Drs. Debbie Rose and Kathleen Wilson from the Department of Kinesiology are currently evaluating the efficacy of a home-based fall risk reduction program conducted by trained peer facilitators. The components of the program include a fall risk assessment, individualized and progressive exercise program, home assessment and modification, and fall risk education. The long-term goal of the “Stay Well At Home” (SWAH) project is to create a comprehensive program that can be disseminated with a high degree of fidelity and low cost by healthcare agencies and other direct service organizations in the United States. This project is currently funded by the California Wellness Foundation.
Dr. Laura Zettel-Watson (Psychology) and Dmitry Tsukerman (M.S. Psychology, 2013) have submitted a manuscript detailing the use of online health management tools by 160 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute members who are likely to be early-adopters of new technology. The study explores the perceptions and usage patterns among users of online health management tools and helps to identify barriers and barrier-breakers among non-users. The data collection phase of the project was funded by the Beverly Miller University Assistive Technology User Research Project Grant in 2010.
Drs. Laura Zettel-Watson (Psychology), Melanie Horn Mallers (Human Services), and Kathleen Wilson (Kinesiology) are investigating whether technology (i.e., computers, phones, or other communication devices) can bridge the distance between older adults and their loved ones, enabling social support exchange, health behavior monitoring, and caregiving from afar. The researchers have had a series of questions on health-related technology use accepted for inclusion in two nationally representative, large-scale data collection efforts: the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE, part of Midlife in the Unites States – MIDUS) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Collaborating with the investigative teams associated with these large-scale studies allows the targeted questions to be complemented by the vast longitudinal data available in the greater MIDUS and HRS databases. The team is currently writing a grant proposal seeking National Institute on Aging funding for these projects.