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 was created in 2016 to help middle-aged and older adults, and those who work with them, explore the seven 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.


We are pleased to announce that Dr. Nancy Orel (Emeritus Professor) has accepted a part-time position as the Executive Director of Research for the Optimal Aging Institute (OAI). In this role, Dr. Orel will facilitate a strong research agenda with researchers at BGSU and with other established researchers on issues related to aging and the aged. She will also be developing collaborations with agencies, researchers, funding agencies, regulatory agencies, universities, foundations, and other entities that will build a strong collaborative and sustainable Institute.

The appointment of Dr. Orel corresponds with the new direction that the Optimal Aging Institute will be taking, namely, to embrace a focus on research endeavors. Ms. Paula Davis will continue in her role as the Director of the Optimal Aging Institute on a part-time basis. She will be developing programs that focus on the topics of aging in place and age-friendly communities. The Optimal Aging Website will soon be highlighting the current research initiatives. To contact Dr. Orel, email her at norel@bgsu.edu.

The Opioid Crisis Workshop: The Unseen Impact on Older Adults

July 18, 2018 Noon-5PM
More Information Here

Care Compass Project

September 26, 2018 11:00-1:00PM
More Information Here

Older Adult Fitness Classes

More Information Here
Optimal Aging Small Grants Program Now Available for BGSU Faculty, Administrative Staff