Dr. Anne Simpson

The UNM School of Medicine Institute for Ethics begins a two-year series of discussions with the public beginning March 4 about what constitutes healthy aging – and how individuals and communities can foster it.

“Social Determinants of Healthy Aging” will explore ways community members can partner with legislators to incorporate accommodations for aging communities, said Dr. Anne Simpson, director of the UNM School of Medicine's Institute for Ethics.

“Age is not an illness or a disease process; it is a condition that results with normal healthy living, and for some, not so healthy living. Yet while our social structures are set up to guide us through phases of our lives such as attending school and college, developing careers and getting married, support in getting older seems to lack ranking in the overall scheme of things,” said Simpson.

The School of Medicine Institute of Ethics is sponsoring a series of two-hour presentations designed to focus in on what individuals and members of communities can do  to support continued engagement with the things that matter to each of us as our bodies mature, she said.

Future topics will include the viability of incorporating community walkability into planning as well as what is needed to be incorporated into transportation systems. Other discussions will include topics such as public and private safety as well as housing, architecture and design, shared living arrangements and the reality of long term care and how to include it as a respected part of life in our communities.

“Albuquerque’s social demographics are multi-layered. Thinking ethically requires consideration for each age group and their needs. Within that frame we also have to plan around the allocation of limited resources and how to make the most efficient and effective use of them,” said Simpson.

All presentations will take place at the Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education auditorium, 1001 Stanford NE in Albuquerque. Times have been scheduled for the first three events, which are free and open to the public:  

  • March 4          4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • April 8             4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
  • May 6              4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

 

Simpson and New Mexico State University Intern Elise Williams will facilitate the meeting on March 4.

The Institute for Ethics serves as a center for ethics, education, service and scholarship at the local, regional and national level.

Cosponsors for the series include  the UNM HSC Black Health Resource Center; UNM HSC Office of Community Health, UNM Hospital and School of Medicine Biomedical Ethics Committee; HealthInsight New Mexico, Southwest Women’s Law Center and Middle Rio Grande YWCA.

Presentations will be available on-line. For more information, call (505) 272-4566 or visit the Institute’s website at http://som.unm.edu/ethics/