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       For over half a century, Polisher Research Institute has earned a reputation for innovation and excellence in gerontological research. The Institute provides national leadership in improving the quality of life of older persons through the study of social and behavioral aspects of aging.

       The Institute is an integral part of the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life, formerly Philadelphia Geriatric Center (PGC), a national leader in geriatric care. Through its ties to the Center, the Institute provides unique clinical and research opportunities in a range of long term care settings.


       Our nationally recognized Institute was founded in 1959 as the first research center in the U.S. to be sponsored by a geriatric facility. The Institute is named for the late Edward N. Polisher, Esq. (1902-2004), who was an honorary vice president of the Center's board of directors, and his late wife, Esther. Mr. Polisher, who was involved with the Center for more than 30 years, and devoted himself to improving the well-being of the elderly through the Center's many programs and research efforts.

       Known for its pioneering research into the psychological, social, and medical aspects of aging, the Polisher Research Institute became the first in the country to design environments for nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease. Institute researchers advanced the concepts of "case management" and of a "continuum of care" for the aged and developed numerous standardized tools for assessing older people's quality of life. Their research has inspired the design and environment of our campus' residential areas and influenced specialized housing for the aged throughout the country.

Current Research

       Today, Polisher Research Institute scientists are helping to improve the quality of life of seniors by testing groundbreaking concepts in the care of older people, particularly those living with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The Institute's faculty members publish widely and participate in seminars, conferences, and advisory councils throughout the world. Through their work, they also seek to understand the broader implications of the changing healthcare needs of America's aging population.


       Translating research into practice is a hallmark of the Institute. Resources developed at the Institute for professionals engaged in long-term care include geriatric assessment tools, educational web sites, program manuals, and videos.


       We are an interdisciplinary research team representing clinical psychology, human development, nursing, cultural anthropology, and statistics. Historically the composition of this group has also included demography, epidemiology, occupational therapy, sociology, and social work.