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University of Iowa News Release

June 23, 2003

Upgraded UI Center On Aging Web Site Helps Consumers, Professionals

There are lots of reputable resources available on the web about how to help an aging parent or relative. Likewise, professionals can find ever-increasing online information related to geriatrics, which is the field of aging. But where should a person go to sift through all the information?

The UI Center on Aging web site might be just the place -- staff there have done the leg-work of pulling together information on aging-related issues, health care and other services in Iowa. The center recently updated and added new features to the site, which is at http://www.uiowa.edu/~centrage/.

"We put this information together in one place for consumers and professionals because it was not in one easily accessible location," said Lori Benz, UI program associate for the Center on Aging and one of the web site managers. "Some of the features have been in place for several years, and we've upgraded them. Other features are new -- created in response to inquiries we were getting."

The "Find Geriatricians" link helps people find licensed physicians in the state who earned a certificate of added qualification in geriatrics through their respective medical board, including internal medicine, psychiatry, neurology and family medicine. Users can easily click on a county to see if a geriatrics-certified physician is located in the area. This updated feature includes more than 100 physicians and their current contact information.

While the listing is not an endorsement, Benz said, the feature can be used by Iowans, as well as people living out of state, who seek appropriate care for an older relative living in Iowa. Similarly, a new "State-by-State Resource Locator" link connects users to geriatric resources in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Iowans can access this feature to learn more about handling care needs for relatives living elsewhere in the country.

The "Healthcare Info" section pulls together information about all the geriatric clinical services offered at the UI and UI Hospitals Clinics and Clinics. People can learn, for example, about services offered by the UI Geriatric Assessment Clinic, such as what a typical visit involves and how to contact the clinic.

"Clinical Trials" includes links for medical providers, patients and relatives of older people whose medical problems might be addressed by a study involving older adults at the UI.

"Publications" offers downloadable files that address difficult issues faced by older people and their caregivers. Publications include "When Memory Fades," "Looking for a Nursing Home" and "Travel Guidelines," all of which were written by Geri Hall, Ph.D., a former Center on Aging staff member who now is an associate professor (clinical) in the UI College of Nursing. The "Publications" section also provides links to documents available through Iowa State University Extension.

A new education feature is aimed at students. "Course Offerings" lists all the aging-related courses and specializations offered at the UI -- from disciplines including aging studies, dentistry, medicine, nursing, public health and social work.

A special section "For Professionals" provides resources for clinicians, researchers and policy makers. An expanded searchable database of geriatric assessment tools may be of particular interest to researchers who are designing their own studies on aging. Investigators can enter key terms, such as "depression" and "dementia," to find descriptions of tools that may be useful in their study. The Center on Aging works with the UI Hardin Library for the Health Sciences to offer the database, which has more than 2,500 records.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT: Media: Becky Soglin (writer), 319-335-6660, becky-soglin@uiowa.edu