Media Tipsheet: Sources for Stories About Baby Boomers and Aging

Note to Reporters: The following is a media tip sheet that includes information about experts and resources at Colorado State University. The contact information for experts is intended to provide resources to reporters and editors and is not intended as contact information for the public. To arrange interviews, contact the person listed with each topic.

Helping people with dementia
People with advanced stages of dementia suffer from decreased ability to engage others and enjoy activities. This can often cause depression and withdrawal. Wendy Wood, an occupational therapy expert with Colorado State University, can talk about specific steps that caregivers can take and activities they can encourage that help people with dementia maintain their sense of well being and preserve their capabilities. To speak to someone about this topic, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or e-mail

Aging women and body image
Baby boomers are approaching middle age, and with middle age often comes wrinkles, weight gain and gray hair. Jennifer Ogle, apparel design professor with expertise in social, psychological and cultural aspects of apparel at Colorado State University, can talk about how it can be difficult for women to age in certain cultures, including in the United States, and the consequences of cultural pressures to stay young. Aging women often navigate complicated messages about cultural values and may experience frustration at weight gain and other aging impacts. The expert can discuss common traits that allow many women to also experience comfort in their own skin and the inner self esteem to accept their physical images as they age. To speak with this expert, call Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or e-mail

Nutrition and aging
Colorado State University nutrition experts can discuss the importance of adjusting one’s diet as he or she ages. People who are aging need to be especially vigilant to eat healthy foods high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals and may need specific nutrients due to health issues – all while dealing with loss of sensory abilities such as smell and taste and even difficulties chewing due to loss of teeth. To speak to an expert about these issues, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Aging workforce
Martin Shields, regional economist and economics professor, can talk about the aging workforce and how older workers affect the economy in northern Colorado and around the state. To speak with Shields, contact Emily Wilmsen at or (970) 491-2336.

Retirement transition not just about money
Psychology Professor Bryan Dik can talk about issues involved in the psychological transition to retirement. For many, retirement comes with a significant sense of loss, given the psychological importance of work. Preparing for the transition proactively can ease the transition. Dik is an expert in vocational psychology and has published extensively on topics related to career choice and development. He is co-editor of two forthcoming books: “The Psychology of Religion and Workplace Spirituality” and “Meaning and Purpose in the Workplace,” and co-author of the forthcoming book, “Make Your Job a Calling.” To speak with Dik, contact Emily Wilmsen at or (970) 491-2336.

Challenges facing older men
Tammi Vacha-Haase, psychology professor at Colorado State University, can talk about the issues facing older men and her new book for therapists, “Psychotherapy with Older Men,” which includes information about understanding the eras in which these men were raised, how they view the world, the gender role conflicts they experience and the physical, mental and emotional challenges and problems they face. To speak with Vacha-Haase, contact Emily Wilmsen at or (970) 491-2336.

Aging and muscle loss
As people age, muscle mass and muscle function decrease, often causing loss of strength or loss of ability to do prolonged activity. A Colorado State University expert can talk about the biological science behind how exercise and nutrition work inside muscle to offset these losses, and how caloric intake, the timing of protein nutrition and what type of exercise to choose make a significant impact. To speak to this expert, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

The benefits to aging people of owning a pet
Pets are great companions for elderly people, especially people who live alone or have limited contact with family and friends, and even those who live in long-term care. The responsibility of caring for a pet can bolster seniors’ sense of independence and self-esteem. Pets can offer a replacement for the lack of human touch that many seniors experience – studies have found that cuddling with a pet lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decreases depression, increases activity levels and lowers health-care costs because people with pets make fewer doctor visits. Elderly people with pets are often able to remain more emotionally stable during a crisis than those without pets. Pets also can reduce confusion by helping owners maintain a daily rhythm and schedule. To speak with an expert about how pets can help the elderly, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Aging with optimal health and happiness
Manfred Diehl, director of Colorado State University’s Center on Aging, can speak about how people who are aging can do so while maintaining optimal happiness and health, how the brain functions differently while people age and how an aging person’s social and emotional interactions change as they age. In addition, he can talk about how personality characteristics impact the way people age and their ability to maintain happiness and health. To speak with Diehl, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or