Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist NiCole Keith, PhD, addressed the many challenges faced by the growing number of older Hoosiers living with dementia. She was a guest presenter at a webinar event organized by Indianapolis’ public broadcasting station WFYI and SAVI, an online community information system enabling people and organizations to make data-informed decisions.
Dr. Keith, an expert in physical fitness, community activation and health equity research, was joined by Steven Counsell, M.D., professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine and founding director, IU Geriatrics Program from 1997-2016 and former chief of geriatrics, Eskanazi Health.
Dr. Keith emphasized that, “Memory loss is not normal aging. Our goal is to influence geriatric care by all healthcare professionals through early education. We shouldn’t miss the dementia diagnosis.” Early diagnosis of dementia has many benefits including timely provision of counseling and caregiver support and appropriate medical care.
Dr. Keith helped inform attendees about evidence-based dementia care services developed in Indiana that improve health outcomes of adults with dementia and reduce caregiver stress.
In addition to participating in the webinar, Dr. Keith helped write the State of Aging Report for Central Indiana. Supported by the Central Indiana Senior Fund and convened by the Polis Center, the goal of the report is to inspire community leaders and organizations to envision potential programs, funding, and policies that will help Central Indiana seniors have equal opportunity for a healthier and more fulfilling life.
In addition to her role as a research scientist at Regenstrief, Dr. Keith is the associate dean of faculty affairs and a professor at Indiana University School of Health & Human Sciences.