UW de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging
October 25, 2022 at 7:13 p.m.
The University of Washington’s de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging serves as a catalyst for healthy aging through supporting research, education and clinical practice in the field of aging.
There is a growing need for geriatric focused healthcare because by 2030, 20% of the UW population is expected to be over 65. At the same time, 80% of older adults have at least one chronic condition and require healthcare providers familiar with the complex healthcare needs of older adults. Yet only 5% of nurses in Washington state identify gerontology as their specialty. The de Tornyay Center mentors early-career nursing researchers interested in gerontology and supports a nursing workforce knowledgeable about older adults.Scholar Spotlight: Susie Cho
The de Tornyay Center regularly provides updates about the program on their news site (News | de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging), including Scholar Spotlights, which highlight some of the work students at the center are accomplishing. Last year, the Center interviewed Susie Cho, a PhD student. Here are some snippets from that interview:“I was fond of what my grandfather did as a physician and so I would always go into his clinic whenever I had a chance. I think my admiration for what my grandfather did as a healthcare provider led me to go into health care and, more specifically, nursing.”
At the de Tornyay Center, Susie Cho worked with a tool called “Managing Your Own Wellness” (MYOW), designed to help nonprofessional caregivers with their own self-care. The healthcare system relies on the care provided by family members and Susie noticed that caregivers were often so focused on caregiving duties that it was difficult for them to separate their own self-care practices from caregiving responsibilities. MYOW was designed to help family caregivers also take care of themselves while providing care for loved ones.
Susie Cho also has an interest in palliative care. “Some questions are around when does one realize one’s terminality, especially when making decisions related to palliative and end-of-life care? And what accounts for such differences between individuals and within the same person at different times of life?
“I’ve been taking care of older adults throughout my professional nursing career. I have always enjoyed learning from their life experiences. Also, I have always wanted to interpret their stories to help them create an environment where they can enhance their well-being.”