Association for Anthropology and Gerontology The aging experience is not the same for everyone. Anthropologists and Gerontologists are interested in the exploration and understanding of aging within and across the diversity of human cultures. Su Yeon Lee I am Su Yeon Lee, with the Department of Mental Health in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I research how older Korean immigrants think about depression and how they seek help. I use anthropology as a tool to understand how older Koreans experience depression and how they seek help for it. I do this by collecting their experiences and listening to their stories before suggesting policy recommendations. Only after we hear their voice can we provide culturally tailored and effective mental health services for racial/ethnic minorities. ~ Su Yeon Lee AAGE-Our perspective is holistic, comparative, and international. Jay Sokolovsky, PhD I am a Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. I have studied how people age and think about aging in a Mexican peasant village, New York's inner-city, Tampa, Florida, the new town of Columbia, Maryland and in urban neighborhoods in Croatia and England. Comparing these experiences helps us to understand how beliefs, politics, economics, and physical environments can change how people experience aging. My most recent work has documented the role of older adults in New York City’s community garden movement. I produced an ethnographic video “Urban Garden: Fighting for Life and Beauty.” Janelle J. Christensen I am Janelle J. Christensen and I am an Anthropologist working at Alzheimer’s Community Care, in Florida. I have been using participant observation, along with surveys and interviews, to learn about family caregivers living with someone with dementia. My goal was to understand how these families prepare and respond to hurricanes. I spent a year volunteering in specialized adult day centers, learning about how to care for people with dementia and listening to caregivers’ experiences. I found that caregivers are more likely to have problems during disasters during the earlier stages of the disease. I can now provide caregivers with suggestions for better hurricane preparation and safety. Jason Danely, PhD Lori L. Jervis, PhD Philip B. Stafford, PhD I study the experiences of older adults by using ethnography. Ethnography is the essential field method used by anthropologists. It helps us achieve an “insider’s view” of life and experience that is not possible through other methods. This is invaluable if public policy is to be informed by empathy. I have been using this method to inform urban planning and develop elder-friendly communities for the past 30 years. While my work remains focused on the daily experiences (lifeworld) of older adults, I have been fortunate to maintain contact with kids through a community-based class that brings Indiana University anthropology students to our local Public Housing neighborhood.
~Philip B. Stafford "Are you a grandmother?"Jay Sokolovsky conducting an informal interview in Mexico. I am Lori Jervis and I work in the area of mental health and aging at the Department of Anthropology and Center for Applied Social Research at the University of Oklahoma. My anthropological background has helped me to work successfully with people needing services, family caregivers, and health care professionals, regardless of their cultural background. I research topics such as dementia, elder mistreatment, and mental health care in rural areas in the US, mostly among American Indians. I am Jason Danely, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Rhode Island College. My research looks at the way older Japanese people cope with losing someone they love through religious practices and spiritual beliefs. Anthropologists are able to make connections between individual experiences and global processes. This helps me to link individuals' experiences with aging, loss, and grief, to how the rest of the world responds. ~ Jason Danely Check out http://agingindiana.wordpress.com/See the full transcript