Director of Community Services and Long-term Care.   Three winners received $100 prizes, which were provided by FOCUS Greater Syracuse, SUNY Oswego’s Active Aging and Community Engagement Center, and the Syracuse Homebuilders Association.

Older women in fashion magazines

When a woman reaches a certain age, it is expected of them to dress and behave in a certain way. Many people think older woman are not supposed to be noticed in or wear revealing clothing.

This spring, Dolce & Gabbana decided to include older women in their fiesta-themed ad campaign, and it has generated substantial commentary.

Not just for kids... Another image from the spring 2015 campaign shows them carrying what appear to be Dolce & Gabbana Barbie dolls in satin-lined boxes

If you see women at all in ad campaigns or fashion spreads, you most often see them in white sneakers, roomy pants, and a nice blouse.

The D&G campaign shows older women in a different form . These ads show us that older women can still have confidence, personality, and style. We hope that this ad campaign confirms that an older population isn’t expected to dress a particular way.

Senior style: The new Dolce & Gabbana ads show a trio of grandmothers clutching heavily-embellished purses while wearing gold tiaras and red carnations in their hair

When I saw this ad I could only think about my grandmother who passed away a while back. She was extremely beautiful and a model throughout her life. As she got older, she still wore bright red lipstick, curled her hair, and wore younger clothing. I believe she did this because it made her feel better about her age and I always admired her confidence.

This ad isn’t showing that older women should wear lingerie in public. They want to show that older women can keep their fashion sense as they age. Older women shouldn’t be expected to cover up everything – why should they? Why should anyone have to blend in or fade away after a certain age? I believe that style, and how you carry yourself, is how a woman shows her personality. Style is ageless!

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

By Kyleigh Kinney

US migration tracked in annual study

by Jency Holden

United Van Lines, the moving company, tracks migration statistics throughout the United States and publishes an annual report on trends (2014 was the 38th annual study).

In 2014, 64% of household moves that occurred in New York were outbound, meaning that more people are leaving New York State than are coming in (NY was second highest “moving deficit” state, following NJ with 65% and followed by Connecticut with 57%).

“We’ve been tracking the number of inbound and outbound domestic moves for nearly four decades, and through our data are able to identify the most and least popular states for residential relocation year after year. This year we also surveyed customers to determine why they were relocating,” said Melissa Sullivan, director of marketing communications at United Van Lines.

Why are people migrating away from the Northeast, and, more importantly, is there a way to change this trend?

In the survey, United Van Lines found the Northeast region had the highest number of people leaving for retirement, with more than one in four respondents indicating retirement as the reason for relocation.

“With economic stability growing nationally, the current migration patterns reflect longer-term trends of movement to the southern and western states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate,and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In Syracuse, we may not have the ability to change the weather, but we can make our city and our region more accommodating.

Do you plan to leave the Syracuse area when you retire? What would make you stay?

What would you like to see changed in Syracuse or the surrounding townships to make the area more “livable” for people of all ages?

By Jency Holden

What to call those who are aging?

by Jency Holden

Since what seems like the beginning of time, we have called individuals 60 years old and above “senior citizens” or “elders.” As baby boomers begin to reach this age, that terminology is no longer accepted.

Judith Graham, in her NY Times Blog, The New Old Age, discussed the issue in a post on April 19, 2012.

She talks with several knowledgeable professionals, including the head of a targeted marketing company, who notes that no one wants to think of themselves as “old.”

Ms Graham also notes that companies that service people in these age ranges are beginning to remove any form of age-specific details from their names, and are no longer using age as an identifier. For example, the education organization previously called Elderhostel has changed its name to Road Scholar.

If we shouldn’t call older adults “senior citizens,” how should we be addressing them?

One option that is acceptable to many is “older people” or “older adults.” This identifies them as people who are beyond middle-age, but not in poor health (which is often the association with the term “elderly”).

This isn’t a perfect solution.

What do you think? What term(s) would you like to hear used? What term(s) annoy you?


CIAW Innovation Event on WRVO

Central New York will need to innovate and come up with new ideas about how to address the needs of its senior population. That was the message of a forum held to discuss how to shape an age-friendly region.

The two groups recently participated in a year-long study “that looked at issues that were problematic to boomers or helped them age better,” said Kim Armani, executive director of SUNY’s aging center.

Armani said the number one issue that residents identified was transportation, particularly accessibility.

Andrew Maxwell, director of the Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency says Syracuse should look at other cities as examples to improve transportation.

“Well I think if you look around the country, you look at other communities and you see what they’re doing with their public transportation systems there are a few keys to making it successful — cleanliness, safety, reliability,” said Maxwell. “And I know those are the things we as a community are focused on and the leadership at CENTRO continue to be focused on.”

Maxwell says accessibility is the key.

“So that requires investment. That requires people to be engaged and brought in to express to CENTRO and the community at large to what’s needed to make the system as accessible as possible,” said Maxwell.

Armani says winter weather also hinders transportation accessibility.

Chuckie Holstein, the executive director of FOCUS, is encouraging senior citizens to reach out and express their ideas of what improvements they want in the community. She says central New York has “always been a creative community.”

Death at 75?

by Kyleigh Kinney

In the article “Why I hope To Die at 75” by Dr Ezekiel Emanuel published in The Atlantic Magazine in September of 2014, he reveals the reasons he believes living past 75 is unnecessary.

We live in a society where the goal is to utilize the medical system and be around as long as possible for our families. Dr. Emanuel argues that health care has not slowed down the aging process so much as it has slowed the dying process. Dr. Emanuel cites current statistics to demonstrate his point. For example, the average life expectancy has not progressed much past age 75, despite many medical advances. The question is: is he being irrational?

“At age 75, we reach that unique, albeit somewhat arbitrarily chosen, moment when we have lived a rich and complete life,” states Dr. Emanuel. There comes an age where many people ask themselves whether their contribution is greater than their consumption of resources.

Dr. Emanuel wants to be remembered in his prime, as most of us would. He would like his children to remember him as independent, not as a burden. Personally, if I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I would not want to extend my life. I would like to be remembered in my prime, just as Dr. Emanuel would.

We have developed cures to many acute conditions, and have continued researching ways to prolong our lives. However, the longer one lives, the higher the chance of developing conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Emanuel notes, “Right now, approximately 5 million Americans over 65 have Alzheimer’s; one in three Americans 85 and older has Alzheimer’s. And the prospect of that changing in the next few decades is not good.”

Funding for mental disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia is very minimal compared to other diseases. I actually wrote a research paper on Alzheimer’s disease last semester. I remember learning that Alzheimer’s research only received roughly $500 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health last year, while cancer received more than $5 billion. Breast cancer alone received more funding than Alzheimer’s, at about $700 million.

Dr. Emanuel stresses that more funding and research is needed for mental disorders, and I agree completely. He states, “A second policy implication relates to biomedical research. We need more research on Alzheimer’s, the growing disabilities of old age, and chronic conditions—not on prolonging the dying process.”

Dr. Emanuel reserved the right to change his mind if, and only if, he is still creative after the age of 75. Imagine a world where everyone thought like this. Would there be an improvement in the healthcare system? Is this belief that 75 is the age to die a reasonable belief or is it absurd that he doesn’t want to take any extra precautions to extend his life?

Take a look at the article and post your own response in the comment section:

Mental Health and Successful Aging


February 13, 2015

A Community Comes Together to Prioritize QUALITY OF LIFE AND ECONOMIC VITALITY FOR CNY

SYRACUSE, NY—Stigma, stereotypes, and misperceptions. Cost, transportation, and mobility barriers to service access. Housing and other supports misaligned to the need. Vastly inadequate workforce and training. Systemic obstacles to the collaborations necessary to providing effective care in a highly complex arena. Underfunded priorities. Technology from, well, pre-tech days.

Aside from issues like these, nothing is preventing the Central New York region from tackling one of its most recalcitrant problems: the mental health of the region’s most vulnerable citizens – those over 60 – that safeguards them and the fabric of the society of which they will soon constitute some 20 percent.

On Feb. 23, from 8 a.m. – 4:40 p.m. at Hutchings Psychiatric Center, a broad regional coalition of individuals and agencies from a variety of disciplines and sectors will take the next step to reversing decades of on-again off-again attention to a key determinant of individual and societal well-being. The regional Geriatric Mental Health Initiative expects to welcome more than 150 people to its Phase 2 Action Planning Conference to systematically address the mental health needs of older citizens in Central New York. To feature best practice presentations by national expert Dr. Stephen Bartels from Dartmouth Medical School and summary reporting on the organizers’ CNY Needs Assessment study, the key activity of the day-long event will be facilitated working group discussions aimed at producing a set of strategic goals and action on the following topics:

  • Developing alternative home- and community-based services
  • Building a qualified mental health workforce
  • Integrating mental and physical health
  • Engaging political leaders and government agencies

“The American Geriatrics Society estimates that by 2030, there will be less than 1 geriatric psychiatrist to treat every 6,000 older adults with mental health and substance-use disorders,” said Judith Huober, Director of IMPARA: the Rodney and Marjorie Fink Institute at Menorah Park for Applied Research on Aging, one of the lead organizations behind the event. “Our region, even more dramatically underserved than the national norm, can congratulate itself that we are coming together to advance wellness strategies that keep the needs as low as possible, to eliminate silos and create interdisciplinary collaborations, and to enhance the capacity of a diversified workforce, as well as to position ourselves to advocate for governmental and funding policies that facilitate both prevention and treatment.”

Good mental health is a prerequisite to successful aging, according to current models, and the absence of behavioral and emotional wellness in later life is neither normal nor inevitable, according to psychiatrist Nanette Dowling, D.O., M.H.P.A., of Upstate Medical University and Hutchings Psychiatric Center.

“Society’s cost of caring for older adults with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disturbances rises as high as 250% of the usual expense, already high, of health care in later life,” Dowling said.

“Most of all, it’s the quality of life for CNY’s seniors that drives our Initiative,” said Kim Armani, Ph.D., founding Director of SUNY Oswego’s Active Aging and Community Engagement Center (AACE), anothher of the lead organizations. “We all stand to benefit – family and friends; providers; the community; and seniors who will ultimately lead more rewarding and enjoyable lives through early recognition and treatment of depression and anxiety as well as the development of a collaborative community network for dealing with these issues more holistically.”

Spearheaded by the AACE Center, IMPARA, the Department of Psychiatry at Upstate Medical University and the Hutchings Psychiatric Center, the Geriatric Mental Health Initiative kicked off in October 2013 with an awareness-building educational conference, keynoted by Dr. Bartels and attended by close to 200 interested professionals and private citizens from across the region.

As the core organizers carried out a needs assessment study funded by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, key stakeholders came together as a Steering Committee from a broad cross-section across the CNY region including clinicians, academics, government and public policy experts, and aging and social services professionals, to help the Initiative move from its awareness building / education and data collection / analysis phases into the strategic planning phase that begins at the Feb. 23 conference.

The Initiative’s outside mentor and repeat keynote speaker for the Action Planning Conference is Stephen Bartels, M.D., M.S., a nationally-recognized geriatric psychiatrist who is the Herman O. West Professor of Geriatrics, Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Community & Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, and Professor of Health Policy at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. He is the Director of Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging where he oversees the Dartmouth Center for Aging Research, the Northern New England Geriatric Education Center, and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Aging Resource Center.

Bartels’s research has focused on developing, testing, and implementing interventions as related to the intersection between physical and mental disorders in older adults, including health care management, health promotion interventions for obesity in adults with mental disorders, integration of mental health and primary care, self-management, applied use of telehealth technology for co-occurring physical and mental health disorders, shared decision-making, community-based implementation research, and evidence-based geriatric psychiatry. Preparing the future healthcare workforce for older adults with mental disorders is another key concern driving his teaching, research, and national advocacy.

Bartels will be joined by John Toner, EdD, PHD, and Mark Nathanson, M.D., co-Directors of the Statewide Geriatric Psychiatry Residency/Fellowship Program at the Columbia University Stroud Center, who will co-facilitate the workforce issues work group. Steering Committee members also facilitating are Maria Brown, Ph.D., of Syracuse University’s Aging Studies Institute in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, and Michael Massurin, of At Home Independent Living, who will co-facilitate the group addressing community-based issues and solutions; Mat Roosa, ACSW, LCSW-R, Director of Planning and Quality Improvement for the Onondaga County Department of Adult and Long Term Care Services, and Christine Decker, Program Coordinator of The Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center Project of the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute, who will co-facilitate the group looking at the integration of physical and mental health care; and Robert Feldman, Ph.D., Vice President for Clinic Services at Liberty Resources will pair up with local luminary Chuckie Holstein, Director of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse, to lead the policy-related group.

IMPARA is located on the Menorah Park campus at 4101 East Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13214. The AACE Center is one of SUNY Oswego’s research centers and is housed at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center at 2 Clinton Square, Syracuse, NY 13202. The Upstate Medical University Department of Psychiatry is at 713 Harrison St., Syracuse, NY 13210; and Hutchings main office is at 620 Madison St., Syracuse, NY 13210.

The John Ben Snow Foundation provided funding supporting the conference and other activities of IMPARA’s BeWell Initiative: Behavioral and Emotional Wellness Empowers Later Life. Event registration is required.