Mount professor keynote speaker at ‘Aging 101’ event

October 28, 2016

Lawrence T. Force


Lawrence T. Force, Mount Saint Mary College professor of psychology and director of the college’s Center on Aging and Policy (CAP), discussed depression in older adults at “Aging 101: Where Do I Begin?” held at the college on Thursday, October 27.

The event helped healthcare professionals and community members learn how to navigate healthcare for an aging family member.

Life expectancy has increased with improved healthcare, nutrition, and technology. A normal lifespan is now approximately 0 to 120 years, said Force.

The impact of the increase in longevity can be felt in systems, programs, and individual lives across our nation. Force noted that every day in the United States, 10,000 people turn age 65 with the fastest growing segment of the population individuals older than 100.

Force pointed out that the older one gets, the greater the chance for the loss of a spouse or other loved one. For example, he noted that statistically wives outlive their husbands by approximately six years. He urged participants to be aware of the symptoms of depression – whether in themselves or in someone they care for – and to seek aid if necessary.

A gerontologist, Force has worked in the field of aging and disabilities for more than 30 years as an administrator, clinician, and educator. In addition to collaborating with the Orange County Office for the Aging on programs such as “Senior Matters” on CNN Headline News WWLE 1170 AM, Force spoke at the Center for Aging and Policy’s “Boomer Thunder: From Then to Now” forum at the Mount.

He has authored and collaborated on books, articles, chapters, and technical reports that address topics of aging policy, development of Area Agencies on Aging, life-long disabilities, community-based programs for individuals with specialized needs, adult day services, Alzheimer's disease, family caregiving, and end-of-life care.

Among his many published works in this field, Force is co-author of “End-of Life Care: A Guide for Supporting Older People with Intellectual Disabilities & their Families” and “Gerontology: An Interactive Text.”

The Mount’s Center on Aging and Policy provides psychology majors and students of other disciplines with many opportunities to expand their knowledge and interact with professionals in the field. Enhancing their coursework in social sciences, Mount students are able to participate in real-world experiences through the center.

CAP explores opportunities in service, programming, and research in the field of aging, and oversees the Mount’s Aging United student organization.

Force said that CAP helps Mount students in “networking, seeing new material, increasing content knowledge, and discovering new career paths.”

The event was presented by the Mount, The Orange County Office for the Aging, The Population Health Coalition, and St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. ShopRite donated a light dinner for participants.