UIndy Center for Aging and Community showcases careers in gerontology

by Quiaira Johnson | Staff writer
Published: Last Updated on

The Center for Aging and Community hosted its annual “Careers in Aging Week” event during the week of April 7-13. According to the CAC web page, the “Careers in Aging Week” is “an annual event intended to bring greater awareness and visibility to the wide-ranging career opportunities in aging and aging research.” The University of Indianapolis hosted various events throughout the week on campus in an effort to celebrate Careers in Aging Week.

According to its web page, CAC “collaborates, educates, and conducts research to enhance the quality of life for all people as they age.”

aging week photo

Producer Tad Ochwat speaks at the ‘Age of Champions’ movie Q&A on April 10 during the UIndy Center for Aging and Community’s “Careers in Aging Week.” (Photo by Kameron Casey)

 

Admissions Coordinator for the Center for Aging and Community Stephanie Fritz said that the CIAW was designed to promote careers in aging studies and any career affecting the geriatric population.

“This is our fourth year doing ‘Careers in Aging Week’ at the University of Indianapolis, and ‘Careers in Aging Week’ is created through the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. It was a way to promote any career that is open through aging studies and [show] how it is a growing career field,” Fritz said. “We always tell people that chances are—especially people that are going through their undergraduate [program] now—[they] are going to end up working with, for or on behalf of the older adult population. So ‘Careers in Aging Week’ was created as a way to celebrate and promote the different careers open and available to students pursuing a degree in aging studies.”

Throughout the week, several events took place on campus, including an information booth in the Schwitzer Student Center Atrium Monday through Wednesday. On Thursday, April 10, Trends in Older Fitness Workshops were held in UIndy Hall. The workshops included demonstrations of Bingocize, Rock Steady Boxing and Dance Movement Therapy. Finally, there was a showing of the movie “Age of Champions” along with a question and answer session with the movie’s producer.  The events demonstrated a few of the careers in the field that are available in Indianapolis and gave people an opportunity to see what these careers are all about.

“We started planning ‘Careers in Aging Week’ about six months in advance. We wanted to provide students with real examples of what they can do,” Fritz said. “It’s easy for us to sit here and say, ‘You can do this.’ But it is another thing for them [students] to actually be able to see it and be able to participate and get to know community members face-to-face. That is what we wanted to do this year, because we think that provides a stronger example than what we have had in previous years.”

The movie “Age of Champions” was available for viewing twice during the day. The film’s producer, Tad Ochwat, was available for a question-and-answer session at the conclusion of the film.

“Age of Champions” is a film depicting several older adult athletes who compete in the National Senior Games. Ochwat said that before the idea of the film arose, no one that worked knew about the National Senior Games until he was seated next to the CEO of the National Senior Games Association at a general conference for nonprofits in the arts.

Ochwat said the purpose of the film was to inspire individuals and change the negative stigmas about aging.

“I think it is amazing how all these people are creating new stories in their lives,” Ochwat said. “For me, as a young person kind of figuring out what I am doing with my life, as I am juggling a few projects, figuring out what I am really passionate about, it’s just great to see, through those in the movie, that kind of passion [that] should never go away in your life. No matter how old you are, no matter where your body is, you can always focus on being driven, passionate, motivated, happier—and make your life fulfilling no matter how old you are.”

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