Relocation and Transnational Experiences (RELATE) Study Newsletter – Fall 2019 | Vol. 1

Relate Newsletter Fall 2019 Volume 1

During the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our research possible. It is in this spirit that we say thank you and best wishes for the New Year.

Study Updates

The Relocation and Transitional Experiences (RELATE) Study focuses on those transitioning or preparing to transition into a new living environment later in life. We are interested in understanding how a major life event, such as moving into senior housing (independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities, etc.), may be related to health and well-being. We are currently recruiting individuals and couples who are planning to move into any senior housing facility to participate in our study.

The full study typically takes place over 3-4 months. Assessments include paper and pencil questionnaires, a physical activity tracker worn on the wrist, and in-the-moment surveys via a cell phone we lend out; however, we are always able to tailor our study to fit our participants’ needs and lifestyle best.

Our study has been going on for a little over a year. To date, we have 37 participants who have completed the study (already transitioned), 19 active participants (currently transitioning), and 145 future participants (preparing to transition within the next year).

We are always seeking more participants for our study. If you know anyone who is 50+ and considering moving into some senior type housing, and you think they might be interested in participating, please contact Health, Emotion, and Aging Research Team (HEART).

Participant Testimonials

We would like to sincerely thank our past RELATE participants for contributing their time and dedication to the study, as well as for sharing their personal experiences with us. We anticipate that the results of the study will help us better understand the unique experiences that individuals undergo as they transition through this big life change. Watch below to see what some of our former participants had to say about their experiences in the study.

Recent News

Our principal investigator, Dr. Gloria Luong, presented at the Society of for the Study of Human Development conference in Portland, Oregon, this October 2019. She also presented information from the study at the Pathways to Character conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in August.


The Relocation and Transitional Experiences (RELATE) Study explores an extremely important topic, and we have been very fortunate to receive fundings for it. Dr. Luong has been awarded grants from both the John Templeton Foundation and the Mind and Life Institute that will allow us to continue this research through the end of the year 2020.

Aging Facts

For most people, age-associated changes in cognition are mild and don’t significantly interfere with daily functioning. 

Some changes in our ability to think are normal as we age. Although these changes (such as memory, attention, and multitasking) occur often, they do not normally interfere with an adult’s everyday life. For many older adults, memory is only mildly impaired. Other cognitive functions such as reading, vocabulary, and verbal reasoning even increase with age.

In the United States, older adults are wiser than young adults.

As we get older we have more experiences, and these experiences often make us wiser. In addition, our brain continues to develop which could also make us wiser. Older adults tend to have more empathy as well, and make better decisions by using more of their prefrontal cortex.

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The Health, Emotion, and Aging Research Team (HEART) examines how individuals develop the abilities to regulate emotional experiences and cope with daily stressors and how these skills can be harnessed to promote healthy and successful aging.