School of Social Work faculty gains gerontology expertSeptember 20, 2012
The Wayne State University School of Social Work is strengthening its gerontology teaching and research with the addition of a new faculty member with expertise in ethnology.
Assistant Professor Tam Perry, who recently earned a joint doctoral degree in social work and anthropology from the University of Michigan, focuses her research on long-term care issues and how seniors navigate the built environment, the social environment, and the processes of aging. Perry, who has extensive experience practicing as a social worker in Singapore, also specializes in international social work.
“I am pleased to join the School of Social Work faculty and I am excited about the plethora of research and teaching opportunities at Wayne State,” Perry said. “I am pleased to research aging issues, my primary area of interest, in this urban context.”
The metropolitan Detroit area presents an ideal context for Perry to examine housing transitions of older adults from a network perspective.
“Changes in health, mobility, and kin and peer networks alter how older adults contemplate their homes and their contents,” said Perry. “Research on housing transitions is important because, while aging in place is often preferred and cost-effective, inevitably some older adults must relocate. This brings with it emotional and physical labor as well as challenges negotiating medical, financial and long-term care infrastructures.”
Perry’s research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging, the John A. Hartford Foundation and the University of Michigan.
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.
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