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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 13, 2006

UI To Host Rural Aging Conference Oct. 3

The University of Iowa Center on Aging will host the 2006 Rural Aging Conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, in room 2117 of the UI Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF). The conference will consider the implications of the aging baby boomers in rural Iowa against the backdrop of changing rural society.

Graham D. Rowles, Ph.D., social geographer and director of the University of Kentucky Graduate Center for Gerontology, will be the keynote speaker. He will address, "Aging Boomers in Changing Rural Environments: Perspectives from the Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative (KERI)."

KERI is a two-year project that seeks to enhance awareness and stimulate development of local grassroots initiatives to address the implications of the aging baby boomers. In 2006, the first of 83 million American baby boomers will turn 60 years old. The conference will examine opportunities and challenges the trend will bring to rural Iowa.

Other conference presentations will address rural elder issues including mental health problems; community and housing concerns; using telemedicine to improve access to mental health care; and legal issues.

Speakers will include experts in gerontology, human development and family studies from Iowa State University, professionals in health management, policy and psychiatry from the UI, and a specialist in gerontological law from the Iowa Legal Aid.

The conference requires pre-registration and is open to all, including students, the general public, researchers and clinicians. The event fee is $30 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. For event information and registration, contact Julie Bobitt at or 319-384-4222, or visit the UI Center on Aging Web site at

Following the conference, participants are invited to hear Rowles give the Joe L. Parkin Memorial Lecture on Aging, titled, "The Meaning of Home in Rural America," at 4 p.m. in the Dr. Prem Sahai Auditorium of MERF. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Rural Aging Conference is hosted by the UI Center on Aging, the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and the Iowa Consortium of Aging Programs (ICAP). ICAP members include the UI, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Des Moines University and Wartburg College. Other conference sponsors include the UI School of Social Work, the UI Aging Studies Program and the John A. Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence in the UI College of Nursing.

The Parkin Lecture is made possible through an endowment established by the Retirement Research Foundation of Chicago in memory of Joseph Parkin, a former president of the foundation who attended the UI.

The UI Center on Aging fosters and supports interdisciplinary research, education and service throughout the campus and state to improve understanding of the aging process and the health and well being of older people.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032,