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
Research Effort Categories
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.
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.