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Clemson students Ojas Natarajan (left), was the 3rd place poster presentation winner and Emma Scharett (right) was the 1st place poster presentation winner at the 13th Annual Aging Research Day.
Clemson students Ojas Natarajan (left), was the 3rd place poster presentation winner and Emma Scharett (right) was the 1st place poster presentation winner at the 13th Annual Aging Research Day.

Clemson's Institute for Engaged Aging Cohosts 13th Annual Aging Research Day

Clemson Institute for Engaged Aging (IEA) in cooperation with South Carolina Aging Research Network (SCARN) cohosted the 12th annual Aging Research Day in Columbia, SC on April 7, 2017. The theme of this years conference was Health and Technology Supports for Aging-in-Place with Wendy Rogers, Ph.D., Khan Professorship in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois, providing the keynote address, “Technology Design for Successful Aging: Support for Social Engagement.” 

IEA faculty presenters at the conference were Dr. Kapil Chalil Madathil, Department of Civil & Industrial Engineering and Dr. Laura Whitlock, Department of Psychology.

Clemson graduate students, Emma Scharett and Ojas Natarajan won 1st and 3rd places in poster presentations. A cash prize of $500 for 1st place and $250 for 3rd place was also awarded.

Graduate student, Emma Scharett, from Industrial Engineering, together with Snehal Colaco-Lopes and Hunter Rogers under mentorship by Kapil Chalil Madathil won first prize for their presentation, “Identifying Needs and Information Sought By Alzheimer’s Caregivers on ALZConnected Forum Through Content Analysis”. Kapil also mentored two other student groups in the presentations, “Usability Issues Uncovered: Findings from the Heuristic Evaluation of the Care Provider Interfaces of Home-Based Video Telemedicine Systems”, and “Designing Home-Based Telemedicine Systems for the Geriatric Population: An Empirical Study”.

Doctoral student, Ojas Natarajan, from Biological Sciences, under mentorship by Min Cao and Yuqing Dong, won third prize for “Royal Jelly Supplementation Protects Aged Population of C. Elegans from S. Aureus Infection”. 

Resources for Family Caregivers of those with Dementia

Best Practices Caregiver Education Program

Dr. Cheryl Dye, Director of the Institute for Engaged Aging, and doctoral student Caitlin Torrence, will be offering two best practice caregiver education programs in Seneca and Clemson starting in August. There is no fee for the programs. They will offer Powerful Tools for Caregivers which is for caregivers of someone of any age with any chronic condition in 6 weekly sessions on Thursday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:00 at Clemson Downs, in Clemson starting August 3 and ending September 7. Family caregivers interested in enrolling in Powerful Tools for Caregivers should contact Cheryl Dye at or Ruthie Millar at

Dr. Dye and Mrs. Torrence will also offer REACH (Resources Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health) at the Golden Corner Respite Care (GCRC) center in the Seneca Episcopal Church of the Ascension on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 2:30 starting September 21 and ending November 16. Care recipients with dementia may be eligible to attend the day program at the GCRC which is provided each Thursday from 1:00 to 4:00. Caregivers interested in enrolling in REACH should contact Cheryl at Caregivers who wish to enroll their care recipient in the Golden Corner Respite Care program should contact Kathy Birkett at 864-973-7590 or

Caring for Others, Caring for SelfCaring for Others, Caring for Self

For Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the Institute for Engaged Aging hosted an important discussion about providing support for family caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Learn what you can do to provide support to these caregivers. If you are a caregiver, find out about resources that are available to help you. View the video, Caring for Others, Caring for Self

Memory Health: Caring for Self, Caring for OthersMemory Health: Caring for Self, Caring for Others

Dr. Cheryl Dye discusses how she has created a nexus between her work as a public health professor teaching a course in older adult health, mentoring undergraduate students in a multi-semester Creative Inquiry project, and conducting research in collaboration with a hospital memory health program to promote the cognitive health of those with dementia and their caregivers. Her five-session program for caregivers and their care recipients was originally offered in a clinical setting and has now spread to community-based settings like retirement communities and churches. Goals of the program are to provide cognitively and socially stimulating activities to those in early to middle-stage dementia and to provide stress management activities and social support activities to their caregivers. View the video, Memory Health: Caring for Self, Caring for Others

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

Part of the Institute's mission to facilitate engaged aging is through offering symposia, trainings, workshops and courses for practitioners and community members. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute leads the efforts to provide courses for older adults in the community.