Need: Few older adults, particularly women and those in rural areas, participate in healthy living interventions.
Intervention: Health educators lead community-based healthy living classes, which include strength training, aerobic exercise, dietary skill building, and/or civic engagement, depending on the program.
Results: StrongPeople™ programs have been shown to improve weight, diet, physical activity, strength, cardiovascular health profile, physical function, pain, depression, and/or self-confidence in midlife and older adults.
Need: To provide evidence-based psychotherapy for depression in elderly veterans who are unable to seek mental health treatment due to distance or stigma.
Intervention: Telepsychology-Service Delivery for Depressed Elderly Veterans compared providing behavioral activation therapy via home-based telehealth and the same treatment delivered in a traditional office-based format.
Results: A 2015 study and two 2016 studies show that providing treatment via home-based telehealth to elderly veterans in South Carolina resulted in the same improved health outcomes, quality of life, satisfaction with care, and cost of healthcare compared to those receiving face-to-face treatment.
Need: To provide Lakota elders with tools and opportunities for advance care planning.
Intervention: An outreach program in South Dakota helps Lakota elders with advance care planning and wills by providing bilingual brochures and advance directive coaches.
Results: Care for Our Elders saw an increase in the number of Lakota elders understanding the differences between a will and a living will and the need to have end-of-life discussions with family and healthcare providers.
Need: In Vermont, the growing population of older adults, coupled with a lack of a decentralized, home-based system of care management, poses significant challenges for those who want to remain living independently at home.
Intervention: SASH® (Support and Services at Home), based in affordable housing and their surrounding communities throughout the state, works with community partners to help older adults and people with disabilities receive the care they need so they can continue living safely at home.
Results: Compared to their non-SASH peers, SASH participants have been documented to have better health outcomes, including fewer falls, lower rates of hospitalizations, fewer emergency room visits, and lower Medicare and Medicaid expenditures.
Need: To increase local health services to rural elderly populations in long-term care facilities located in four Midwest states near a tertiary care organization.
Intervention: A non-profit healthcare organization implemented telehealth services to provide acute care evaluations for long-term residents in their home facilities.
Results: The program increased local care as evidenced by improved year-over-year provider-determined available transfer data: 33%, 50%, 63% program years 1 through 3, respectively. From the success of the initial pilot implementation, the program has further matured into a long-term care offering that now reaches many other rural facilities located in 10 states across the nation.
Need: Because of the benefits associated with early identification of conditions causing memory problems, Florida's rural populations will benefit from access to screening for possible Alzheimer's Disease and other types of dementia.
Intervention: A state university uses a state health department grant to develop a cognitive impairment screening program implemented by rural Community Health Workers. An additional grant provides rural medical practitioners with a free online continuing education module covering cognitive impairment and dementia.
Results: To date, over 400 individuals have completed health screenings and over 900 referrals have been made to community social and medical services. At grant cycle completion, formal analysis of cognitive screening and referral to medical services will be shared.
Need: To educate rural community members about Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and to support older adults in need.
Intervention: A community group formed in Winnemucca, Nevada, to discuss topics like health, housing, social events, community improvement, education, and transportation for older adults. The group also provides outreach to older adults, caregiver support, and a variety of of educational activities and events.
Results: The group's efforts have led to many changes for community welfare and safety as well as opportunities for education and activities.
Need: Lakewood, Minnesota is classified as a food desert, where many rural families face food insecurity and low availability of both nutritious and affordable provisions.
Intervention: A collection of programs address food insecurity and the dietary health of members of the community, from children and families to older adults, supplying them with locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, and meat.
Results: Lakewood Engage conducts around 40,000 food insecurity screenings each year. Fresh produce, meat, and other goods are distributed to roughly 140 families (around 500 individuals), 200 seniors, and 75 school-aged children annually.