Optimal Aging Institute

Optimal aging goes beyond good health and longevity. It deals with the capacity to function across many dimensions of wellness—physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, cultural, and occupational. That ability to function is rooted in one’s own resiliency—being able to adjust and adapt, no matter what challenges and stressors one encounters.

BGSU’s Optimal Aging Institute (OAI) was created in 2016 to help middle-aged and older adults, and those who work with them, explore the eight dimensions of health, wellness and resiliency. It is funded in part with generous support from Medical Mutual of Ohio and housed within the College of Health and Human Services.


Support, educate, and engage older adults and those who interact with them through campus and community partnerships with a focus on research and creative activities across the eight dimensions of wellness.


Become a recognized organization that serves the public good through a focus on the eight dimensions of wellness. OAI pursues this vision through education, research, and service.

The OAI partners with many campus and community entities for both research and programming. If you would like to propose a research collaboration with the Institute, please contact Jennifer Wagner at jawagne@bgsu.edu. If you have an idea for a joint program with the Institute, please email us at oai@bgsu.edu.

OAI Panel Discussions 

Mind-Body Connection

Expert panel discussion recorded live from the Wood County Committee on Aging in Bowling Green, Ohio on the mind-body connection. The mind-body connection is real, and it has a powerful impact on our well-being at every level. This presentation will identify the connection between the mind and the body, including physical health, mental health, and emotional well-being. It will also provide tools for optimal aging and wellness at every stage of the aging process.

Nutrition in Older Adulthood

Expert panel discussion focusing on important considerations for older adults related specifically to diet and nutrition.

Seniors and Scams

Experts discuss common scams and how to avoid them.

Vision Changes and Aging

Expert panel discussion with area experts on vision changes as we age.

Opioids and Older Adults Panel Discussion

Expert panel discussion on older adults and opioids, how the problem emerged, and what we can do to prevent, educate, and intervene to reduce negative effects.

Key Collaborators

University of Toledo 

WCCOA jpeg 

Area Office on Aging NW Ohio 


Updated: 08/23/2023 11:51AM