UCLA Luskin Planning Team Receives National Award Project about age-friendly outdoor environments is honored by American Planning Association

A project by a team from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs about age-friendly outdoor environments has picked up another honor — this time an Achievement Award presented by the American Planning Association (APA).

The winner is among 12 Achievement Award recipients chosen by a jury of planners as examples of good planning work. The recipients are recognized collectively at an awards luncheon held during APA’s National Planning Conference, which is set for May 6-9, 2017, in New York City.

The UCLA Luskin project was designated as a silver winner in the category: National Planning Achievement Award for a Best Practice. It had qualified for consideration at the national level by previously being honored in 2016 by the APA Los Angeles Section, which recognizes the “best of planning” from cities, agencies and nonprofits to consulting firms and individuals.

Anastasia Louaitou-Sideris

“Placemaking for an Aging Population,” funded by the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and the Archstone Foundation, was led by principal investigator and Urban Planning professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris. It provides information about the park needs and preferences of older, low-income adults living in inner-city neighborhoods.

Loukaitou-Sideris, who is also associate provost for academic planning at UCLA, worked on the study with Social Welfare professor Lené Levy-Storms and Madeline Brozen, associate director for external relations for the UCLA Lewis Center and the Institute of Transportation Studies, and program manager of the Complete Streets Initiative. Brozen is also an alumna of the Luskin Urban Planning program.

“Older adults represent a fast growing segment of the population, and U.S. cities are now beginning to realize the imperative of creating age-friendly environments,” Loukaitou-Sideris said in a previous story about the project. She said that while parks can offer many benefits to seniors, “if planners wish to see more seniors visiting parks, they should carefully consider their needs and tastes, and incorporate their voices in park design and programming. Our study seeks to do just that.”

Luskin graduate student researchers — and now alumni — for the project were Lynn Chen SW Ph.D. ’13 and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) graduates Liz Devietti, Hannah Gustafson and Lucia Phan. Lia Marshall, a doctoral student in Social Welfare, also was on the research team.

More information about the UCLA Luskin project and a list of all 2017 APA award winners may be found on the APA website.

UCLA Luskin Researchers Receive Statewide Recognition Study on parks for senior citizens receives 2016 Academic Award of Merit from the American Planning Association’s California chapter

By Stan Paul

A team of UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs faculty and student researchers has received statewide recognition for a project to foster and fulfill the need for senior-friendly parks in U.S. cities.

In June, the researchers, led by Urban Planning professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, received the Award of Excellence (Academic Award) at the 2016 American Planning Association’s Los Angeles Section Awards Gala. The long-term project, “Placemaking for an Aging Population: Guidelines for Senior-Friendly Parks,” was among the “best of planning” entries representing work from cities, nonprofits, consulting firms and individuals in APA’s Los Angeles chapter, one of eight sections in California. The project is funded by the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and the Archstone Foundation.

The study has been selected for a 2016 Academic Award of Merit by APA’s California chapter. The award will be presented at the organization’s state conference in October.

In addition to providing evidence for the physical, mental and social needs that parks provide to seniors, the study includes case studies from the U.S. and around the world, as well as guidelines for planners and designers of senior-friendly spaces. The researchers also conducted focus groups as part of the study so that older inner-city residents could have their voices heard and share their firsthand information and perceptions.

“Seniors are a heterogeneous group in in terms of age, physical and cognitive capacities, and socio-cultural capacities,” the authors stated in their Design Guidelines Overview chapter. “Thus, prior to the creation of a senior-friendly park, the preferences and needs of the likely prominent users should be identified and addressed in the design.”

As a statewide award winner, the project is now eligible for consideration for the 2017 National Planning Awards.

The UCLA Luskin team also included Social Welfare professor Lené Levy-Storms and Madeline Brozen MA UP ’11, associate director for external relations for the UCLA Lewis Center and the Institute of Transportation Studies, and program manager of the Complete Streets Initiative. Luskin graduate student researchers, who have since graduated from Luskin, were Lynn Chen Ph.D. SW ’13 and Urban Planning Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) graduates Liz Devietti, Hannah Gustafson and Lucia Phan. Lia Marshall, a doctoral student in Social Welfare, also was a member of the research team.

Not a Walk in the Park In new study, UCLA Luskin Urban Planning and Social Welfare scholars recommend park planning with consideration for the needs of senior citizens of L.A. County

In new study, UCLA Luskin Urban Planning and Social Welfare scholars recommend park planning with consideration for the needs of senior citizens of L.A. County

Lené Levy-Storms

Lené Levy-Storms’ core research concerns communication issues between health care providers and patients. Older adults with their increased risk of having chronic care needs and limited social relationships may depend on formal health care providers for technical assistance as well as emotional support. In 2003, Dr. Levy-Storms received career development award from the National Institute on Aging titled, “Therapeutic Communication during Nursing Home Care.” In this five year study, she is focusing on communication issues between nursing home staff and frail, older residents during care.

Dr. Levy-Storms has approached this problem in three ways. First, she has devised a way to code open-ended comments from nursing home residents about their interactions with staff into indicators of perceived emotional and instrumental support. Second, she has adapted audio and video-based measures of communication between providers and patients in medical care settings to that of the nursing home setting. She is in the process of linking the residents’ perceived support to the nursing aides’ communication behaviors. Nursing aides provide the most care to residents of all nursing home staff. Third, she has been piloting a communication training program to improve the way nursing aides communicate with residents during care.

Dr. Levy-Storms has B.S. degree in psychology from UC Davis, a MPH in biostatistics and PhD in public health. From 1998-2000, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Gerontology and a fellow of the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. In 2000, she joined the UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics as an assistant professor. At that time, she also became an associate director of the UCLA/Borun Center for Gerontological Research, an appointment which she continues to hold. The Borun Center is based at the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda, CA and focuses on applied research to improve the quality of life of older adults in long-term care settings. She now holds a joint appointment with Medicine and Social Welfare.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Factors related to Excessive In-Bed Times among Nursing Home Residents
Bates-Jensen BM, Schnelle JF, Alessi CA, Al-Samarra N, Levy-Storms, L. (2004). “Factors related to Excessive In-Bed Times among Nursing Home Residents.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52: 931-8

Predictors of Different Levels of Non-adherence to Mammography Screening
Levy-Storms L, Bastani R, Reuben DB. (2004). “Predictors of Different Levels of Non-adherence to Mammography Screening: Implications for Interventions.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52: 768-773

Disciplinary Split
Reuben DB, Levy-Storms L, Nitta-Yee M, Lee M, Cole K, Waite M, Nichols L, Frank JC. (2004). “Disciplinary Split: A Threat to Geriatrics Interdisciplinary Team Training” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52: 1000-6

A Comparison of Methods to Assess Nursing Home Residents’ Unmet Needs
Levy-Storms, Lené, John Schnelle, Sandra F. Simmons. (2002). The Gerontologist, 42, 454-461

Use of mammography screening among older Samoan women in Los Angeles county
Levy-Storms, Lené, Steven P. Wallace. (2003). Social Science and Medicine, 57(6): 987-1000

Patterns of Family Visiting with Institutionalized Elderly
Yamamoto-Mitani, Noriko, Carol Aneshensel, Lené Levy-Storms (2002). Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 57B, (4), S234-S246

The Transition from Home to Nursing Home: Mortality among People with Dementia
Aneshensel, Carol, Leonard Pearlin, Lené Levy-Storms, Roberleigh Schuler. (2000). Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences,55B, (3), S152-S162

Social Relationships, Gender, and Allostatic Load across Two Age Cohorts
Seeman, Teresa E., Burt Singer, Carol Ryff, Gayle Dienberg Love, Lené Levy-Storms. (2002). Psychosomatic Medicine, 64(3), 395-406

Family Caregiver Involvement and Satisfaction with Institutional Care during the First Year after Admission
Levy-Storms L, Miller D. Journal of Applied Gerontology

The Minimum Data Set Depression Quality Indicator
Simmons SF, Cadogan MP, Cabrera GR, Al-Samarrai NR, Jorge JS, Levy-Storms L, Osterweil D, Schnelle JF. The Gerontologist