178191 Participation at an urban community senior center: Results of an outreach program designed to maximize use by low-income seniors

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lisa S. Kretz, PhD , JBS International, Inc., Silver Spring, MD
Julie Nicholson, MPA , JBS International, Inc., Silver Spring, MD
Erika O. Tait, MA , JBS International, Inc., Silver Spring, MD
Amy Hubbard, PhD , JBS International, Inc., Silver Spring, MD
Wendy W. Friar, RN, MS , Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring, MD
Joanne Balkovich , Holy Cross Hospital Senior Source, Silver Spring, MD
This presentation will address the findings from an outreach program targeted at increasing participation of culturally diverse, low-income seniors in an urban senior health center. This senior center was developed through an innovative partnership between a community hospital and the County government. Located in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, it offers senior county residents access to health and wellness classes and other education and engagement. The center is situated in a building adjacent to a high-rise apartment facility for low-income seniors in order to maximize participation by this vulnerable population. The formative evaluation identified how residents view the center and its programs (e.g., friendly staff, appreciation of health screenings, desire for mental health information, and a preference for more challenging courses) as well as determined the barriers to their participation (e.g., physical barriers to the facility and lack of knowledge of programs/courses). This presentation will (1) summarize the formative evaluation findings (2) describe the outreach program developed from the formative evaluation (e.g., new program information materials and dissemination methods) and (3) report findings from the outcome evaluation of the outreach program. Rogers' (2003) Diffusion of Innovations theory-guided identification of key outcomes of interest, including target audience awareness of the center, attitudes towards the center, and use of the center.

Learning Objectives:
Through this presentation, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: Describe how to apply diffusion theory to define and assess relevant outreach outcomes Articulate barriers to access identified by the target audience of seniors List strategies for addressing barriers to access that were identified by seniors Discuss results of outreach implementation and implications for future senior participation Identify how the results of this study can be applied to other senior outreach programs

Keywords: Elderly, Urban Health Services Barriers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was centrally involved in the design, administration, and reporting of the research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.