Health Services in Residential Care and Assisted Living

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At present, there are approximately 1 million Americans living in an assisted living community.  That number is expected to increase by 40% over the next 20 years. The landscape of assisted living is changing to simultaneously accommodate the increasing needs of residents and support aging in place. This has resulted in a variation in the types of services offered from one assisted living to the next.

The Health Services in Residential Care and Assisted Living study aims to examine the health services provided in assisted living and the staffing required to provide these services. The study design consists of telephone interviews with administrators and health care supervisors from 240 assisted living communities randomly selected from 8 states covering the 4 US census-derived regions (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West). 

What’s Involved

If a residential care/assisted living community agrees to participate, the UNC team will:

  • Ask the administrator to participate in a brief telephone interview about the community
  • Ask the administrator to identify the staff member who knows the most about the health services provided by the community
  • Conduct a 30-minute telephone interview with the designated staff member (only after he/she has agreed) about the health services provided by the community, either directly by staff or by contractual arrangements. No information will be collected about or from individual residents.
  • Mail a $50 gift card to the staff member who completes the interview.
  • Send a summary report to the community describing the results and a certificate of participation at the end of the project.

Who’s Involved

  • Anna Song Beeber Ph.D., R.N.: Principal Investigator. Dr. Beeber is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, and a Research Fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Her research focuses on improving the quality of care for older adults residing in long-term care settings, in particular, examining staffing, service delivery, and resident outcomes in assisted living to guide future efforts to help assisted living communities match services with resident needs. Dr. Beeber received a BSN from Hartwick College and a MSN (Adult and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner) and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Her doctoral work was funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Scholars Program and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Beeber completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, funded by the NINR Healthcare Quality and Patient Outcomes T32 and the John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Fellowship program, and a while on faculty at UNC completed a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health K12 career development award. She currently teaches clinical care of older adults to MSN students.
  • Sheryl Zimmerman: Co-investigator. Gerontologist and Health Services Researcher; Distinguished Professor in the School of Social Work, and Co-director for program on Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Madeline Mitchell: Project Manager. Research Associate and Fellow; Program on Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care; working at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Julia Thorp: Research Assistant of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Elizabeth Stephens RN, BSN, CCRN: Research Assistant. Elizabeth is a graduate student in the Adult and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner program at UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing.  She is specializing in the care of adult and geriatric patients. Elizabeth’s clinical background experience includes critical care, post-operative care, and care of patients with neurological conditions.
  • Stephen Mantzouris RN, BSN:  Research Assistant. Stephen is a graduate student in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing. He was a nurse in United States Navy Nurse for 5 years and worked in the following clinical areas: Medical/Surgical, Emergency Room, Multi-service, Pediatrics and Pediatric Oncology.
  • Kristin Levoy RN, BSN, OCN: Research Assistant Kristin is a 2003 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing.  Since that time she has been practicing as an oncology nurse. She is a health care systems major on the dual Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) track.

Confidentiality

This research project has been approved by the UNC Institutional Review Board. The identity of participating communities and staff is voluntary and confidential.  Participants may publicize their participation in the project if they wish. 

Further Information

For further information please email Dr. Beeber at asbeeber@email.unc.edu or call her at 919-843-9489.