Source: UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA submitted to
HOUSING ISSUES IN URBAN & RURAL COMMUNITIES: OLDER POPULATION NEEDS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0203770
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
NEB-94-031
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Apr 1, 2005
Project End Date
Nov 30, 2008
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Niemeyer, S. M.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
(N/A)
LINCOLN,NE 68583
Performing Department
Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design
Non Technical Summary
Nebraska has 13.6% of its population age 65 plus (216,774 persons); 37.1% (80,401) have some type of disability (Census,2000). Older persons prefer assisted living to nursing homes, but overall prefer to stay in their own homes or in congregate living arrangements (Manard, Altman, Bray, Kane & Zeuschner, 1992). The 'frail elderly residing in assisted living settings are happier than nursing home residents, may avoid institutional placement, and have some functional and health improvements' (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1992). Older persons with modest means have had limited access to assisted living due to high costs and scarce public reimbursement (Redfoot. 2002). Few studies have addressed the multiple stakeholders (family/friend caregivers, community long-term care facility and assisted living administrators, and the older population) to compare their knowledge and perspectives of the housing needs and services issues and the policy implications. If the federal responsibilities for the older population's health, housing and well being continue to devolve to state and local units, the data are essential for decision making by state and local governmental, and public and private entities, and may inform those in other states. The purpose is to identify the housing and housing related service needs of the older population, what exists as housing conditions, alternatives and services to meet those needs, what and where are the gaps, and what are the implications for effective community leadership and policy changes to address the needs?
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
80453203080100%
Goals / Objectives
This research addresses what housing and housing related service changes and policies in communities are needed to provide for aging friendly communities and to allow older persons to make choices about types of housing and related services needed. The findings will help inform community leaders, businesses and policy makers. The research also builds on the previous research conducted in nine Midwestern states and 134 rural communities, and will further develop the community vitality and housing for the older population component (Niemeyer, et al, 2005). That component was a part of the total research focused on housing and community vitality (Crull, Cook and Shelley, 2004). Objectives: 1) Identify the constraints impinging on existing housing conditions and housing related services of the older population, the degree to which the housing condition and related service needs are being met and existing alternatives and gaps, satisfaction with current housing conditions and related services, and the impact on the dependent variable housing adjustment (intent to move or to alter physical housing condition, or alter housing services). (2) Identify perceptions of the 266 assisted living facility and 231 nursing home/long-term care facility administrators in rural and urban areas focused on housing and housing related issues of the older population including physical, economic, social, communication, policy and community issues, existing housing alternatives and services in the community or area, and perceived gaps. (3) Identify perceptions of 500 volunteer (family/friend) care givers for older family members related to the housing and housing related problems/issues of the older population including physical, economic, social, communication, policy and community issues, existing housing alternatives in the community and perceived barriers and gaps. (4) Based on the data analysis, summarize existing constraint factors that impinge on existing housing conditions and deficits/gaps, and on related services; satisfaction with existing conditions; and the needed adjustments suggested to address the gaps. Identify the potential policy implications and changes needed to address the barriers and gaps. (5) Disseminate findings to housing and related service professionals, policy makers and to the public in order to inform decision makers and householders.
Project Methods
The research question is addressed through surveying 4 groups: (1) stratified sample of 1000 Nebraskans age 65 plus in rural/urban areas; (2) 266 assisted living facility administrators;(3) 231 nursing home/long-term care administrators; and (4) a convenience sample of 500 family/friend care givers. To increase returns, the Total Design Method (Salant,P. & Dillman,D., 1994) will be used, and surveys pilot tested. The variables are based on the theoretical model of housing adjustment (Morris & Winter, 1978, 1996, 1998). The independent constraint variables are resource (age, income, education level, home ownership/rental, living arrangements), knowledge and cognitive ability, physical ability, and market constraints (urban/rural, population density, social and physical support systems and interactions/communications). The intervening variables are existing housing conditions (compared to deficits), and housing related services (compared to deficits), and satisfaction with the housing conditions and services. The dependent variables are housing adjustments through moving or alterations, and housing related services adjustment. A weak causal order is assumed. Phase I & II: Grant funding will be obtained, and survey and analysis of older population sample completed. Phase III: Surveys will be sent to all 266 assisted living and 231 long-term care facility administrators to discover their perceptions of housing and housing related problems of the older population (physical, economic, social, communication, policy and community issues), and to identify program and policy constraints. Data will be analyzed. Phase IV: A convenience sample of family/friend care givers will be surveyed to address similar questions. Extension Educators will provide potential respondents' names. The survey developed will be based on Phase II and III findings. Phase V 2009: The survey data from each phase will be compared to discover the primary issues defined by the older persons, administrators, and volunteer care givers. Specific questions that are common to all the surveys will be analyzed using t-tests. Analysis 2006-2009: The data will be analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlations, scatterplots, curvilinearity and other analytical procedures as each phase is completed. Multiple regression will be used determine the amount of variance explained in the dependent variable by the independent variable(s). The theoretical model for Phase I will be tested using Path Analysis to decompose and interpret the linear relationships among the variables and to discover causal relationships. The findings at each phase and summary analysis will be disseminated to housing and housing services related professionals, long-term care and assisted living facility administrators, care giver associations, policy makers and the public, and through Extension and includes: a. juried presentations at HERA and other related conferences and publishing in refereed journals; b. reports to the associations and organizations; and c. extension publications and media releases to the general public.

Progress 04/01/05 to 11/30/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The article noted below was printed in the Journal of Housing for the Elderly. This research and the findings were a part of a larger study focused on the effects of local housing decisions and activities on the vitality of rural communities and on identifying planning strategies that are used to mobilize resources for housing and community development. In the past three years, presentations have been made focused on the findings of this research which identified factors associated with local housing and service decisions that support aging adults in rural communities. In the current extension community lesson on Housing Options and at the KS/NE inservice on housing and aging, the findings were included as a part of the publications and the inservice. Copies of the journal article was made available at the inservice to the participants. PARTICIPANTS: In summary, the findings have been presented to the Nebraska Extension Community Development action team via a webinar, and at national conferences. Portions of the findings were used in developing the 2009 community lesson on Housing Options for Today and Tomorrow and at the 2008 KS/NE inservice on aging issues for extension educators' professional development. In addition, the findings will be used in Dec. 2008 in the webinar that focuses on the Housing Options for Today and Tomorrow lesson. TARGET AUDIENCES: Audiences include Extension educators and other professionals involved in aging issues education and community development professionals involved in extension. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: The original project focuses on an assessment of housing and housing related services in NE. However, four attempts at funding the research resulted in modification of the project to include analyzing data resulting from the regional study. The outcome was a journal publication and presentations focused on local housing and service decisions that support aging adults in rural communities.

Impacts
This research resulted in identifying key actions that communities may choose to address housing issues, and particularly those issues involving the aging population. Housing decision aids that include an organized assessment process, a housing committee or task force, and a city planning or housing department can help to shape the availability of housing and services for the older population. Leaders and planners should consider using planning and assessments to address the needs of retirees and the older population in the local area.

Publications

  • Niemeyer, S.,Cook, C., Memken, J., Crull, S., Bruin, M., White, B.J. & Yust, B. (2006). Local housing and service decisions: Planning for aging adults in rural communities. Journal of Housing for the Elderly. 20,4, 5-22. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. (Listed previously as accepted.)


Progress 10/01/06 to 09/30/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: During the past two years, four attempts have been made to secure funding for the research project on Housing Issues in Urban and Rural Communities: Older Populations Needs. The most recent, sent to the Home Instead Foundation, was not funded. Funding was obtained for the Barriers to Adoption of Energy Efficient Practices and Technology by Small Businesses Research. Total Amount: $11,218. Purpose: Discover the existing energy burdens and the barriers to adopting energy efficient practices and new technology in small NE businesses. Discover the ways to remove the barriers to adopting energy efficient practices and new technology. Twelve focus groups in four states were conducted to identify and assess mold and moisture-related issues in residential rental units. Property managers and renters responded to questions from a structured interview guide. Transcripts were analyzed using qualitative methods, patterned regularities and comparison tables to identify themes. Results were presented at the 2007 Housing Educators & Research Association national conference. PARTICIPANTS: Collaborators working with the research focused on 12 focus groups in four states were Marilyn Bruin and M. Cheple, University of MN. The collaborator for the new research project focuses on small rural businesss and the energy burden and barriers is Jerry Diekert, University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Impacts
Two refereed journal research articles in press in 2006 were published in 2007. The published findings resulted from the eight-state study of aging adults in rural communities. The importance of this research and the findings is seen in comments by the Journal of Housing for the Elderly editorial. In reference to our article, the editor indicated, "Although this subject does not always receive the appropriate attention, it is significant because one in four elderly in the U.S. live in a rural community. This disproportional large elderly population is particularly high in the Midwest where one-third of older adult inhabitants of rural communities are 60 years older. Niemeyer et al. identified the community contextual variables that affect housing and services for aging adults in the eight states. Their findings stress the importance of community context for the delivery of adequate housing and services for older adults." Findings related to the 12 focus groups in four states were presented at the national Housing Educators and Research Association. Charlotte, NC. Bruin, M., Cheple, M. & Niemeyer, S. (2007, Oct.). Property Manager and Resident Knowledge Regarding Mold and Moisture-Related Issues in Rental Units. The research findings from the 12 focus groups in four states have been used to inform our RentWise program and to focus more on the communication and maintenance and moisture problems. The findings indicated that both property managers and residents attribute responsibility for the moisture related problems to each other, and to lack of communication and maintenance. Both identify the need for education and for better communication about moisture and mold issues. Education about solutions and communication strategies is needed for property managers and renters to ensure healthier environments. Intervention is critical because subgroups at-risk for mold-related health concerns including children, older persons, and low-income individuals are over represented among households in need of affordable rental housing. In addition, children, minorities and the older population are more at-risk for asthma and have a higher incidence of rates and death due to asthma. Mold and damp indoor environments are associated with asthma events in persons sensitized and with other respirator problems. The RentWise program is targeting renters to educate them about issues such as communication, inspection, and maintenance. In addition, we are attempting to delivery more educational programs to landlords through presence at their state association meeting and through increased communication. It is expected that by increasing awareness on the part of both managers and renters, that more communication about moisture problems will occur and reduce the incidence of more severe problems that may result in health issues and costs.

Publications

  • Bruin, M. Cheple, M. & Niemeyer, S. (2007). Property manager and resident knowledge regarding mold and moisture-related issues in rental units. In. J. Laquatra (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2007 Annual Conference of the Housing Education and Research Association (pp.21-25). Ithaca New York: Cornell University. Available on CD.


Progress 10/01/05 to 09/30/06

Outputs
Three grant applications were submitted for the Phase I research. Funding has not been obtained. Grant applications will be submitted to the AARP Foundation, and other housing and aging related funding sources. Applications will be sent to three different sources to fund Phase I, Phase II and Phase III in order to secure partial or full funding. Grants submitted: Housing Issues in Nebraska Communities: Older Population Needs. 06/01/2006, $9,751, Layman Trust Fund; Housing and Housing Related Service Needs of Older Nebraskan. 02/01/2006, $10,000, NE Finance Investment Authority; and Housing Issues in Rural and Urban Communities: Older Population's Needs. 10/30/2006, $9,751, Home Instead Senior Care Foundation. Two blind peer review publications were accepted for printing in journals. These publications focused on the previous work focused on housing and community vitality and the elderly. Findings were presented at the NE Rural Community Institute and for the Community Development Extension Action Team.

Impacts
The expected outcome is a database and findings that can provide insight into the housing and related service needs of older persons. It is expected that the results will be of use to community leaders, policy makers and healthcare, housing and service professionals and to Nebraskans in making decision about existing and new housing and housing related services in order to meet the needs of the elderly and to address the housing and services gaps.

Publications

  • Yust, B., Laux, S., Bruin, M., Crull, S. Memken, J. White, B.J., Cook, C. & Niemeyer, S. 2006. Housing needs in rural communities. Accepted for printing in Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences. JFCS # 697
  • Niemeyer, S.,Cook, C., Memken, J., Crull, S., Bruin, M., White, B.J. & Yust, B. 2006. Local housing and service decisions: Planning for aging adults in rural communities. Accepted for printing in Journal of Housing for the Elderly.


Progress 10/01/04 to 09/30/05

Outputs
The research addresses: what are the housing and housing related service needs of the older population, what exists as housing alternatives and services to meet those needs, what and where are the gaps, and what are the policy implications necessary for effective community leadership and policy changes to address the needs? This is a new project. Phase I is underway and includes obtaining grant funding to survey a random sample of the older population sample. Three potential sources of dollars have been identified and are being contacted and a pre-proposal developed. A Layman grant will also be submitted.

Impacts
The expected outcome is a data base and findings that can provide insight into the housing and related service needs of older persons. It is expected that the results will be of use to community leaders, policy makers and healthcare, housing and service professionals and to Nebraskans in making decision about existing and new housing and housing related services in order to meet the needs of the elderly and to address the housing and services gaps.

Publications

  • Niemeyer, S.*, Cook, C. & White, B. J.(2005) Local Housing Decisions and Rural Community Vitality; Planning for Aging Adults. Midwest Sociological Society Mobilizing for Change Annual Meeting. April, 2, 2005. Presentation
  • Niemeyer, S., Cook, C*., White, B. J. 2005) Housing and Services for the Aging in Rural Communities. Housing Educators and Research Association Annual Conference. Healthy Homes and Communities. Oct. 10,2005. Presentation. Proceedings of the Housing Educators and Research Association Annual Conference, pp. 27-28 On-line. Available at http://www.housingeducators.org