Callie Burch

 

Initiatives to Promote Aging-in-Place in Local Communities: An Evidence-Based Toolkit

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to create an evidence-based toolkit to guide local community leaders in the planning process of establishing Aging-in-Place initiatives. The toolkit highlights best practices for key components of Aging-in-Place infrastructures that provide sufficient support to allow older adults to remain in their homes as they age.

Methods: Toolkit development was based on an integrative literature review, interviews with research experts and community leaders of aging-in-place initiatives in the U.S., organizational resources on healthy aging and aging-in- place initiatives, and identified needs of local older adults.

Results: Major themes in the literature were skilled healthcare professionals, modifications to the home environment, the importance of social engagement, and sustainability of aging-in-place initiatives. Similar themes were identified in the interviews but were more focused on the structure and characteristics of successful aging-in-place programs, including funding, community support and partnerships, leadership, program services and sustainability.

Discussion: This toolkit can be utilized by aging-in-place leaders in Tallahassee to develop and maintain a program to provide support that allows to older adults to remain in their homes as they age. This will not only decrease the strain on the local healthcare system but improve the quality of life of elderly residents by allowing them to remain independent and maintain meaningful social relationships in their community.

Conclusions: A growing demand for innovative ideas to address the expanding utilization of healthcare services exists due to consequences of aging such as the development of chronic disease and decreased physical mobility. The fact that Florida ranks last in the country in providing long-term care services and support for older adults should spark immediate action by state government officials (AARP, 2020). Research has demonstrated that aging-in-place programs are cost-effective, provide superior outcomes, as well as improve the quality of life of older adults.

Major Professor: Eileen Cormier, PhD, RN

 

 

 

 

 

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