Elaine C. Hubbard Center for Nursing Research on Aging

It's estimated that about 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and the number of those over 85 will increase five-fold within 20 years. As more people live longer, factors such as difficulties with physical and cognitive function, chronic illness, chronic pain, and depression increase.

Our traditional ways of understanding and accommodating the aging process are no longer adequate. Health care models and measures used for the general population are often inappropriate for the elderly and too few health care professionals are being trained in geriatrics. It has been said that the measure of a healthy and civilized society is how well it treats its elderly. Improving the experience of aging is an invaluable contribution to improving the world.

Co-directed by Associate Professor Feng (Vankee) Lin, PhD, RN, and Associate Professor Kathi Heffner, PhD, the Center for Nursing Research on Aging provides pivotal linkages between faculty researchers, nurses, physicians, and other health care providers, and the community to foster partnerships around common research interests.

Areas of Emphasis

Center activities include federally-funded research projects, study programs, and a range of services to advance research on preventing and managing chronic illness in vulnerable older adults. See current aging-related projects which include:

  • Finding new and innovative ways to promote social connectedness and the overall health of older adults caring for a loved one with dementia through the Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging Research (STAR)
  • Improving the care and quality of lives of persons living in nursing homes especially those with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia's
  • Cognitive computer training for older adults with mild cognitive impairment through the CogT Laboratory.
  • Complex decision-making involved in end-of-life care and improving palliative care across systems
  • Improving the care of veterans with Home Based Primary Care


  • The center's work has had a positive influence on the overall health and well-being of the elderly in Rochester and beyond. Widespread dissemination of research findings by the faculty has influenced health care practice and policy at the national level.
  • The center is one of seven designated as a John A. Hartford Foundation Geriatric Investment Fund site.
  • We are the first (and only) school of nursing to establish and lead a NICHE Program (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders) in our affiliated hospital system, Strong Memorial Hospital. The goal of NICHE is to achieve systematic nursing change that will benefit hospitalized older patients.