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WSU Social Work study looks at relocation among minority elders

March 25, 2014

WSU Social Work study looks at relocation among minority elders

The Wayne State School of Social Work is recruiting participants for a study that will help social workers and other community-based service providers better serve older adults experiencing relocation.

Tam Perry, assistant professor of social work and the study’s principal investigator, is seeking participation from African Americans aged 60 or older who are current Detroit area residents, or have lived in the Detroit area within the past year. Participation entails a one-hour interview, either in the participant’s home or in a public setting, followed by a short written survey. Participants will be compensated $20 for their time.

Perry, who has conducted extensive research on relocation, said the literature in this area traditionally has not considered diverse populations and will benefit from the study’s focus on African Americans. The results will likely inform interventions for all older adults, she said.

“As people age, housing is an issue that comes to the forefront of their lives,” Perry explained. “Most people want to age in place, but seniors often find themselves facing physical and cognitive changes that can make their home too difficult to navigate or maintain. Sometimes relocation brings frustration and sadness; sometimes it brings hopefulness because it makes life easier and frees up time for other things. Understanding what seniors experience during relocation – from their decision to move to how they adjust afterward – can help us make sure they are getting the support they need.”

Perry’s study, “Leaving Home in Late Life: A Post-Move Study of African American Elders and their Kin in Detroit,” is supported by a $20,000 grant from the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR). A collaboration between the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, MCUAAAR is one of seven Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research funded by the federal government to reduce health disparities among minority elders.

Individuals interested in participating are invited to contact Perry at teperry@wayne.edu or at 313-577-4402.

Study IRB: 05311B3E

This study is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, P30 AG015281, and the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research.

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