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Phil Stafford, Ph.D.

Center Director

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Phil directs the Center on Aging and Community at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, at Indiana University in Bloomington. A cultural anthropologist, Phil has been active in research, training, speaking and publishing around issues of community development for elder-friendly communities for three decades. He is a senior consultant with the AdvantAge Initiative, a national project that has supported community planning for aging in over 26 U.S communities and recently completed an Administration on Aging-funded statewide demonstration planning grant for the Indiana Division of Aging. Successive to that work, Stafford chairs a statewide committee entitled Hoosier Communities for a Lifetime, at the invitation of the Director, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Currently he provides technical assistance to 14 grantees participating in the U.S. Administration on Aging Community Innovations for Aging in Place initiative. He is a founding board member of the Memory Bridge Foundation and the author of numerous articles on culture and dementia, participatory research and planning and the meaning of home for older people. He is the editor of a Gray Areas: Ethnographic Encounters with Nursing Home Culture, 2003, SAR Press. His recent book, entitled Elderburbia: Aging with a Sense of Place in America, was published by Praeger Press in October, 2009.


  • Indiana University | Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology | 1977
  • University of Chicago | B.A., Cultural Anthropology | 1967

Professional Experience

  • Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN | Director, Center on Aging and Community | 2000-Present
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, IN | Adjunct Full Professor, Department of Anthropology (Graduate Faculty Status) | 1999-Present
  • The Foundation for Alzheimer's and Cultural Memory | Board Member | 2004-Present
  • Evergreen Institute on Elder Environments, Inc. (501 c3), Bloomington, IN | Board Member | 1998-2000
  • Bloomington Hospital, Bloomington, IN | Director, Senior Health Services | 1989-1998
  • South Central Community Mental Health Center, Bloomington, IN | Coordinator, Older Adults Services | 1976-1989

Awards, Honors & Certifications

  • COPSL Fellow, Indiana University Community Outreach Partnerships for Service Learning | 2007-2008
  • Exemplary Service & Dedication to Medical Education, Indiana University School of Medicine | 2003
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Leadership Bloomington/Monroe County | 1998
  • Housing Professional Award, Council for Community Accessibility, Bloomington, IN | 1997
  • Eldercare Award, Indiana Chapter AARP | 1992
  • Quality of Life Award, Local Council of Women, for Senior Respite Care, Bloomington, IN | 1991
  • Jesse L. Dickinson Award, Indiana Federation of Older Hoosiers | 1986
  • Quality of Life Award, Local Council of Women, for Adult Day Care Program, Bloomington, IN | 1978
  • Indiana University Fellowship (Dissertation Year Award) | 1975-1976
  • Trustee Scholar (full tuition), University of Chicago | 1967-1971

Presentations & Publications

  • Stafford, Philip B. (2009). Elderburbia: Aging with a Sense of Place in America. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  • Feldman, P., Oberlink, M., Rudyn, D., Clay, J., Edwards, B., Stafford, P.B. (2003). Best Practices: Lessons for Communities in Supporting the Health, Well Being and Independence of Older People. New York: Center for Home Care Policy and Research.
  • Stafford, P.B., Harlan, J.E. (2003). Home Modification Services in Indiana: Statewide Survey Results and Recommendations for Public Policy and Action. Report prepared for the Indiana Governor’s Task Force for People with Disabilities and the Indiana Housing Finance Authority.
  • Stafford, Philip B. (2003). Gray Areas: Ethnographic Encounters with Nursing Home Culture. Santa Fe: SAR Press.
  • Stafford, P., (ND). Putting Memory in Place. (edited volume in preparation).
  • Stafford, P.B. (2009). Aging in the Hood: Creating Good Places to Grow Old. Invited chapter, Sokolovsky, J., ed., The Cultural Context of Aging: Worldwide Perspectives, 3rd edition, Westport, CT: Greenwood.
  • Stafford, P.B. (2009). "Living Large While Living Small: The Spatial Life of Aging Boomers." Invited chapter, Hudson, Robert, ed., Boomer Bust?: The New Political Economy of Aging. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  • Stafford, P. B. (2003). Homebodies: Voices of Place in a North American Community. In P.
  • Stafford, (Ed.). Gray Areas: Ethnographic Encounters with Nursing Home Culture. Santa Fe: SAR Press.
  • Stafford, P. B. (2001). When Community Planning becomes Community Building: Place-Based Activism and the Creation of Good Places to Grow Old. In L. Heumann et al, (ed.) Empowering Frail Elderly People: Opportunities and Impediments in Housing, Health and Support Service Delivery. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  • Stafford, P.B. (1991). The Social Construction of Alzheimer’s Disease. IN Thomas A. Sebeok (Ed.) The Semiotic Web 1991. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
  • Stafford, P.B. (2011). Creating Communities for a Lifetime. Half-day workshop for New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Annual Meeting, Saratoga Springs, NY. | June 20, 2011
  • Stafford, P.B. (2011). Locating Old Age. Presentation for Western and Central New York Health Foundation, Syracuse, NY. | June 2, 2011
  • Stafford, P. B. (2011). Public Policy and the Built Environment. Organizer, Symposium at American Society on Aging Annual Meetings, San Francisco, CA. | April 27, 2011
  • Stafford, P.B. (2011). Aging in Community: Shifting the Paradigm. Illinois Local Government Webinar presentation. | April 21, 2011
  • Stafford, P.B. (2011). Getting from House to Home. Keynote presentation. Fair Housing and Beyond: Indiana Civil Rights Commission. | April 8, 2011

Areas of Expertise

  • Community participation in research and development
  • Cultural aspects of dementia
  • Culture and memory
  • Social and cultural impact of aging on communities