How to be Healthy When You’re Older – Wojtek Chodzko‑Zajko, William Dale, and Louise Hawkley

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 at Northwestern Baldwin Auditorium.

Everyone gets older. With age comes wisdom, but also a long list of possible age-related health problems. From mobility problems to heart disease, to difficulty hearing and seeing, many people are concerned about what will happen to them as they approach old age.

But does it always have to be this way? Do we really need to have such fear of our golden years? Aging might be inescapable, but it doesn’t mean that our health has to suffer.

In this program, three panelists will talk about the latest research and developments that will help us maintain health and quality of life when we get older. Whether you are worried about your own future, or you have friends or relatives who are getting older, this program will give you information about how to stay healthier for as long as you can.

Wojtek Chodzko‑Zajko is the Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Professor in Applied Health Sciences and Head of the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the past twenty-five years he has focused on the effect of exercise and physical activity on health and quality of life in old age. Chodzko‑Zajko is active in the dissemination of information about healthy aging through his work on several major professional advisory boards. He served on the World Health Organization committee that developed the WHO Guidelines for Physical Activity among Older Persons, and chaired the writing group that authored the American College of Sports Medicine’s Position Stand on Physical Activity and Exercise for Older Adults.

William Dale MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Section Chief of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine at the University of Chicago. He is board-certified in geriatrics and palliative medicine with a PhD in health policy. Dale attended medical and graduate school at University of Chicago, and completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in geriatrics at the University of Pittsburgh. A Beeson Scholar, he serves as the Director of the John A Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatrics at the University of Chicago. Dale has devoted his career to the care of older adults, especially those with a cancer diagnosis. In 2006, He established, and now directs the Specialized Oncology Care & Research in the Elderly (SOCARE) Clinic at the University of Chicago. SOCARE offers interdisciplinary, individualized, and integrated treatment for older cancer patients. Dr Dale is an international speaker, publishing over 90 publications in top journals on geriatric oncology, medical decision making, behavioral economics, quality of life, and frailty assessment in older adults. He and his colleagues have shown the important role emotions like anxiety play in medical decisions for older adults.

Louise Hawkley, a Senior Research Scientist with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, is an internationally recognized expert on loneliness and its health consequences across the adult lifespan. She first pursued this line of research as a Research Scientist in the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago, by studying a sample of middle- to older-age adults enrolled in the longitudinal Chicago Health, Aging, and Social Relations Study. At the NORC since 2013, she has extended this research to older old age by studying adults enrolled in the longitudinal National Social Life, Health and Aging Project. She continues to study risk factors for loneliness with a goal of identifying intervention targets to reduce the prevalence and intensity of lonely feelings in older adults. Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institute on Aging. She has a Ph.D. in Psychophysiology from Ohio State University.

Elizabeth Brackett–moderator currently serves as correspondent and substitute host for WTTW11’s flagship nightly public affairs program Chicago Tonight. Brackett has covered presidential, mayoral and gubernatorial races, Chicago financial exchanges, the Chicago Bulls, local environmental and genetic research stories, to name only a few. She also co-hosted WTTW11’s science series Chicago Tomorrow. Since 1984, she has also served as local correspondent for the PBS program The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Prior to joining WTTW, Elizabeth served as a general assignment reporter for WLS-TV (local ABC affiliate), WGN-TV and Radio and WBBM-TV (local CBS affiliate). Elizabeth has won two Midwest Emmy Awards, two Peter Lisagor Awards for Business Journalism and a National Peabody Award for her television reporting from the 1988 presidential campaign, among others. She is also a four-time world champion triathlete, winning the ITU World Championship in her age group in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. She came in second in the world in 2013.

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