State University of New York at Oswego

Research Projects

Age Friendly CNY

Why are seniors leaving New York? What can we do to keep the boomer generation in CNY as they age?  The AACE Center is partnering with F.O.C.U.S. of Greater Syracuse on a project called ”Age-Friendly CNY” to identify the factors that influence individuals’ decisions to move as they age.

Migration of boomers out of CNY is a serious economic issue that impacts the tax base and the ability to provide services for those individuals remaining in the community.

AACE Center staff recently conducted a preliminary literature review and have produced an infographic outlining some important concepts in Boomer Migration.

The project involves surveying the community, interviewing key individuals who can inform the project as well as conducting a series of focus groups to hone in and collect more detailed, rich information about specific topics. Final results are expected by September 2014.

Research Domains

Optimizing Health and Well Being

  • Does an aging workforce require different approaches for assessing and implementing Workplace Safety?
  • What new types of therapeutic and preventive mental health care services are needed for older adults?
  • What new forms of large-scale mental health assessment and intervention are needed to allow CNY residents to age healthfully and realize maximum benefit from other infrastructure, interventions and supports while imposing minimum burden to themselves, their families, and society?
  • What new approaches can be used to help seniors effectively obtain and use information about Health Promotion and Wellness to produce measurable and meaningful improvements in their wellbeing?
  • Can robots and other software / technology support the well-being of the elderly; e.g., by reminding them to take their medications, follow a care plan, etc., and also by detecting changes in their behavior, cognitive abilities, or mood that trigger “red flags” for caregivers or care providers?
  • How do seniors’ search behaviors on the Internet support their mental and/or physical health over time?

Supporting independence

  • How should we design decision support systems to recommend care plans which are adapted to older peoples’ individual needs; encompass the design of smart homes and life environment; and are linked to the latest research advances in real time?
  • How would seniors like to use digital technology and what gets in their way?  Can we design and develop applications or other materials to meet their needs?
  • What user interface innovations are needed to enable seniors to (better) use the Internet for social networking, and more generally software tools, devices, and robots?
  • How can forms be re-designed (often a hurdle for particular services or benefits) to improve usability for patients/caregivers?
  • What are the characteristics and needs of Senior Entrepreneurs and how can government and industry work together to support entrepreneurship across generations?
  • What can we learn by collecting and documenting the stories of aging?

Promoting Social and Civic Engagement

  • How can social media be used to augment and enhance links between seniors, caregivers, family members, care practitioners, support groups and others in their communities?
  • Can we identify changes in online behavior or expression that should raise “red flags” for caregivers?
  • How can social networks assist caregivers either by providing social support or by supporting their decision-making through links with pertinent advice based on the latest research?
  • What changes are occurring to multiple generational families and what types of new services are required?
  • What opportunities exist for getting SUNY Oswego students civically engaged with aging related issues?

Addressing Basic Needs

  • How can/should seniors plan financially given changes in the political, social and medical landscapes?
  • How should academia, government and industry work together to increase public awareness of and demand for products and services that will allow seniors to live fuller and more independent lives; e.g., CAPS program?
  • What is SUNY Oswego’s role in providing training to help students (and community members) to optimize products, designs and services for the aging?
  • What are the information seeking characteristics of older people; for example, in using the Internet? By analyzing web logs and their Internet usage traces, can we find patterns of behavior characteristic of older people?  Are changes in usage patterns “red flags” or indicative of changes in mental or physical health and wellbeing?
  • Can robots be designed to carry out conversations with older people as well help them with some chores or activities? Can robots help / train them to use technology & social media?



CNY Geriatric Mental Health Environmental Scan

The AACE Center is partnering with IMPARA to conduct a needs assessment of geriatric mental health services in 8 counties in CNY.  Using key informant interviews, we are identifying current mental health services available to older adults and barriers to utilizing existing services.  Information collected in Onondaga and Oswego counties was presented at the Aging in Focus: Geriatric Mental Health Forum held November 12, 2013.  Funded by the Community Health Foundation for Western and Central New York.