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A Survey of Collaborative Efforts Between Public Health and Aging Services Networks in Community Health Centers in Texas

Description: Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) that harness the reinforcing nature of collaborative efforts with aging services can better prepare for the future of older adult populations. The purpose of this research was to identify collaborative efforts between FQHCs and aging services and distinguish perceptions and knowledge regarding older adult populations. Executive directors, medical directors and social service directors (N=44) at 31 FQHCs across the state of Texas completed surveys measuring structural, procedural and environmental components of the health center setting. The 2007 Uniform Data System and 2000 US Census provided additional data on health centers use and services. Descriptive statistics analyzed independent variables of health center characteristics. Bivariate analysis determined significance of association between independent variables and levels of collaboration with aging services. Results found that all health centers collaborated with at least one aging service, with more informal than formal partnerships. Respondents indicated major barriers to providing services to older adults, including inadequate transportation, inadequate insurance, and limited funding. Respondents also indicated overloaded staff as a major barrier to collaborating with aging services. Aging topics for staff development and perceptions about older adults were also identified. Health center tenure (p=0.005, lambda=1.000), professional tenure (p=0.011, lambda=1.000), leadership in aging services (p=0.002, lambda=1.000), recent gerontological training (p=0.002, lambda=0.500), formal gerontological training p=0.002, lambda=1.000), strategic planning (p=0.002, lambda=1.000), and having older adults on governing boards (p=0.002, lambda= 1.000) were significantly associated with informal collaboration with aging services. Health center tenure (p=0.006, lambda=0.500), leadership in aging services (p=0.004, lambda=0.500), recent training (p=0.010, lambda=0.500), formal training (p=0.005, lambda=0.500), the designation of health center staff older adult services (p=0.025, lambda=0.250), strategic planning (p=0.011, Iambda=0.500), and older adults on governing board (p=0.009, lambda=0.500) were significantly associated with formal collaboration with aging services. In conclusion, FQHCs' efforts at partnering with aging services should include an investment in ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Severance, Jennifer Jurado

The Willingness of Older Adults to Evacuate in the Event of a Disaster

Description: The issue of rising number of disasters, the overwhelming increase in number of older adults, and historically flawed evacuations presents real challenges. Disasters can strike anywhere, any time, and have devastating consequences. Since 1900, the number of Americans 65 and older has increased 12 times (from 3.1 million to 36.3 million). During the next two decades, the number of American baby boomers, now aged 45-64, who turn 65, will increase by 40%. As evidenced by recent disasters, the imperfections and vulnerabilities of flawed evacuations for older adults are still present. This study examined the level of willingness to evacuate among older adults in the event of a disaster. Despite the extensive literature on disasters and evacuation, some significant questions regarding evacuation and older adults have not been addressed. This study addressed the following concerns: (1) What is the willingness among older adults to evacuate when asked to do so by emergency management officials? (2) Does the call to evacuate being mandatory versus voluntary influence the willingness of seniors to evacuate? (3) Do preconditions (Gender, Marital Status, Age, Ethnic Origin, and Education Levels) influence the willingness to evacuate among older adults? The sample population consisted of 765 voluntary participants aged 60 years and older from thirty senior/community centers within seven counties in the State of Oklahoma. A group administered survey (The Disaster Evacuation Survey) included a total of 15 questions. This study revealed the following findings: older adults are more likely to comply with a mandatory evacuation order. Individuals with college degrees are more likely to comply with mandatory evacuations. African Americans are more likely to comply with a voluntary request. American Indian/Alaskan Native are more likely to comply with mandatory evacuation orders from emergency officials. Important practical implications for emergency officials responding to vulnerable older adults in disaster situations are ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Gray-Graves, Amy Michael