February 2022
Basic question, big data: Do Medicaid reimbursements cover nursing home costs?
UMass Boston researchers will be collecting data over the next year on Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing home services—which vary widely by state. “It’s a common claim that Medicaid reimbursements to nursing homes are much less than the actual costs of providing care. But there's not much documented empirical evidence,” says Edward Miller, professor and chair of gerontology, who is leading the study for UMass Boston.
Survey: How aging services providers can help prevent tech-based scams for older adults
Two UMass Boston gerontology researchers are launching a project to address the growing concern of older adults being targeted for financial scams online and by phone. The researchers will survey close to 400 Massachusetts aging services organizations to learn how the agencies are helping their clients avoid scams, what measures they are taking to protect their clients during online interactions, and which practices best limit the risks of technology-based fraud. Leading the research are Anna-Marie Tabor, director of the Gerontology Institute’s Pension Action Center and an adjunct professor at UMass Law, and Elizabeth Dugan, associate professor of gerontology, whose research on healthy aging includes a great deal of statewide data collection and analysis in partnership with councils on aging and other related organizations.
Meet a researcher: Jeffrey Stokes
A common thread runs through Jeffrey Stokes’ research into aging, families, and health: his curiosity about how little things add up over time. “I think of these sorts of incidents as grains of sand,” says Stokes, assistant professor of gerontology, “each one on its own is quite small, but pile them together and you see how our everyday social processes can add up to big effects. Increasingly I’m really interested in these little things that add up to more major disparities in health."
OLLI spring 2022 course catalog available
The latest course catalog from the Institute's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UMass Boston details the courses available beginning the week of March 14, 2022. The classes—in the arts, business and technology, culture and travel, history and current events, language, literature, writing, philosophy, psychology, sociology, science, and health—include a mix of online and in-person offerings, given continuing pandemic concerns.
Collaborative offers resources to encourage engaging older adults in research
The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston, in partnership with Collective Insight, created the Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative to share the benefits and methods of Patient-Centered Outcome Research. Engaged, patient-centered research involves finding ways to bring the people most affected by the research—older adults and their caregivers, for example—into discussions about research design and implementation.

During its first year, the collaborative developed education information (including the video above and several other videos and podcasts) and built connections. In its second year, the collaborative is focusing on developing a gerontology PCOR self-assessment to examine ways to introduce PCOR into teaching, conducting aging-related funding discussions on how to infuse PCOR into funding portfolios, and providing technical assistance and training to develop or improve engagement practices.
Leading Age LTSS Center shares workplace DEI resources
"Companies with more diverse workforces perform better, both culturally and financially," report researchers at LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston. "This Black History Month and every month, we are honored to prioritize the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion in long-term services and supports." In 2021, the researchers embarked on a study designed to support a key LeadingAge strategic goal: to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the long-term services and supports (LTSS) workplace. Read more about their findings here.
Caspi focuses on safety of long-term care residents
"Most incidents [of resident-on-resident violence] do not constitute abuse. A growing body of evidence suggests the true cause of these injuries and deaths is inadequate care and neglect on the part of care homes. Specifically, there is a lack of the specialized care that people with dementia require," Eilon Caspi, PhD ’10, writes in a recent article for The Conversation.
Caspi is an assistant research professor at the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy at the University of Connecticut. He recently published the book, Understanding and Preventing Harmful Interactions Between Residents with Dementia, and produced a documentary film, Fighting for Dignity. His interest in the topic grew out of his doctoral dissertation work at UMass Boston, when he studied two secured dementia care homes near Boston.
The February 2022 issue of The Gerontologist, with an age-friendly environments theme, features three articles from UMass Boston researchers: