Several Kansas University faculty and staff members have received funding for studies that include home repair, health care, home sharing and physical fitness for the elderly.
The research awards were made through the newly established Richard L. Schiefelbusch Gerontology Research Development competition, according to R. Mark Mathews, acting director of the KU Gerontology Center.
Stephen Schroeder, director of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, said the awards "reflect the interest of the gerontology center to promote new ideas in research at KU. We look forward to continuing the awards under the new director, Rhonda Montgomery."
The projects are:
"Community-Based Strategies for Home Repair and Chore Services for Elders," funded at $4,563 and directed by Lynn Osterkamp, research associate, gerontology center. Osterkamp will conduct a study of how a successful chore-service program could be supported and coordinated, how much to charge for services, how to find volunteers and what insurance issues must be considered.
"EVALUATION of Shepherd's Health Promotion Component," funded at $4,845 and directed by Adrienne L. Paine, research associate, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, and Stephen B. Fawcett, professor of human development and family life. Paine and Fawcett will study health promotion in the Shepherd's Centers, which are community-based, self-help organizations for older adults.
"Differences in Services Access and Outcomes for Urban and Rural Elderly," funded at $4,617 and directed by Linda Redford, assistant professor of health services administration. Redford will study whether the differences between urban and rural communities have adverse or different consequences for elderly community residents.
"Navajo Exploratory Data Analysis Project," funded at $4,800 and directed by Robert K. John, associate scientist, gerontology center. John's study will contribute to basic knowledge about American Indian aging and the implications for an at-risk, impoverished minority population about which little is known.
"HOME SHARING as a Means for Delaying Institutionalization," funded at $2,875 and directed by Deb Altus, adjunct assistant professor of human development and family life. Altus will study the effectiveness of home-sharing in older people and its effect on independence and contact with friends and outsiders.
"A Pilot Study to Determine Functional Upper Body Strength in Otherwise Healthy 65- to 85-Year-Old Females" and "A Pilot Study to Determine Lower Body Strength Changes in Older Female Subjects Utilizing Resistance Training," funded at $2,400 and directed by Wayne Osness, chairman of health, physical education and recreation. Osness' pilot studies will be used to prepare and submit a research proposal to the National Institute on Aging.