The South Carolina Aging Research Network, SCARN, is a multi-institutional consortium of geriatric disciplines working together to utilize researchers' expertise and push forward a research agenda benefiting South Carolina seniors.There are two appointed SCARN members from MUSC, University Hospital, University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Palmetto Health, and the Greenville Hospital System.
In the next 20 years, the number of Americans age 65 or older is expected to top 71 million, more than double what the senior population was in 2000. It is estimated that in 2030 about 20% of Americans will be over the age of 65 years and that percentage will be even higher for South Carolina at 22%. Finding ways to help them stay healthy as they age is a growing challenge. Led by the University of South Carolina, SeniorSMART involves a cross-disciplinary team of individuals passionately working on groundbreaking research, products and services to improve the lives of older adults and preserve their independence.
A state-designated Center of Economic Excellence, SeniorSMART focuses on three key areas: SMARTHome, SMARTWheels and SMARTBrain.
SMARTHome connects researchers in social work, medicine and engineering with the goal of enabling older adults to stay in their own homes longer through the use of new technologies and community services. This Endowed Chair has an academic home in the School of Social Work at the University of South Carolina.
SMARTBrain promotes brain health through research and activities while working to prevent cognitive decline and the effects of brain diseases, including Alzheimer's and stroke. The academic home for this Endowed Chair will be in the USC School of Medicine.
SMARTWheels® will use technology and interventions to help seniors maintain or increase their level of physical function and mobility. SmartWheels® has two components: Driving to include both driver assessment and rehabilitation, and physical function with a focus on balance and gait. The initiation of the search for the SmartWHEELS® Endowed Chair position is underway. This position will be housed at Clemson University in the Institute for Engaged Aging (IEA) and the Department of Public Health Sciences and will work closely with the Greenville Hospital System. Both Public Health and International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) will lead the SmartWHEELS® research efforts.