Helping seniors manage diseases and live independently is not just a relevant health issue for seniors, their families, and caregivers—it is an important health, social, and economic issue that will play an increasingly important role for the United States as a whole. While research has shown that seniors who remain at home (as opposed to being institutionalized) live longer, happier lives, staying independent can prove challenging for seniors managing chronic health conditions. Seniors’ ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing grooming, dressing, and feeding themselves, decline when faced with the complications of arthritis, diabetes, or dementia. Our Tier I goal is to bring together seniors and their family members, care providers, health professionals, researchers, and community members to learn about the core obstacles for seniors to live independently while managing disease.
The partnership team will include individuals from the Senior Companion Program Advisory Council, Baltimore City Health Department, community groups, and researchers who specialize in geriatric-related fields. We are also partnering with real patients who have various medical conditions and receive services provided by the Senior Companion Program and those engaged in activities with the University of Maryland PATIENTS Program. We will engage the 16 senior centers across Baltimore City. The web platform to facilitate online engagement and dissemination will be built in collaboration with the Center for Mind and Esteem Development.