Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Psychology professor speaks to Allegany County group working with older adults

Dr. Robert J. Maiden, professor of psychology and director of gerontology at Alfred University (AU), recently spoke to the Allegany County TRIAD group. TRIAD represents communities working together including community residents, the Allegany County Office for the Aging, the Sheriff’s Office and the NYS Police to keep older adults safe. “As Allegany Country struggles to respond to unprecedented gains in life expectancy and an explosion of new retirees living with chronic health conditions, this collaboration (of the TRIAD group) is extremely timely,” said Maiden. Maiden discussed the need for integrated care for an aging population. The presentation was based on a chapter in which he was the lead author published in a text titled “Psychology and Geriatrics.” The book demonstrates the value of integrating psychological knowledge and insight with medical training and geriatric care, he explained. Maiden’s chapter, written with coauthors Drs. Peter Lichtenberg and Benjamin Bensadon, provides evidence that physicians and psychologists can work together to optimize patient-centered care. He explained “it illustrates why and how psychologists must assume a more integrated role in meeting the health care needs of older patients.” In addition, he noted, “it confronts emotionally laden topics such as cognitive impairment, caregiver burden, end-of-life communication, suicide and bias and the culture of medicine. It provides innovative, practical responses to academic medicine’s growing emphasis on psychological and behavioral science and demonstrates how health care creates a behavior niche that clinical psychologists are uniquely qualified to fill due to their holistic approach and use of empathy.” Maiden was also recently invited to be on the editorial board of Developmental Psychology as a consulting editor, reviewing up to 10 articles a year for the journal. Developmental Psychology publishes articles that advance knowledge and theory about development across the life span. Maiden has been a member of the AU Faculty in 1982 and serves as director of the program leading to the bachelor of arts degree in gerontology. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the American Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and a Diplomate-Fellow in psychopharmacology (certified by the International College of Prescribing Psychologists). He maintains a part-time practice as a licensed clinical psychologist dealing with marriage, family and child issues, alcohol and substance abuse, and geriatric problems. Maiden is an author or coauthor of numerous journal articles, several book chapters on counseling grandparents who are rearing their grandchildren, and coauthor of a book that deals with aspects of the aging experience in the rural settings. He has presented more than 100 papers at state, national, and international conferences. His current research evolves around community mental health, rural aging and public policy, individual differences in personality, service learning, and the development of a senior center.