In Brief

The Public Policy Office, in coordination with the Public Interest and Education Directorates and APA's Committee on Aging, held a March 14 congressional briefing for the U.S. Senate on "The Contributions of Geropsy chologists to an Aging America."

Several members participated:

  • Antonette Zeiss, PhD, from the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Health Care System, spoke about the value of an interdisciplinary team approach to health care for older adults and the essential role of geropsychologists.

  • Forrest Scogin, PhD, from the University of Alabama, told Senate staffers about the prevalence of depression among older persons, how to assess and treat depression, and suicide prevention.

  • Michael Duffy, PhD, from Texas A&M University, explained the need for psychological services in long-term care settings and the role of geropsychologists in treating dementia.

  • Jane Fisher, PhD, of the University of Nevada- Reno, presented on promoting the health and independence of older persons and alleviating the burdens of their caregivers.

  • Beth Hudnall Stamm, PhD, from the University of Idaho, described the mental and behavioral needs of rural and ethnic-minority older adults.

The presenters and other APA members also met with their Senators to garner support for a Geropsychology Training Program. APA is seeking $5 million to launch a federal program to support graduate psychology study with a specialty in aging.

--N. LEVITT