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Iris Wernher, Dipl.-Psych.
Iris Wernher, Dipl.-Psych.


Tel: 503-725-5236
Office: URBN 470L


University diploma in Psychology (Dipl.-Psych., 2004, equivalent to MS), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany

Research Interests

Age-friendly and dementia-friendly communities; community-based approaches to dementia care and caregiver support; aging in place; global aging; aging, health, and disease as cultural constructs; aging in developing countries; intercultural health communications; the role of technology in aging societies; Ambient Assisted Living; applications of GIS in health and social sciences.

Current Projects

Iris is working toward her PhD in Urban Studies, with a special interest in gerontology and community health planning. She works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Institute on Aging where she is actively involved in the "Age-Friendly Portland" initiative. In the past, Iris has assisted with the coordination and preparation of the service-learning program "Global Aging and Health: Enhancing Communities in Nicaragua." Owing to her professional experience as a clinical psychologist and counselor in dementia care, Iris is a passionate advocate for people living with dementia and their informal carers. For example, she recently worked with Dr. Margaret Neal on a study to evaluate the efficacy of a community-based intervention to reduce sundowning symptoms in people with late-stage dementia and the perceived stress of their care partners. In the context of her dissertation, Iris is interested in ecological approaches to making cities and communities more "dementia friendly."


  • AGE 558 Perspectives on Aging
  • PHE 354U Social Gerontology


  • Neal, M. B., Cannon, M., DeLaTorre, A., Bolkan, C. R., Wernher, I., Nolan, E., & ... Brown Wilson, K. (2017). Addressing the needs of Nicaraguan older adults living on the edge: A university–community partnership in international service-learning. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 38(1), 119-138. doi:10.1080/02701960.2016.1259161
  • Wernher, I., & Lipsky, M. S. (2015). Psychological theories of aging. Disease-A-Month, 61(11), 480-488. doi:10.1016/j.disamonth.2015.09.004
  • Neal, M. B., & Wernher, I. (2014). Evaluating your Age-Friendly Community program: A step-by-step guide. [Prepared for AARP's Public Policy Institute as part of AARP's Network of Age-Friendly Communities Tool Kit].
  • Wernher, I., Bjerregaard, F., Tinsel, I., Bleich, C., Boczor, S., Kloppe, T., Scherer, M., Härter, M., Niebling, W., König, H.-H., & Hüll, M. (2014). Collaborative treatment of late-life depression in primary care (GermanIMPACT): Study protocol of a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Trials, 15(1), 351. doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-351.
  • Wernher, I., & Hüll, M. (2011). [Dementia diagnostics: What’s the ideal screening approach?] Demenz: Was ist die optimale Screening-Diagnostik? Neuro aktuell, 25(4), 31-33. Hüll, M., & Wernher, I. (2010). [Psychosocial interventions and caregiver support.] Psychosoziale Interventionen und Angehörigenverfahren. Der Nervenarzt, 81(7), 823-826. doi:10.1007/s00115-010-3001-0.
  • Wernher, I., & Hüll, M. (2010). [Continuing Medical Education CME: Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. A focus on depression, anxiety, apathy, and irritability.] CME: Psychische und Verhaltenssymptome bei Demenz. Depression, Ängstlichkeit, Apathie und Reizbarkeit im Fokus. Der Neurologe & Psychiater, 11(9), 37-43.
  • Wernher, I., Metternich, B., & Hüll, M. (2009). [Psychological and behavioral dysfunctions in dementia.] Störungen des Erlebens und Verhaltens bei Demenzen. Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, up2date, 3(3), 149-164.
  • Wernher, I., & Nerb, J. (2007). [Internet and self-concept. A comparison of self- and group-oriented cultures.] Internet und Selbstkonzept. Ein Vergleich zwischen Ich- und Wir-orientierten Kulturkreisen. Saarbrücken: VDM.

Conference Posters