You are here

White Papers - Institute for Gerontology

Feedback from Interviews with Advisory Board Members

In a series of personal interviews between August 2013 and December 2013, 14 members of the newly-formed Felician College Gerontology Advisory Board responded to the same seven questions related to the needs of the aging population.

A summary of the responses to these questions is listed below in descending order of response frequency. The percentages provided show how many board members answered the question in the same way. Please note that most people gave multiple responses to each question, so the percentages reported do not add to 100%.

Because Advisory Board members represent a wide range of professional experiences, there were many responses that were not duplicated by other individuals interviewed. These perspectives are as valuable as the more common responses and are listed as “also mentioned.”

  1. What are the major gaps you see regarding serving the needs of the aging population?
    • 67% - Services related to aging in place and transitional housing
    • 50% - Managing depression and dementia
    • 36% - Lack of specialized medical care
    • 29% - Transportation
    • 29% - Isolation

      Also mentioned: lack of consumer information, lack of support for families.
       
  2. Why do these gaps exist?
    • 71% - Resources and lack of funding
    • 29% - Lack of education
    • 21% - Lack of specialized healthcare providers

      Also mentioned: attitudes of young about the elderly, decreasing reimbursement, transportation, lack of good healthcare infrastructure.
       
  3. How are these gaps currently being addressed, and by which providers of care and services?
    • 29% - Family caregivers and volunteers
    • 14% - Financial planning professionals

      Also mentioned: planners and case managers, elder care attorneys, geriatricians, counties, community pharmacy programs, programs through insurance companies, nursing homes and churches.
       
  4. What do you think the critical needs of the elderly are now compared to what you believe we will see in the future?
    • 36% - More dementia
    • 36% - Greater need for financial planning
    • 36% - Greater need for licensed home care administrators

      Also mentioned: shortage of healthcare providers, system drain on resources, need for education for care providers, need for coordinated care and “one stop shopping,” need for patient advocates, need for residential housing that provides stimuli, need for transportation, need for resources for the homebound.
       
  5. Other than housing, what are the major non-health related challenges of the elderly in the local community?
    • 64% - Isolation/lack of socialization
    • 36% - Lack of support for aging in place
    • 36% - Transportation
    • 29% - Lack of education about how to access available services
    • 29% - Lack of specialized health care workers

      Also mentioned: insufficient daycare, expansion of regulatory environment, family support, behavioral health, finances, abuse, long term care insurance.
       
  6. What kind of workforce is needed to respond to the emerging needs of the aging population?
    • 57% - Social workers/care coordinators
    • 36% - Geriatricians
    • 29% - Geriatric advanced practice nurses
    • 29% - Case workers and managers

      Also mentioned:  home health aides, business professionals, homemakers/caregivers, certified nurse aides, specialists in accounting and finance, occupational therapists, psychologists/mental health specialists, LPNs for nursing homes.
       
  7. What kind of academic programs are needed to prepare these individuals?  Is there, and will there be a market demand to hire these individuals?
    • 29% - General Education: Everyone should have some education about addressing needs of elderly
    • 21% - Sub-specialties in social work or psychology

      Also mentioned: preparation for case managers, advance practice nursing, certificate programs for non-licensed personnel, certificate programs for dementia, healthcare administration.

Feedback from Consumer Interviews about Senior Services

Three consumer focus groups were interviewed about senior services in various stages of life.  As such their opinions varied based on their current living situation. Yet, there were still themes in their concerns: transportation, expenses, lack of support, lack of information cohesiveness, and the need for intellectually stimulating activities.

A summary of the responses to these questions is listed below. The various focus groups can be described as:

Focus Group A - Younger seniors and more active older seniors
Focus Group B - Older seniors
Focus Group C - Seniors living in a assisted living facility

1. What are the major gaps you see regarding serving the needs of the aging population?

Focus Group A

Focus Group B

Focus Group C

  • Lack of or limited Transportation
  • Lack of cultural and intellectual activities
  • Expense of nursing home or home care
  • Little or no support to age in place
  • Communication gaps:
    • Younger people do not communicate well with the elderly
    • Elderly do not know questions to ask
  • Lack of or limited Transportation
  • Community services:
  • Deciphering health care issues, programs
  • Direct to the correct agency, organization, reputable business for assistance

2. Why do these gaps exist?

Focus Group A

Focus Group B

Focus Group C

  • Lack of funding
  • Increased life expectancy
  • Issues and services addressed in silos; lack of cohesiveness
  • Communication:
    • Information is not easily available
  • Lack of advocacy and political support
  • Lack of Funding
  • Increased life expectancy
  • Issues and services addressed in silos
  • Lack of program planning
  • Seniors have been placed aside
  • Seniors may not understand or remember

3. How are these gaps currently being addressed, and by which providers of care and services?

Focus Group A

Focus Group B

Focus Group C

  • Family, friends, towns, volunteers
  • Not being addressed
  • Non-profit organizations and religious institutions may have program
  • Family, friends

4. What do you think the critical needs of the elderly are now compared to what you believe we will see in the future?

Focus Group A

Focus Group B

Focus Group C

  • Need to address elderly needs and resolve issues
  • Increased number of acute care issues
  • Increase number of elderly
  • Elderly will not be able to rely on family and need to rely on the government more
  • Need to address elderly needs and resolve issues

5. Other than housing, what are the major non-health related challenges of the elderly in the local community?

Focus Group A

Focus Group B

Focus Group C

  • Lack of sensitivity and patience
  • Lack of transportation 
  • Keeping active with intellectually stimulating activities
  • Home maintenance - finding trustworthy businesses/individuals
  • Information is not coordinated
  • Towns are not built with the elderly in mind
  • Lack of sensitivity and patience
  • Technology needs to be more senior friendly
    • Home maintenance – finding trustworthy businesses/individuals

     

6. What kind of workforce is needed to respond to the emerging needs of the aging population?

Focus Group A

Focus Group B

Focus Group C

  • Workforce that understands the needs of the elderly and can communicate with them

 

  • Workforce that is sensitive and patient and can explain things without using unfamiliar words

7. What kind of academic programs are needed to prepare these individuals? Is there, and will there be a market demand to hire these individuals?

Focus Group A

Focus Group B

Focus Group C

  • No actual programs mentioned however the following were stated:
    • More student involvement with the elderly
    • Role playing as a teaching technique 

     

 

  • Need to heighten awareness to be sensitive to all ages, which will improve society
    • Build experiences while in college and bring it to their workforce whether they work in healthcare or with the elderly or not