Mount professor explores aging and disability in new book

August 31, 2017

CAP grant Jeffrey Kahana, associate professor of the Division of Social Sciences at Mount Saint Mary College, recently published his newest book, Disability and Aging: Learning from Both to Empower the Lives of Older Adults.

The book examines late life disability through the lens of advocates for the disabled and students of gerontology. As such, it has a wide audience, including scholars, care receivers and their caregivers, medical and other professionals, and more.

Kahana co-authored the book with his mother, Eva Kahana, a professor of humanities and director of the Elderly Care Research Center at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. 

“This project really grew out of an interest I have had in both disability and aging,” Kahana revealed. “The disability interest comes from having a son with autism and the aging interest from growing up living in a home with my grandmother who became increasingly disabled…There are a lot of personal experiences in the book.”

Kahana hopes that readers will gain an “understanding of the unique vantage points of older people who live with increasing frailty and disability, recognizing their right to accept or reject a disability identity.”

Another Mount professor, Lawrence T. Force, psychology, recently wrote The Detoxing of Caregivers: Key Tips for Survival, Strength, and Patience. Force has worked in the field of aging and disabilities for more than three decades as an administrator, clinician, and educator.

Forces’s new book is a multifaceted guide to providing the best possible care to loved ones and patients while also taking care of the one person many caregivers neglect: themselves. In the book, he follows the Dimensional Solution-Based Treatment (DSBT) paradigm to achieve excellent care in three domains: cognition, energy, and movement. He also discusses the holistic triage approach to treatment, where nutrition, stress reduction, and exercise are key components to the best overall health of both patient and caregiver.

Kahana and Force, co-directors of the Mount’s Center on Aging and Policy (CAP), recently secured a $600,000 grant to launch the ProActive Caring initiative for families of individuals with disabilities. Awarded over the course of three years, the grant will be used to provide 1,000 family caregivers of individuals with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities with continued support and training.  Force and Kahana have already begun the planning and implementation of the project and intend to create a program model that could be copied nationwide.

Mount Saint Mary College is ranked a Top-Tier University by U.S. News & World Report, and offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for careers in healthcare, business, education, social services, communications, media, and more.