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Community Engagement for Disability and Aging Research (CEDAR)
Fall 2021
CEDAR Midwest is a Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. This research project is exploring the participation needs of people aging with a physical disability and how community organizations can best meet those needs.

Project Updates

Project 1: Community-Based Research Network

Our community-based research network, the Missouri Aging and Disability Research Network (MADRN) held its most recent meeting on November 16. James Stowe of the Mid-America Regional Council co-hosted. The network explored goals for 2022 and reaffirmed its mission to collaborate with and involve community members in its work. Members also discussed plans to hold a focus group to review fall prevention programs for people aging with physical disabilities and address barriers to their implementation.

MADRN looks forward to hosting its webinar on hoarding (see What's Coming for more details) on December 1. Plans are underway for a webinar in early 2022 hosted by CEDAR Midwest team members Margaret Campbell and Szu-Wei Chen titled "Diverse Aging with Disability Pathways Among Middle-Aged Adults," and members have been brainstorming topics for future webinars; possibilities include sleep hygiene, meaningful group advocacy projects, and how to promote aging services among younger persons aging with disabilities.

MADRN will have its next meeting on February 8, 2022, at 8 a.m.

Project 2: Longitudinal Cohort Study

We have finished data collection for our longitudinal cohort study, which examined the health and participation of people aging with long-term physical disabilities. In the third and final year of the study, 326 of 389 participants responded to the survey, for an 83.8% response rate. We are continuing to code and analyze the data from Year 3.
Map of Missouri showing the distribution of people 65+ with disabilities by county. A large number of counties in southeastern MO have 46% or higher.
Distribution of people living with disability aged 65 or over, 2013-2017. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey
MADRN members have expressed an interest in comparing cohort data between participants in rural and urban settings. Organizations serving communities in rural settings have unique service delivery challenges, and according to the U.S Census Bureau, the percentage of people with a disability who are aged 65 or over is particularly high in southeastern Missouri, a rural region. We look forward to analyzing this data to see how community-based organizations in rural areas can better serve their clients.

Project 3: Developing and Pilot Testing an Intervention to Reduce Environmental Barriers and Promote Participation for People Aging with Disability

The goal of Project 3 was to develop an intervention to teach self-management skills and remove barriers to participation for people aging with long-term physical disabilities. Project 3 is complete; the resulting intervention, Removing Environmental Barriers to Independent Living (REBIL), is now being tested in a sample of people aging with disabilities (Project 4). See our website for more information on the development of REBIL.

Project 4: Testing the Efficacy of the REBIL Intervention

Project 4 consists of conducting a randomized clinical trial with waitlist control to test REBIL, the intervention developed in Project 3. So far, 44 participants have consented to test the efficacy of REBIL in improving participation for people aging with disabilities. We are providing the intervention to the last few participants in the treatment group and are beginning to switch waitlist-control participants into the treatment group.

Our Team

CEDAR Midwest includes well-established scientists in rehabilitation/participation science and aging research, and community organizations that serve both older adults and people with disabilities. Our team is experienced in community-engaged research approaches. The institutional partners, Washington University, Paraquad and the Simmons School of Social Work, are leaders in participation and aging with disability. Scientific and community advisory boards enhance the team and ensure the scientific rigor and community focus of our projects. To learn more about our team, please visit cedarmidwest.org.

Team Member Spotlight: Emily Somerville

""Emily Somerville, OTD, OTR/L, is an instructor in occupational therapy and neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. After earning a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Washington University in 2005, she joined Dr. Susan Stark’s laboratory, where she is the lead occupational therapy interventionist, implementing study interventions with research participants. She also trains occupational therapists in the community to deliver evidence-based interventions.

Dr. Somerville recently joined the CEDAR Midwest team to coordinate the REBIL intervention (Project 4), which seeks to improve independence and reduce falls for people aging with long-term physical disabilities. She also conducts her own research to improve medication management in older adults.

What We've Been Up To...

2021 ACRM Annual Conference

On September 26, CEDAR Midwest team member Dr. Kerri Morgan gave a plenary presentation to kick off the 98th Annual ACRM Conference, which was held virtually this year. Dr. Morgan discussed physical activity and health outcomes for people who use wheelchairs. Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Szu-Wei Chen also participated in the conference, where she presented a poster on characteristics of participants who chose to take our Project 2 survey over the phone versus those who chose the web-based option. 

What's Coming

MADRN Webinar: Hoarding 

MADRN will host its next webinar on Wednesday December 1 at 12:00 p.m. Eileen Dacy of North Shore Elder Services will join us to discuss hoarding, a misunderstood and frequently stigmatized condition that often intersects with other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. We look forward to hearing Ms. Dacy dispel some of the myths about this condition and inform community organizations in how they can help clients who may be struggling with hoarding.
For technical assistance with any part of this project including information, resources, and data, please call 314-289-4270 or email us at cedarmidwest@paraquad.org.
Find out more at cedarmidwest.org.
Copyright © 2019 Community Engagement for Disability and Aging Research Midwest, All rights reserved.

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For technical assistance or more information, please call 314-289-4270 or email us at cedarmidwest@paraquad.org.

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