SPOTLIGHT: Aging is a Public Health Issue

SPOTLIGHT: Aging is a Public Health Issue

JUNE 2020

Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play. -American Public Health Association

The United States and many communities around the world are “growing older.” With the changes in demographics today and in the future, aging is an increasingly important public health issue. The average age of farmers is approaching 60. Many continue to live and work on the farm well beyond typical retirement age. How can we as a community support farmers to age in place safely in their homes?

UMASH is hosting two online community forums – “Aging on the Farm” to discuss the various aspects of aging in place. The forum will lead with Challenges and Opportunities of Aging in Rural Communities by Dr. Joseph Gaugler, Professor and Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair in Long-Term Care and Aging at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. Additional speakers include faculty from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire – Dr. LIsa Schiller, Associate Professor / Nurse Practitioner and Dr. Nicholas M. Beltz, Assistant Professor; Director, Community Fitness Program.

Dr. Gaugler’s research and outreach focus on the best way to support families and professionals who care for persons with memory loss. He has been traveling the state of Minnesota to share information, stories and research to support families, caregivers, and professionals with available resources.

Both UMASH and the Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation (CHAI) are co-sponsoring the community forums to provide funding for partner projects which address aging issues in the Upper MIdwest region. Following the forums, UMASH and CHAI will accept pre-proposals with a deadline of August 1, 2020. View the Request for Proposals online.

The forum is open to all and available online. We welcome your participation including:

  • Farmers and farm families
  • Professionals in healthcare, occupational health, social work, public health, education, and agriculture
  • Community and government organizations
  • Agri-businesses: finance, legal, cooperatives and retail centers, trade associations
  • Anyone with an interest in aging in rural communities

Join the conversation on how to ensure aging on the farm is safe and healthy for farmers and their families.


Aging on the Farm

Aging in place for farmers raises a number of challenges and opportunities. To support our farmers, we need to raise the awareness of the impact of aging and ways to prevent injuries. UMASH will be hosting a series of free online community forums, each with a regional focus in the Upper Midwest.

Registration now open

Monday, June 15
1:00pm – 3:00pm Central

Tuesday, June 30
1:00pm – 3:00pm Central

**CEU credits will be available, provided by the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety.