News (February 2006)
USC Fall Prevention Center Sends Three Representatives to The International Conference On Aging, Disability and Independence in St. Petersburg, Florida, February 1-5, 2006
By Athan Bezaitis
The International Conference on Aging, Disability and Independence (ICADI) was held in St. Petersburg, Florida from February 1 – 5, 2006. The aim of the conference was to help people around the world to maintain their independence by practicing healthy behaviors and health promotion activities as they age. Symposiums were presented on the use of assistive technology, home modifications, products that follow the principles of universal design and successfully adapting the workplace environment. The event brought together researchers, practitioners, business leaders and aging policy experts from all over the world.
Attending from the University of Southern California’s Fall Prevention Center, were Debra Rose, PhD, professor of kinesiology at Cal State Fullerton, John Pynoos, PhD, UPS Foundation Professor of Gerontology, Policy, Planning and Development and Maria Henke, MA, program manager, at the Fall Prevention Center.
The three representatives led a symposium entitled, “Building An Infastructure to Prevent Falls: The Fall Prevention Center of Excellence.” Kicking off the presentation, Mrs. Henke and Dr. Pynoos opened with a discussion entitled, “Speaking With One Voice: The Challenge of a Collective Effort to Prevent Falls.” Their presentation offered strategies to professionals and organizations to unify their fall prevention efforts into collective action with specific goals and outcomes. The second presentation, given by Dr. Pynoos and Dr. Rose, was entitled, “Translating Research into Practice: Building Community-Based Fall Prevention Programs that Work.” They covered the past ten years of research, which demonstrates the need for fall prevention programs that are multifactrial in nature and address the factors that contribute to heightened fall risk. The third presentation, given by Dr. Pynoos alone, was entitled, “It Takes a Village: Building State-Wide Capacity to Address Falls.” He discussed efforts to build a comprehensive fall prevention system throughout the state of California.
Dr. Pynoos, who is also the director of the National Resource Center of Supportive Housing and Home Modifications at the USC Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, also gave several other presentations. On Wedensday morning, February 1, Dr. Pynoos gave a lecture entitled, “Toward a National Housing Policy for Aging in Place.” On Thursday, at the International Symposium on Home Modifications Policy and Practice, Dr. Pynoos gave another dissertation entitled, “Into the Spotlight: Home Modification Policy and Programs in the United States.” His speech described a number of initiatives over the last decade intended to increase funding for home modifications. On Friday, February 3, Dr. Pynoos joined Danise Levine, assistant director at the IDEA Center, and Richard C. Duncan, senior project manager of the Center for Universal Design, for a presentation entitled, “Building Universal Design Demonstration Homes in Your Community.” Their presentation provided examples of existing demonstration homes and strategies for getting demonstration homes built in other communities.
“Jon (Dr. Pynoos) was really all over the place!” said Henke. “His work made a real impact at ICADI and offered great exposure to the work being done at the USC Fall Prevention Center and the Andrus Gerontology Center.”