Active Aging Research Center

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Are you 65 or older and living in your own home? Do you worry about falls, managing medications, driving, or receiving in-home services? Maybe your a family member of an older adult and have the same concerns. The Active Aging Research Center is currently looking for participants for their research study. The centers partners include the University of Wisconsin-Madison and your local Aging & Disability Resource Center of Eagle Country. They’ve been working on making easy-to-use technology designed just for older adults, to help keep them independent and in their homes longer. This technology hopes to help with:

• Connecting people to their community,
• Reducing falls,
• Managing medications,
• scheduling and receiving home services,
• family communication,
• and transportation and safe driving.

There is no cost for you to participate. Some participants will have a chance to try this technology. Select participants will get a laptop and internet for a year and personal training. No prior computer experience is necessary. Participants can also have their own computer and be involved.

If you are over 65, live independently, a resident of Sauk or Richland County, or are a caregiver or family member of an older adult, call Brett Iverson at 649-5953 for more information.

Brett_NACBrett Iverson, AARC Study Coordinator
Aging & Disability Resource Center of Eagle Country
Phone: (608) 649-5953
E-mail: brett.iverson@co.richland.wi.us
You can also visit the AARC website at:
aarc.chess.wisc.edu

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Active Aging Research Center

What is this project?

In 2011, the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Eagle Country (serving Crawford, Juneau, Richland and Sauk Counties) partnered with the State of Wisconsin-Bureau of Aging & Disability Resources, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and other community partners to launch the Active Aging Research Center (AARC). This five-year project, funded by the federal Agency on Health Care Research and Quality, will develop ways to help older people stay independent, active, and engaged with their communities. One way to do this is through “applied research.”

What is applied research?Applied research seeks practical solutions to real-world problems. The tools we develop for independent living will grow out of conversations with older adults, families, service providers, and policy makers—not just in laboratories or other research settings. The goal is for the research we conduct to be quickly useable in today’s world.

What will it accomplish?

The project will identify resources, develop networks, and create technologies to help older adults maintain their independence. It will work to expand programs to help older people:

  • Prevent falls
  • Increase home service dependability
  • Manage medications 
  • Improve safe driving
  • Reduce loneliness and isolation

Why the ADRC of Eagle Country?

The research started primarily in Richland County, with plans to spread to the whole region, and was one of three Wisconsin counties invited to help develop and test new programs and tools. It was selected because of its rural population and the reputation of the multi-county Aging & Disability Resource Center whose focus is to help older people stay independent.

What is the role of local residents?

Community involvement will play an important role throughout the project. Residents will be invited to participate in conversations, focus groups, and strategy teams to help researchers understand the needs and assets of older people, caregivers, family members, and the community. Older people in Richland County will have the opportunity to tell researchers what’s important to them and their families as they age. What they have to say will have a big impact on the direction the researchers take both in developing project tools and in identifying community assets that can help meet community challenges.

What do you get out of participating?

You can help make sure the researchers get it right. Be among the first to test the new tools and programs and play a leading role in helping older people remain independent. As a participant, you’ll contribute to research that will benefit older people across our state and, eventually, the nation. You can also help your children and grandchildren by creating tools that allow future generations to continue to live independently.

 Why is this project focused on older adults?

Our country’s population is getting older. In Richland County, 24% of the population is age 60 or older. By 2035, over 30% will be age 60 or older. It’s important to address the needs of people as they age. The AARC project wants to help older people maintain their independence and live healthy, productive, meaningful lives.

How did the AARC decide on the issues?

We chose these issues because they are among the top reasons older people leave their homes.

Falls prevention — Nationally, Wisconsin ranks in the top five states for the number of deaths due to falls. Ninety percent of fall-related deaths and 70% of fall-related hospital stays involve people age 65 and older.
Loneliness and isolation — Lack of emotional support and companionship are associated with poorer health outcomes for older adults.
In-home service dependability — For many older adults, living independently depends on the consistency and quality of in-home services provided for meals, personal care, and companionship.
Medication management — People age 65 and older account for 34% of prescription medication use and 30% of over-the-counter medication use. For many older adults, being able to live independently depends on the ability to manage a complicated medication routine.
Safe driving — In most parts of Wisconsin and the U.S., driving means independence. Extending safe driving prolongs the time that an older person can stay active and maintain social networks.

To learn more, contact:


Brett_NACBrett Iverson
, AARC Study Coordinator
Aging & Disability Resource Center of Eagle Country
Phone: (608) 649-5953
E-mail: brett.iverson@co.richland.wi.us
You can also visit the AARC website at:
aarc.chess.wisc.edu

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