Completed Projects

(see also current projects)


Individualizing Care to Frail Elders: Refining the Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory

Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: February 2006 - January 2007
Funded by: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Abstract: This health research project focuses on aiding the assessment and integration of psychosocial preferences for everyday living for frail elderly individuals who receive long-term care services. Psychosocial preferences include such things as amount and type of social contact, leisure activities, and daily routines. A small, growing body of literature highlights the positive impacts of integrating these preferences into care delivery for frail elders. The Preference for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) is a rigorously developed assessment instrument fielded in a previous study of over 500 randomly selected elderly home health care recipients. The current project seeks to expand this line of research through a series of secondary analyses with the goal of refining the amount of individual preference information provided to a caregiver.


Palliative Dementia Care Resources

Principal Investigator: Nancy Hodgson
Period: July 2005 - June 2007
Funded by: Farber Family Foundation

Abstract: Palliative Dementia Care Resources was established to provide an online resource of information to help people make decisions about end-of-life care and services for individuals with dementia. The website guides professional and family caregivers to news, educational materials, and organizations related to palliative care. In order to be responsive to the needs of caregivers in managing life's changes, preparing for life's end, and coping with grief and loss, the content is focused on those topics that are often most pressing. An up-to-date listing of conferences and special events is available in addition to a forum in which family and professional caregivers exchange views, identify needs and possible solutions.


A Computer-Based Environmental Design Lexicon for Dementia Care

Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Co-Investigators: Kim Curyto (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services), Avalie Saperstein
Consultant: Margaret P. Calkins (IDEAS Consulting, Inc.)
Period: January 2003 - June 2008
Funded by: Extendicare Foundation

Abstract: This Polisher Research Institute project builds on work funded by the Alzheimer’s Association entitled “An Environmental Design Lexicon for Dementia Care”. The purpose of the original AA grant was to develop a lexicon as a resource for designers who are building or renovating long-term care facilities with the needs of persons with dementia in mind. This lexicon of design alternatives was to take the form of a 100-200 page commercial publication. However, it became clear as the project progressed that a paper copy of the lexicon would not meet the true objective an end product that could evolve and adapt to new understanding.
A better form to meet the intentions of the original principal investigator, M. Powell Lawton, was to develop a world wide web-based database system to facilitate easy access to the information contained in the design lexicon. The goal of the website is to advance the state of the art in environmental design for dementia and therefore promote the quality of life of persons with Alzheimer’s and related disorders.


Lawton Digital Archive Implementation

Principal Investigator: Rachel R. Resnick
Period: May 2006 - May 2007
Funded by: PA Dept of Education, Office of Commonwealth Libraries

Abstract: An online collection of a selection of presentations by the late M. Powell Lawton, Ph.D. is now available on the AccessPA Digital Repository. These documents represent presentations that Dr. Lawton made throughout his career at conferences for researchers on aging. The principles Dr. Lawton developed in his studies in environmental psychology influenced design innovations in nursing homes, special dementia units, and community-based programs all over the world. The planning and implementation were partially funded with federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds administered by the Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries.


A Model for Introducing Culture Change Initiatives into Long Term Care Settings

Principal Investigator: Anne R. Bower
Period: January 2006 - December 2006
Funded by: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health

Abstract: The objective of this project was to learn more about the nature of culture change initiatives in long term care settings. This study built on findings from two previous qualitative research projects that studied the introduction of two separate culture change initiatives into a Pennsylvania nursing home - one involving a palliative care program (Palliative Care in the Nursing Home: An Ethnographic Study) and the other a technology innovation (Passive Monitoring Technology). Qualitative discourse data from both projects were further analyzed to develop and refine an existing model for introducing culture change initiatives into nursing homes. It was anticipated that the refined model would serve to generate hypotheses for future culture change studies as well as provide an evidence-based foundation for making recommendations about initiating and implementing sustainable culture change in Pennsylvania nursing homes.


Exercise to Relieve Cancer-Related Insomnia and Fatigue

Principal Investigator: E.A. Coleman
Co-Investigators: S. Coon, K. Richards, E. Anaissie, B. Barlogie, w. Evans, D. Gaylor, B. Stewart
Period: 2005-2008
Funded by: National Institute of Nursing Research, National Cancer Institute

Abstract: Approximately 50% of patients with cancer have insomnia and up to 100% have fatigue. Insomnia and fatigue lead to a cycle of physiologic de-conditioning, which further diminishes activity tolerance. Sedatives/hypnotics do not provide a solution and behavioral interventions are needed for patients receiving treatment for cancer. Specific aims of this proposed study therefore are to: 1) compare the effects of a home-based individualized exercise program that combines aerobic and strength resistance training (HBIEP) with effects of a usual care/control condition on nocturnal sleep, as measured by actigraphy, and fatigue, as measured by the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Fatigue (FACT-F); 2) explore the effects of the HBIEP or a usual care/control condition on Stages 2,3 and 4 non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, using polysomnography; and 3) examine the relationships among HBIEP, aerobic capacity (6-minute walk test), muscle strength (with dynamometer), daytime sleep, physical activity, nocturnal sleep (all with actigraphy), and fatigue (POMS and FACT-F). We hypothesize that HBIEP will improve cancer-related insomnia and decrease cancer-related fatigue.
The study is a randomized trial with repeated measures of 200 patients receiving high dose chemotherapy as treatment for multiple myeloma. Data analysis will provide analysis of variance, descriptive statistics, and path analysis. The long-term objective is to improve the quality of life for patients receiving cancer treatment. As their physical activity and functional status improve, patients can continue to manage their activities of daily living and may be more likely to continue cancer treatment, thus increasing their survival chances.


Lawton Digital Archive Planning

Principal Investigator: Rachel R. Resnick
Period: May 2004 - May 2005
Funded by: PA Dept. of Education, Office of Commonwealth Libraries

Abstract: The purpose of this project was to create a plan to digitize, catalog, store, publicize and display unpublished documents of M. Powell Lawton, Ph.D. (1923-2001). Dr. Lawton was a senior research scientist and Director Emeritus of the Polisher Research Institute of Philadelphia Geriatric Center (PGC), now the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life. The goals of this project were to learn how Dr. Lawton's documents will be used and how to best make these documents available to researchers. Professionals familiar with Dr. Lawton’s work were surveyed to determine the types and subjects of documents that would be useful to them in their research. The library staff investigated the state-of-the-art procedures for scanning documents, supplying metadata and presenting digitized information on the Internet. The resulting plan will be used to request funding for resources to perform the digitization tasks and market the resulting digital archive. This project was partially funded with federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds administered by the Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries.


Redefining Dementia Person-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Culture Change

Co-Investigators: Anne R. Bower and William Senders
Period: March 2003 - August 2005
Funded by: Alzheimer's Association, New York City Chapter

Abstract: Redefining Dementia Care: A Roadmap for Culture Change is a new handbook that outlines the concepts and procedures for developing a person-centered, group recreation program for nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease and their staff caregivers. In clear, jargon-free language, the important concepts and themes of program development are identified and discussed and each phase of program development addressed. Chapter titles include Defining Our Terms, Developing a Person-Centered Group Program in a Facility, Developing a Core Team, Designing a Person-Centered Group Program, Training the Core Team and Some Advice About Starting a Person-Centered Group Program in a Nursing Home.
Grounded in person-centered, relationship-based culture change values, this handbook is intended to give users a new perspective on what dementia care can be for both residents and staff and assistance in achieving that kind of care. It was written with recreation, social services, pastoral care, nursing supervision and facility administrators in mind, but it will be useful for anyone who wants to offer better care to nursing home residents with dementia.
The handbook is based in real-world experience. The concepts, principles and procedures for developing a person-centered dementia group program described in it are based upon twenty years of experience working with residents and staff in New York City nursing homes. The handbook also incorporates findings from several research grants supported by the New York State Department of Health Dementia Grants Program that demonstrate program benefits for both residents and staff.


Sustainable Culture Change for Persons with Dementia in the Nursing Home: An Ethnographic Study of a Relationship Strengthened by Staff Training and Peer Support

Project Director: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Ethnographer: Anne R. Bower
Period: March 2003 - August 2005
Funded by: New York State Department of Health Dementia Grants Program

Abstract: This “culture change” project sought to create an environment in the long term care setting that would sustain person-centered, relationship-based care for nursing home residents with dementia and their staff caregivers. The aim was to enhance the quality of life for residents and the quality of care provided by staff. The culture change was effected by a two-tiered best practice intervention. One element of the intervention was a Person-centered Group Program, an innovative, therapeutic recreation program for nursing home residents with dementia. The Group Program was introduced, developed and implemented through a second element which was a comprehensive, multi-faceted staff training intervention referred to as the Dementia Care Culture Change Intervention. The Culture Change Intervention was initiated on a residential unit in each of three New York City area nursing homes.

The culture change project used both quantitative and qualitative longitudinal methods to evaluate the impact of the Group Program and the Culture Change Intervention on nursing home residents and staff. Both qualitative and quantitative findings from the project indicated that the impact of theCulture Change Intervention was substantial and at a level rarely enjoyed by most psycho-socially based interventions. Staff participants regarded the Intervention as a successful training that taught them new skills, improved the quality of their recreational programming and benefited the residents. Quantitative findings indicated that residents who participated in the Group Program demonstrated a significant decrease in depressive symptoms over time and an increase in the frequency of activity participation and engagement.


Lexicon of Technologies in Long-Term Care Settings

Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: September 2002 - August 2005
Funded by: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

Abstract: This project involves the construction of a web-based searchable, updateable lexicon of existing and emerging technologies in long-term care settings. The database, titled Technology for Long Term Care, is designed for use by professionals engaged in the planning, design, administration, professional care, and research in long-term care settings. Technologies to be included will encompass those directed at incontinence, fall prevention, assistance call systems, wander management, and bathing. Product information includes names, descriptions and details, price (when available), date last updated, the care issue and the category the product belongs to, and manufacturer/distributor contact information. The site also highlights key issues to consider when selecting a technology and questions to ask vendors and manufacturers about their products. A report on the legal, financial, and social barriers to the process of implementing these technologies in long-term care settings will also be produced. The project is funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the Department of Health and Human Services.


The Impact of Passive Nurse Call Technology on Nursing Home Fall Rates

Principal Investigator: Nancy Hodgson
Co-Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: November 2002-October 2004
Funded by: Sigma Theta Tau, International Nursing Honor Society, Xi Chapter

Abstract: The intent of this project is to evaluate the clinical efficacy of a passive nurse monitoring and call system in reducing nursing home fall rates in high-risk adults in a nursing home setting. Building on the scope of previous research that addressed who is likely to fall, this research team will answer when, where and how falls occur. A 12-month study has been designed in which 40 residents at increased risk for falls and living either on a household with passive call system in operation or a household with a traditional call system will be compared. The outcomes of interest are resident falls, consequences of a fall, and the events leading up to a fall incident. The project will provide necessary information regarding the independent contribution of frailty factors on predicting falls along with the interaction of these risk factors. These analyses will allow for the identification of a model from which more informative fall risk profiles and assessments can be based.


Passive Monitoring Technology

Investigators: Kimberly Van Haitsma, Kim Curyto, and Nancy Hodgson
Period: September 2002 - January 2004
Funded by: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health

Abstract: The Madlyn & Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life had a passive monitoring and nurse call system installed in two 27-bed households of their nursing home facility. This technology provided an innovative system of signal assistance based on resident movement. It continuously gathers and records data for each resident through an array of passive bedroom sensors, including bed exit, incontinence, and general motion detection sensors, placed for continuous monitoring of resident activity. No electronic bracelets or tags are required. Based on the system data, the software identified expected patterns of behavior for each resident and set up rules to interpret and respond to the vast amount of data gathered. Care providers used this information to refine and improve individualized care plans for preventative and proactive strategies. When a resident departs from their expected behavior, appropriate caregivers were notified immediately through silent pocket pagers, minimizing noise and contributing to a quiet, home-like environment. The Abramson Center’s Polisher Research Institute compared this system to a more traditional nurse call system in terms of impact on resident safety, quality of care and quality of life on the two households in the nursing home. Each household had both the passive nurse call technology and a more traditional wireless nurse call pager system. However, the passive monitoring system on one household did not initially provide feedback or calls to the staff, making it a control by which to compare the second household. Various methods were utilized in order to evaluate resident physical, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning and staff impressions. Assessments were made at baseline, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up.


Palliative care in the nursing home: an ethnographic study

Principal Investigator: Nancy A. Hodgson
Co-Investigator and Ethnographer: Anne R. Bower
Period: September 2002- August 2003
Funded by: The Frank Morgan Jones Fund

Abstract: The purpose of this project was to advance our understanding of palliative care delivery in the long-term care setting by developing a model of how a palliative care program (PCP) is developed and introduced. The specific aims were to identify the circumstances and conditions that give rise to the development of a PCP, to learn how this process was experienced by core members of the PCP team, and to learn how participants' beliefs and attitudes about end-of-life-care shape program development. The project offered a unique opportunity to capture the multifaceted context in which apalliative care program is introduced in a nursing home.


Building Relationships to Enhance Resident-Centered Care: Taking Care of Your Feelings First and Taking Care of Residents' Feelings

Principal Investigator: Katy Ruckdeschel
Co-Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: 2001-2002
Funded by: Extendicare Foundation

Abstract: The purpose of this project was to pilot a training workshop with nursing home staff, and to polish it by undertaking extensive editing and adding graphics to create a manual that may be shared with others for both clinical and research purposes.


Predicting Turnover of Certified Nursing Assistants

Co-Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: February 2001 - January 2005
Funded by: Alzheimer's Association

Abstract: Nursing home staff turnover takes a tremendous toll in terms of financial costs, staff morale, and resident quality of life. Efforts to identify the qualities of those who remain on the job have examined demographic and attitudinal characteristics of staff as well as qualities of institutions. Abilities of the staff also play a central role in job motivation; neglected in previous studies in this area are CNAs' emotional skills. Skill in recognizing the subtle indicators of emotion in persons with dementia might be critical in ensuring successful work experiences that discourage turnover and might reinforce a sense of agency in caregivers, reminding them that their behavior has an impact on residents who at times appear unresponsive. This study measured CNAs' skill in recognizing emotions in persons with dementia and related their level of skill to whether they remain on the job for at least one year. We interviewed and assessed 150 CNAs within one week of their being hired to work in a nursing home and followed them for one year. In addition to assessing emotion recognition skill, we gathered data regarding CNA demographic characteristics, personality, general intelligence, emotional intelligence, and empathy, and facility characteristics such as size, non-profit status, and provision of staff orientation. Logistic regression was used to identify which variables significantly predict whether a CNA remains on the job after one year, with special attention to the incremental utility of including emotion recognition skill as a predictor.


An Environmental Design Lexicon for Dementia Care

Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: September 2000 - March 2004
Funded by: Alzheimer's Association

Abstract: This qualitative research project was designed by M. Powell Lawton to construct a lexicon of the design art for professionals engaged in the planning, design, administration, professional care, and research on nursing home facilities for people with dementia. An expert panel of consultants and the PIs directed a process of literature review and preliminary dictionary construction. This was followed by a period of observation and interview study at 6 nursing homes. The data gathered was used in a next lexicon draft, whose final form is a website. The website allows design actors to look up spaces, objects, functions, systems, and user needs and see state-of-the-art comments about the advantages and disadvantages of each.


Effects of Risperidone and Haldol for the treatment of psychotic and aggressive symptoms in nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease with respect to the patient's quality of life after treatment

Co-Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: November 1999 - October 2001


Long Term Care Needs of Holocaust Survivors

Principal Investigator: Allen Glicksman
Co-Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: May 1999 - December 2003
Funded by: The Fan Fox and Leslie Samuels Foundation

Abstract: The primary goal of this research was to identify and document the special needs of Holocaust survivors in LTC. The four specific objectives included: 1) the identification of special needs of LTC service users who are holocaust survivors (including home based and institutional based LTC); 2) the comparison of survivors using LTC services with a cross-section of older Jewish persons of similar socio-demographic status who did not experience the Holocaust and who are also using LTC services; 3) the development of a model for working with victims of similar traumas who are receiving long term care. The situation facing older Holocaust survivors also faces survivors of other traumatic events such as Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia and others whose refugees have reached American shores; and 4) a first attempt at developing practice guidelines for professionals working with elderly victims of the trauma in LTC settings.


Depression in Dementia: A pilot project to develop a psychotherapeutic approach for persons residing in the nursing home

Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: 1998-2000
Funded by: Intervention Research Center/Depression in Late Life: Psychiatric - Medical Comorbidity, NIH/NIMH/University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: This project was a subcontract with the University of Pennsylvania. The project was designed to develop a psychotherapeutic approach for nursing home residents with dementia and depression and to begin testing its feasibility.


Preferences for Every Day Living: Developing an Instrument to Inventory Lifestyle Choices

Co-Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: June 1998 - January 2000
Funded by: The Fan Fox and Leslie Samuels Foundation

Abstract: Previous studies have documented that control over the details of one's everyday life and the provision of preference congruent care is related to better quality of life for elders. The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to assess psychosocial preferences for everyday living. Related work by this group shows that psychosocial preferences can be conceptually mapped into six domains, indicating that people think about categories of psychosocial preferences in similar ways. In contrast, the expression of preferences is inherently idiosyncratic presenting a challenge to traditional, factor-analytic approaches to categorization. The current study assessed preferences for everyday living in a group of 580 community dwelling elders. The sample has been stratified to reflect differing levels of experience in the home health service delivery system. A factor analysis identified 9 clusters of individuals who expressed distinct combinations of psychosocial preferences, providing a preliminary typology of expressed preference. These factors are characterized by specific patterns of demographic, functional, and physical and mental health variables. Implications for individualization of care are discussed.


Bereavement in Long-Term Care

Principal Investigator: Robert Rubinstein
Ethnographer: Anne R. Bower
Period: September 1996 - August 2000
Funded by: National Institute on Aging

Abstract: The goal of this ethnographic study was to explore the experience and meaning of dying, death and bereavement in the nursing home setting. Drawing on theory and method from cultural anthropology, the goal of the project was to learn and describe this experience from the perspectives of residents, staff, and family members in four ethnically and religiously different nursing homes. Findings have practice and policy implications for increasing numbers of older persons who live and die in nursing homes.


Individualized Positive Psychosocial Interventions: Impact on Staff and ADRD Residents

Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: 1996-1999
Funded by: Alzheimer's Association

Abstract: The project examined the effectiveness of an intervention designed to enhance the affective and behavioral quality of life for persons residing in a nursing home who suffer from Alzheimer's Disease or related disorders.


Emotion in Dementia: Its Measurement and Comprehension by Caregivers

Principal Investigator: M. Powell Lawton
Research Consultant: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: July 1994 - June 1996


A Stimulation-Retreat Program for Alzheimer's Patients

Principal Investigator: M. Powell Lawton
Project Director: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: September 1991 - August 1995
Funded by: National Institute on Aging

Abstract: The project performed a randomized evaluation of the efficacy of an individualized program for Alzheimer patients, based on matching appropriate levels of stimulation with needs of the resident. The program in a special care unit was compared with a similar unit without the program and with similar groups of Alzheimer patients living in heterogeneous units.


Wrist and ankle accelerometry: A novel method for the early detection of delirium in hospitalized patients with cognitive impairment

Principal Investigator: Nalaka S. Gooneratne
Co-Investigators: K.C. Richards, P. Gehrman
Period: 2008-2009
Funded by: University of Pennsylvania Institute on Aging

Abstract: The primary goal of this project is to determine if abnormal rest-activity patterns, such as increased activity during the nocturnal sleep period, can be used to identify a pre-delirium state in older adults with cognitive impairment during the course of their hospitalization. Detection of the pre-delirium state could then allow for earlier treatment of delirium.


Sleep Disorders Study

Principal Investigator: Kathy Richards
Co-Investigators: C.K. Beck, L. Hutchison, C. Lambert
Period: 2007-2010
Funded by: National Institute on Aging

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to identify a valid objective method to diagnose prevalent sleep disorders in elders with dementia. The quality of our sleep impacts every aspect of our lives, from our emotional and physical health to our ability to think and concentrate. The aim of this study is to improve nighttime sleep and daytime functioning for individuals with dementia by developing an objective method for diagnosing sleep disorders, rather than having to rely on an intensive verbal interview, which is the current standard. The research will take place at the Abramson Center for Jewish Life in a specially designed sleep and behavioral research laboratory.


Feasibility Study: Attention Measures in Persons with Alzheimer's Disease

Principal Investigator: Catherine Cole
Co-Investigators: M. Mennemeier, K. Richards
Period: 2007-2009
Funded by: National Institute of Nursing Research

Abstract: This study will establish the feasibility of using repeated simple reaction time measures to study the effect of sleep disruption on vigilant attention in persons with AD. Sleep disruption is a prominent clinical feature of AD that significantly impacts quality of life for persons with AD and their caregivers. In healthy people, studies of sleep disruption show the negative effects of sleep disruption and the positive effects of improved sleep on motor function, mood, and vigilant attention. Impaired vigilant attention is highly significant because intact vigilant attention is central to human function. The ability to vigilantly attend to, quickly select and respond to the most salient incoming stimuli for processing is essential for safe and effective human performance. Impaired vigilant attention is particularly important for persons with AD because the inability to maintain vigilant attention may cause or worsen memory complaints. Although the impact of sleep disruption on vigilant attention has been studied extensively in healthy people the availability of strong evidence concerning its effect on persons with AD is limited. To the Principal Investigator's (PI) knowledge, no one has studied the effect of sleep disruption on vigilant attention in persons with AD. However, before we can study the effect of sleep disruption on vigilant attention in persons with AD, we must ensure that we have valid and reliable measures of vigilant attention. In healthy populations repeated simple reaction time measures (The Psychomotor Vigilance Task [PVT]) have successfully been used to study the effect of sleep disruption on vigilant attention. The PVT was developed by Dinges and Powell (1986) as a standardized laboratory tool and has been used extensively by sleep researchers in healthy populations. The PVT is a simple small handheld device that can be programmed to deliver either a visual or audible multiple unprepared reaction time tests. Each trial lasts 10 minutes. Although the reaction time paradigm has been used to assess vigilant attention in persons with mild AD in a cross sectional design, we do not know if persons with AD can complete multiple repeated measures or if the results obtained might be erroneous. For example, changes in attention may erroneously reflect depressed motivation or anxiety with the testing situation.
Therefore, the primary specific aim for this study is: 1. Determine the feasibility of using frequently repeated (q 2 hour) measures of vigilant attention (PVT) in persons with AD. The secondary specific aims are: 2. Determine the sensitivity of PVT tests across 6 time periods to measure changes in vigilant attention in persons with AD. 3. Determine the sensitivity of PVT tests of less than 10 minutes duration. This application is submitted under the Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15) Announcement (PA- 06-042). The proposed study will establish the feasibility of using repeated simple reaction time measures to study the effect of sleep disruption on vigilant attention in persons with Alzheimer's disease. This feasibility study addresses Goal 2.1: Research in neurofunction and sensory conditions, as outlined in the National Institute on Nursing Research Mission Statement and Strategic Plan.


Individualized Care Studies

Principal Investigator: Kimberly Van Haitsma
Period: February 2006 - January 2007
Funded by: Newell Foundation

Abstract: The Newell Foundation is committed to supporting research studies that will further the understanding of how to tailor non-medical aspects of care provided to individuals with a wide range of disabilities, including cognitive impairment. In this regard, one of the most rapidly growing "at risk" populations today is frail elders. Frail elders are at risk for the development of dementing illness and a variety of other functionally debilitating illnesses which result in the need for professional caregiving assistance to engage in activities of everyday living. Frail elders receive assistance from professional caregivers in a variety of settings including their own homes, hospitals, and adult day care, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities.