Shady Rest Institute on Positive Aging

Connecting our region to support older adults

The Shady Rest Institute on Positive Aging serves as a regional hub to connect faculty, staff, students from across academic disciplines with community organizations in a unified purpose of supporting the older adult community in Southwest Florida through education, service, research, and advocacy.

The concept of “positive aging,” also referred to as “healthy aging,” is achievable by every older person as we work to make better choices in the near-term to improve our lives in the long-term.

Positive aging is basically adopting a positive view of aging as a healthy, normal part of life.

Results of a Yale University study looked at the long-term health consequences of ageism on seniors.  Researchers determined that age discrimination actually has the potential power to shorten seniors’ lives.  Among the study group, seniors who held more positive views about the aging process actually lived 7.5 years longer than people who negatively perceived aging.

Additional studies indicated that positive thinking can result in an 11-15% longer lifespan and can increase the likelihood of living to age 85 or beyond.

Older adults on beach

Areas of interprofessional focus

The Shady Rest Institute on Positive Aging seeks to provide support to our community organizations and residents through the following areas of interprofessional focus.

Workforce Development

A primary focus of our work is supporting the development of individuals with a focus on working alongside older adults and their families.

Community Engagement

This aspect of our work takes many forms including community-based education and service opportunities through our local agency partners.

Translational Research

Our faculty, staff, and students investigate the issues which are most important to our older adult population in order to provide data to facilitate the creation and refinement of solutions.

Policy & Advocacy

Using the best available data to assist in the advocacy for meaningful legislation to support older adult needs.