Healthy Aging Research Roadshow Brings Learning, Opportunities and Fun to Chaffee County This Friday!

After months of preparation, the free Healthy Aging Research Roadshow will be open 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Chaffee County this Friday, May 17th, marking the first time a Research Roadshow is offered in this part of Colorado.

Developed in partnership with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Chaffee County Public Health, the Research Roadshow connects directly with the local passion for healthy aging and getting involved. Research Roadshow attendees can get resources for everything from cancer screenings to emergency go-kits. For example, participants will have a chance to get a free hearing screening and information about how to access hearing aids affordably, if needed. There will be two free presentations, including CU Anschutz Cancer Center’s Dr. Jan Lowery and Douglas “Bucky” Dilts, a former Bronco and CU Anschutz Older Adult Research Specialist. A Caregiver’s Hub provides resources for those that help support others. A Research Hub helps Chaffee County residents find research studies of interest for which they can volunteer.

Tanya Mann is an Older Adult Research Specialist with CU Anschutz and is coordinating the show along with Molly Bischoff from Chaffee County Public Health. “Research Roadshows are not just incredible opportunities to learn and to make a difference. They are about connections. You might meet some new people or learn about new programs. You run into old friends and meet neighbors. You learn about what people are doing in your own community and in research institutions around Colorado. Most importantly, these events are fun,” says Mann.

Part of that fun comes from the free food: Coffee by Topo and Little Red Hen Bakery will provide refreshments throughout the morning. Kalamatapit will bring healthy choices for lunch, and Blue Truck Ice Cream tops things off at the end of the day. Additionally, Miles of Smiles will be showing off its trishaw, a comfortable front-riding wheeled cart connected to a bicycle, and for which older adults can book rides powered by a trained cyclist. Elevated Voices will share how music and singing can reach those with Alzheimer’s, and Dance PD offers opportunities for those with Parkinson’s to enjoy dancing.

Research Roadshows are not only fun, but impactful. Older adults are underrepresented in research. At a Roadshow near Denver earlier this year, attendees reported an 18% increase in understanding how important it is that research includes older adults, and a 36% increase in those

that were intending to participate in research. And nine out of ten said they would be interested in attending another Roadshow.

For Chaffee County, nearly 20 organizations, both local and from Denver, are working together to share information and opportunities about healthy aging. Mann reflects, “When we first started working with Chaffee County, we heard how passionate its residents are about living long lives and living them well. Working with members of the community, we can see that passion reflected in the types of organizations who signed up, and the types of opportunities that are available here.”

More than 130 people have already pre-registered for this rare opportunity. Interested attendees are encouraged to pre-register to help make their check-in much faster, but walk-ins are allowed. “We would love to see Chaffee County beat all our other Roadshows out of the park,” adds Mann, with a laugh.

The Research Roadshow will be open to the public anytime from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Friday, May 17th at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds. Admission is free and includes a light breakfast and lunch. Guests are strongly encouraged to pre-register by visiting Chaffee County Research Roadshow Registration, scanning the QR code, or calling Molly Bischoff 970.309.9145. More details about the Research Roadshow’s activities can be found on the enclosed Chaffee County Research Roadshow Fact Sheet.

Chaffee County Research Roadshow Fact Sheet

Research changes the way we age. Older adults change the way we do research.

The Research Roadshow provides fun and accessible opportunities for older adults to learn new information about healthy aging and explore different aging-related research studies.

At the Chaffee County Healthy Aging Research Roadshow, you can:

· Explore innovations and opportunities for emergency preparedness with the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering and Chaffee County Public Health.

· Find out about resources for caregivers, such as the Area Agency on Aging, and virtual health care apps with University of Denver’s Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging.

· Get a free hearing check while you learn from a research team from CU Anschutz that is recruiting older adults for a study exploring the impact of high blood pressure on hearing loss, while learning about free hearing aids that are offered in Chaffee County.

· Explore end-of-life care options with a doula and receive resources for advance care planning.

· Explore options to enroll in a research study you can do from where you live.

· Learn about resources from Chaffee County Public Health, including Homeshare, Aging Well, and Ark Valley Helping Hands.

· Meet those offering social engagements for those facing health challenges, including Elevated Voices, a local choir using music to connect to those with Alzheimer’s, and Dance PD, a dance class for those with Parkinson’s.

· Learn about functional medicine, and about how diet and lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other neurological conditions, as well as local resources.

· Explore studies, telehealth care, and resources for those with Parkinson’s or other neuromuscular and neurodegenerative challenges.

· Find resources for mental health challenges, including suicide prevention, crisis hotlines, and firearm safety recommendations for those with dementia.

· Get resources for screenings on different types of cancer and learn how preventative care can reduce the risks and improve the lifestyles of those with cancer.

· Meet older adults who have become research specialists as an encore career. Talk with them about their experiences participating in research studies, creating helpful resources like medication trackers, and learn about how you can find research studies of interest.

· Enjoy a complimentary “brain-healthy” lunch catered by Kalamata Pit, as well as other delicious local eateries including Blue Truck Ice Cream.

We hope you will join us for a fun day connecting with other attendees and research teams to learn about the variety of ways to take part in research, and ways that research is transforming the way we age.

Dan R
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