ASU professor discusses healthy aging
Aug. 16, 2022
The Center for Innovation in Healthy and Resilient Aging at ASU serves a great need in Arizona. They are conducting research on aging and caregivers and are getting the community involved. To teach us more about the this is ASU Center for Innovation in Healthy and Resilient Aging, Prof. David Coon.
The Center for Innovation in Healthy and Resilient Aging
The Healthy and Resilient Aging at ASU launched in 2019 and was created for the university to address aging and bring this topic to the forefront as our population continues growing older.
According to the Administration for Community Living, In 2019, there were 54.1 million people age 65 and older (up from 39.6 million in 2009). This population is projected to reach 80.8 million by 2040 and 94.7 million by 2060.
The center offers seed funding for researchers to pilot projects that address all different aspects of aging whether it be social, behavioral or physical. It also serves as a connector and place to bring together the community, researchers, postdoctoral and international fellows, and students.
Dr. Coon’s Research
Age is the single biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s or related dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s latest data, Arizona will have the greatest proportional increase of people living with Alzheimer’s disease over the age of 65 between now and 2025 of any state in the U.S.
This means that there will be an even greater need for caregivers and those caregivers will need support and resources.
Arizona Alzheimer’s/Dementia Caregiver stats in 2021
o About 257,000 unpaid caregivers
o Estimated 501 million hours of unpaid care
o Translates to approximately $9 billion if they were paid.
Nationwide that number jumps to 11 million Americans providing unpaid care just for people living with Alzheimer’s or related Dementia. It’s a role almost all step into without any medical, direct care, or care coordination background — and as a result, they feel ill-prepared. That, coupled with the financial and emotional toll of taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, can lead to incredibly stressful situations.
This is why Dr. Coon’s research focused on caregivers is so important. He’s developed a number of evidence-based interventions with input from the communities impacted that have been deployed locally, regionally and nationally to support caregivers with a specific focus on diverse populations, delivering information in English and Spanish.
Current projects include:
- EPIC – Early-Stage Partners in Care focuses on people in the early stages of dementia and their care partner. Unique approach as it includes both the caregiver and their loved one and focuses on hearing the voice of the early-stage partner in terms of care values and future care preferences.
- CarePRO – Caring Partners Reaching Out, is a group-based intervention that teaches caregivers self-care skills and strategies to reduce their stressors and related distress while enhancing positive coping and emotional well-being. The group format helps to reduce social isolation, and caregivers can support one another in the strategies they learn and practice. Caregivers often enter the program overwhelmed with their situations and have the opportunity to learn from the group as well as through individualized calls with trained caregiver coaches.
To get involved or learn more about Dr. Coon’s work
Email: [email protected]
David Coon’s Background
According to his bio, Coon is associate dean of research initiatives, support, and engagement and professor in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU. He also serves as the director of the Center for Innovation in Healthy & Resilient Aging. After receiving his Ph.D. from Stanford University, he was the associate director of the Older Adult Center of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and the Stanford University School of Medicine and research scientist at UCSF/Mt. Zion Institute on Aging.
- Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Stanford University 1996
- M.Ed. University of Oklahoma 1983
- B.A. Foreign Service/Public Affairs, with Distinction, University of Oklahoma 1980
- B.A. Linguistics/Cross-cultural Communication, Highest Honors 1980