IFAS Receives Funding to Evaluate Innovative Housing and Services Program
WASHINGTON – The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging’s Institute for the Future of Aging Services (IFAS) recently received a grant from The SCAN Foundation to investigate if the combination of health education and service coordination in affordable senior housing can help residents maintain their independence.
The study’s centerpiece is Northern California Presbyterian Homes & Services’ WellElder program. The program, which operates in four affordable senior housing communities in northern California, pairs a health educator and service coordinator in each community. These professionals provide wellness and health education, health monitoring services and assistance in identifying and accessing health services and resources.
Over the next year, IFAS researchers will survey the property residents about themselves and their use of the WellElder program. The team will also conduct interviews and focus groups with residents, their family members and staff to determine the perceived benefits of participating in the program. Among other factors, the researchers will assess what differentiates participants and non-participants based on ethnic and cultural demographics.
“WellElder’s integration of health and supportive services into affordable senior housing is innovative. The real question is, is it making a difference and can it be replicated efficiently and effectively?” Robyn Stone, Dr.PH, IFAS Executive Director said. “This study gives us the unique opportunity to offer senior housing providers and policy makers new insights into the potential benefits of integrating health and supportive services into affordable housing settings for low-income older adults.”
“The SCAN Foundation is pleased to provide support to this important study from IFAS which will help shape the future of a care delivery system for seniors,” said Dr. Bruce Chernof, President and CEO of The SCAN Foundation. “This puts us closer to our goal of ensuring that people aged 65 and older will have the best opportunity to live independently and receive care in the setting most appropriate to their needs.”