|Giving the webinar. Photo by Debbi Honorof.|
I always enjoy the question period whenever I give a talk about my work. After the webinar, the residents asked a number of important questions. My favorite one was, "What can we do living in an assisted living facility to try to make a difference on climate change." Wow!
We often think about how the youth of our world are seeking to make the world a better place, but we have to remember that our aging populations have a role to play as stewards of our planet.
The question got me thinking about issues of environment and sustainability for senior communities. I did a brief exercise trying to find researchers who focus on sustainability and the elderly and there really isn't very much out there on this topic. Most of the work that I saw focused on transit and trying to ensure that seniors have access to mass transit. However, there is so much more that could be done.
After my talk, I spoke with Janine Valentiner, the Director of Business Development for Bristal and she is interested in finding ways to build bridges between our sustainability initiatives and their organization. I would love to have my majors look at the issue of sustainability within assisted living facilities. There is so much research that could be done. Just think about it: energy and water use, food, transportation, building materials, waste disposal, hazardous medical and biological waste, etc. are all important issues we discuss in communities. However, I've only found a handful of researchers focusing on these issues in aging populations (see here and here for examples...note these are behind a paywall unless you are on a university network).
A big thanks to Debbi Honorof of Hofstra's Continuing Education department for inviting me to present to the Bristal residents.