246375 Assessment of elders' health promotion needs in a Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:06 AM

Richard T. Pulice, PhD, MPH , Department of Social Work and The Institute for Community Reseaech and Training, The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY
Nancy Dorr, PhD , Department of Psychology and The Institute for Community Research and Training, The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY
Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) support elders “aging in place”. Kennedy (2006) and Masotti et al. (2006) argue that NORCs are a prime target for providing health promotion services. To examine the extent to which seniors in a neighborhood NORC would utilize various health promotion services, we conducted two needs assessments by surveying random samples of residents (N=170 and N=250). The NORC that was examined consists of mostly single, middle-class family homes within a 2.5 square mile neighborhood with 1937 residents aged 60+ (US Census, 2005). Results indicated that 91% reported at least one health condition (e.g., heart disease), yet 33% perceived their health as very good or excellent. The number of health conditions and self-perceived health were not correlated, r=.04, p=.64. Twenty-five percent reported an interest in NORC-provided health education, 21% were interested in health screenings, and 21% in exercise programs. There were no statistically significant relationships between respondents' perceived health, number of health conditions, and interest in health programs, ps > .05. Results also showed that 10% were very interested in a support group for coping with chronic illness and 11% were definitely interested in NORC-provided health advocacy services. Overall, results suggest low interest in NORC-provided health programs. Future research should assess whether these results generalize to other neighborhood NORCs, and if these results are due to residents perceiving their health needs as already being met by their primary care physician, or the extent to which they do not perceive a need for community-based health education and promotion.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the self-perceived needs of residents for NORC-provided health promotion services.

Keywords: Needs Assessment, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director of the Institute of Community Research and Training at the College of Saint Rose and one portion of the Institute conducts research on aging in place
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.