The Center on Aging at Cal State San Bernardino is the recipient of a grant that will support its research into how social activities may reduce cognitive decline and dementia among the elderly.

The center received the $747,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands) has announced.

“It’s crucial that we keep prioritizing innovations to improve seniors’ quality of life. I’m continuously in awe of the discoveries that the researchers at the CSUSB Center on Aging are making,” Aguilar said. “I’m proud to announce this award for the important work that they are doing, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact their research will make for the seniors in our community and beyond.”

The grant will contribute to important gerontology research by studying how social activities may reduce cognitive decline and dementia in older age. Having such data about the cognitive health of seniors can assist in improving the overall health of seniors in the Inland Empire and help families preserve precious time with loved ones.

“I hope that this project will encourage social participation among older adults and change the way that social activities are measured in surveys,” said Eric Vogelsang, director of the CSUSB Center on Aging and a professor of sociology. “This grant will be used to hire undergraduate and graduate students as assistants on this major project and give significant research experience to individuals who are, traditionally, not offered such opportunities.”

In previous years, Aguilar, who serves as chair of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, has helped secure various grants for the Center on Aging, totaling nearly $2 million in federal funding since 2021.