Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Garrison Center and the Garrison Institute?

The Garrison Institute on Aging (GIA) is the cornerstone to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center aging initiative. The GIA addresses the health issues of a rapidly aging population through research, education, and healthcare programs. It was developed as a collaborative, interdisciplinary initiative by leaders in the Health Sciences Center Schools of Allied Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy in 1999. To learn more visit:

The Mildred and Shirley Garrison Geriatric Education and Care Center, commonly referred to as the Garrison Center, is a 120-bed teaching nursing home on the Texas Tech University campus owned and operated by the Sears-Methodist Retirement System. It provides residential care, specialized dementia care, and skilled nursing care in Lubbock and the surrounding region. The Garrison Center serves as a clinical training and research site for Health Sciences Center faculty and students.

Why do we need an Institute on Aging?

As the Babyboom generation heads rapidly towards retirement, the United States population will experience an unprecedented change within 15 years when 20% of Americans will be over age 65. Already the fastest growing segment of the population is people aged 85 and over. This aging population is more likely to suffer from multiple chronic health conditions with geriatric medicine and long-term care becoming an increasingly important component of the healthcare system. Currently 1 in 10 people over age 65 and nearly half over age 85 are affected by Alzheimer's disease. The Garrison Institute on Aging was established to help older adults age successfully and extend their years of quality life through research, education, and specialized geriatric healthcare programs. From investigating causes of neurodegenerative diseases, to seeking answers for patients and families dealing with Alzheimer's disease, to preparing healthcare professionals for the growing demands of geriatric care, the Garrison Institute on Aging is addressing the health issues of an aging population.

Where are you located?

The Garrison Institute on Aging is located in the Texas Tech Medical Center Southwest in Lubbock, Texas near south Quaker Avenue and Loop 289 (6630 S. Quaker, Suite E). The GIA Research Division also maintains office and laboratory space in the Lubbock Health Sciences Center (3601 4th Street, Room 4A124).

The Garrison Center is located across the street from the Lubbock Health Sciences Center at 3710 4th Street, Lubbock, Texas.

How can I support the the Garrison Institute?

To support research in aging and Alzheimer's disease, training programs for family caregivers, educational programs for seniors, health care professionals, and students, or other initiatives go to or call 806-743-7821 for more information.

Who is a caregiver? Where can I get more resources and information?

A caregiver is a person providing ongoing care for a loved one. Caregivers may be any of the following: spouses, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, grandparents, friends, or any relatives who provide a wide range of help for older individuals or grandchildren.

One of the best resources for caregiver assistance and information is the Area Agency on Aging (AAA). The Area Agency on Aging of the South Plains serves the 15 counties that surround Lubbock. For more information about the Area Agencies on Aging in this region - and for helpful caregiving tips, publications, and links to other caregiver resources - visit the West Texas Cares website at

What community services do you offer?

Educating the community plays a key role in the mission of the Institute. The Garrison Institute leads the Lecture Series on Healthy Aging, Speakers Bureau, and special programs for family caregivers. To learn more visit:

What types of joint research is the Garrison Institute and the Garrison Center involved in?

Together the Garrison Institute and the Garrison Center are engaged in research to improve the quality of long-term care. Specific projects include (a) understanding how electronic medical records can contribute to increased efficiency, safety, and job satisfaction for nursing staff; (b) exploring communication processes in patients with dementia; (c) understanding factors that contribute to staff retention and turn-over; and (d) evaluating the results of advanced educational programs for nurses and nursing assistants who work in nursing homes.

What other types of research is the Garrison Institute focused on?

We are training and recruiting researchers with complementary skills who work together to identify the mechanisms that underlie nerve cell death in Alzheimer's and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases. We are building a research program to support new and existing scientific investigators and increase scientific scholarship. We are recruiting world-class faculty and researchers in the aging sciences.

Our research focuses on:

  • Vascular-mediated neuronal cell death in Alzheimer's disease;
  • Inflammation and the aging nervous system;
  • Molecular mechanisms for age-related hormonal decline; and
  • Factors associated with aging in rural communities.

We are interested in working with individuals and families to investigate Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. If you are interested in learning more about or donating to our clinical research program, contact Terri Stahl at 806.743.3610.

A Vision for the Future. We conduct research today that will impact future generations. We are committed to promoting collaborative interaction among multidisciplinary scientists that may lead to discovering new therapies for the prevention and treatment of age-related diseases. With integrated research capabilities that include other Texas Tech services and facilities, the opportunities for groundbreaking research are endless.

What is the Geriatric Education & Training Academy?

The Geriatric Education and Training Academy is an educational component of the Garrison Institute on Aging. The Academy offers courses in geriatric care to health care professionals, especially direct care staff working in long-term care, as well as courses for family caregivers, and a monthly lecture series on healthy aging for the general public. For more information, visit the Garrison Institute on Aging website and click on Geriatric Education and Training Academy.

What should I do if I suspect memory problems in myself or a loved one?

The first step is to discuss your concerns with your primary care provider. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Department of Neuropsychiatry offers a Memory Disorders Clinic where an extensive memory evaluation can be conducted by a team of neurologists and neuropsychologists. Evaluation in the Memory Disorders Clinic requires a referral from your primary care provider. Another option is to contact The Memory Shoppe (806-743-7799 or toll free at 1-866-650-7110), which is operated by the Department of Neuropsychiatry to offer personalized training programs to slow memory loss.