This paper aims to address the needs of older adults through evaluation of The Bridge’s Aging Services Program, an innovative, multidisciplinary mobile treatment team that serves individuals age 55 or older with complex health needs who live in Bridge supportive housing in New York City. In August 2019, a randomly selected sample of 12 participants were interviewed in-person using a semi-structured interview guide and qualitative research methods. These participants were selected from a study population of 137 clients enrolled in the Aging Services Program. This study evaluated five major themes to assess the effectiveness of the Aging Services Program: communication, healthcare access and utilization, quality of life, general impressions of the Aging Services Program, and recommendations for improvement. These themes were used to guide the coding and analysis process. This study highlighted that consistent and quality communication with staff impacted clients’ ability to manage health concerns. Participants self-reported improved preventative healthcare-seeking behaviors and decreased Emergency Room utilization after being enrolled in the program. Participants’ ability to maintain quality of life were dependent on quality of communication with staff, their ability to access healthcare services, and the availability of social support. Overall, participants shared positive general impressions of the program’s ability to meet their essential needs (health, mental health, case management, referrals, etc.). This study concluded that fostering strong communication between clients and staff, building a sense of community between clients and within the local community, and disseminating a formal contact list to clients are effective recommendations to strengthen this program’s delivery of services.
- Alternative title
Aging in Place for Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness
- Journal title
International Social Science Review
- Date submitted
20 July 2022
- Additional information
Saliyah J. George is pursuing a Masters of Public Health at the CUNY School of Public Health & Health Policy. Rebecca Heller, LCSW is the Assistant Vice President of Aging and Clinical Services at The Bridge. Mary Crawford James holds a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University.