The LeadingAge Center for Applied Research (CFAR) conducted groundbreaking research during 2016 in 3 signature areas: housing plus services, workforce, and person-centered care.
Housing Plus Services
During 2016, the LeadingAge Center for Housing Plus Services (CHPS) expanded its research on housing plus services strategies and took part in initiatives to raise awareness about this evolving model among policy experts, and housing and health care providers. For example:
- Studying Housing Plus Services in Massachusetts: CHPS is working with partners in Massachusetts to design a new study that will assess the impact of housing plus services programs on residents living in some of the state’s affordable senior housing properties.
- Slowing the Growth of Medicare: The Support and Services at Home (SASH) program in Vermont continues to slow the growth of annual total Medicare expenditures for program participants, according to an ongoing evaluation by CFAR and RTI International
- Raising Awareness about Housing Plus Services: CHPS organized a Capitol Hill policy briefing highlighting its decade-long effort to build an evidence base for affordable housing plus services models. It also developed an online Education Spotlight on Housing Plus Services featuring resources for housing and health care providers.
- Support From Policy Experts: Integrating services into housing could improve health outcomes for older adults and reduce health care costs, according to a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center. CFAR Executive Director Robyn Stone served on the report’s Advisory Council.
Strengthening the Home Care Workforce
CFAR’s workforce-related work focused on the home-based care workplace during 2016. For example:
- Factors Influencing Intent to Leave a Job: Job satisfaction, consistent assignment, and health insurance are associated with lower intent to leave a job among home health workers, according to an analysis by CFAR and Social and Scientific Systems Inc., which appeared in The Gerontologist.
- Studying the Home Care Workplace: CFAR is working with Global Evaluation & Applied Research Solutions, Inc. (GEARS) on a 10-month, federally funded project to study and recommend actions to improve the home care work environment.
- Evaluating a Program to Train Personal and Home Care Aides: The Health Resources and Services Administration released findings from an evaluation of the Personal and Home Care Aide State Training Program. The evaluation was conducted by CFAR and Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc.
- Recognizing Nurse Leaders: Robin Scully, director of wellness at Lasell Village in Newton, MA, won the 2016 Joan Anne McHugh Award for Leadership in Long Term Care Nursing, which CFAR manages.
This year, CFAR continued its work to quantify the benefits of culture change. For example:
- Improving Quality Outcomes: Nursing homes that fully implement culture change experience significant improvements in resident perceptions of quality of life, services, and care, according to early findings from CFAR’s ongoing quantitative evaluation of a Medicaid pay-for-performance incentive program in Kansas.
- Culture Change, Depression, and Dementia: CFAR is testing whether older adults with depression and/or dementia experience better outcomes when they live in nursing homes that implement person-centered care and follow a “household” model.
Other Research Areas
CFAR researchers worked in a variety of other areas during 2016. For example:
- Intergenerational Programming: CFAR and Generations United are exploring the characteristics and benefits of intergenerational programming in senior housing properties.
- Integrating Elders into Communities: CFAR is providing technical assistance to Ibasho, a nonprofit organization that promotes the value of integrating elders into the life of communities around the world.
- Exploring the Future of Health Care: The National Academy of Medicine published a paper, co-authored by Robyn Stone, suggesting that the U.S. health care system is unprepared to support a growing population of sick older Americans.
- Recruiting Migrant Workers: A Generations article by Robyn Stone suggested that recruiting foreign-born or migrant workers could represent one solution to the projected shortage of direct care workers.
- Serving Severely Obese Elders: Providers of aging services are “calamitously underprepared” for the coming onslaught of severely obese elders, wrote Dr. Linda Hermer in AgingToday.