Community survey findings and current clinical research studies

When we know more about the needs of older adults, we can better serve those in our community.

CICOA has participated in a number of national, state and local surveys designed to give statistically relevant information about the needs of older adults in our community. Data from these surveys is used in planning services for Central Indiana.


Indianapolis Food Communities

The City of Indianapolis wants to hear from as many Marion County residents as possible related to food access and food insecurity. The data is needed to help formulate an action plan to address and improve upon food access and insecurity across Indianapolis. Have your voice heard by clicking the link below to complete the survey.

Transportation Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

As part of its continuing efforts to identify how older adults and people with disabilities access and use transportation—as well as the disparities experienced by diverse populations, the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC, co-administered by n4a and Easterseals) has launched a national equity, diversity and inclusion transportation survey. The survey will gauge opinions and obtain information from a representative sample of racially, ethnically and culturally diverse older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers about their experiences accessing and using local transportation options available in communities around the country.

Research Study Opportunities

Self-Care While Caregiving

Indiana University Health and Human Sciences

This study aims to understand the barriers and motivations among older adult caregivers to engage in physical activity. The findings of this study will be used to propose a remotely delivered physical activity program for caregivers to stay active and connected with other caregivers.


  • 60 or older
  • Live in Marion County
  • Caregiver for someone with a dementia or Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis

Study Overview

  • Wear a physical activity tracker (like a fit bit) for 1 week/month for 4 consecutive months.
  • Complete an online survey for 4 consecutive months.

If you are interested in participating, please complete the consent form and email or contact (317) 278-9598 to get more information.

Decisions about Cancer Screening in Alzheimer's Disease

Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine

The DECAD project aims to test the impact of a decision aid for caregivers of older women. The decision aid is aimed to support caregivers in decision making around cancer screening for older women with dementia.


  • 75 or older
  • Female
  • Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia
  • Have a spouse, adult child, or Legal Authorized Representative that is a caregiver for the patient.

Study Overview

  • May last up to 24 months
  • Three interviews about caregiving and making medical decisions for their loved one conducted over the phone or in-person.
  • Participants will receive $25 gift card after each interview.

Bi/Multiracial/Multi-ethnic and Bisexual 50+ Health and Wellbeing Study

Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University-Bloomington

The purpose of this study is to explore how bi/multiracial/multi-ethnic and bisexual adults aged 50+ make meaning of their life experiences at intersections of their age, race, and sexual identity and investigate the influence of these experiences on health and wellbeing and social support/community connectedness.


  • 50 years of age or older
  • Self-identify as bisexual
  • Identify as having more than one race/ethnicity
  • Live in the US and speak English

Study Overview

  • Participation in this study will last for 90 minutes
  • Interested participants will complete a brief screening survey to determine if they are eligible for this study. Eligible participants be invited to participate in a 90-minute interview via Zoom (audio only). During the interviews, participants will be asked questions on four domains: 1) identity histories, 2) self-reported health experiences, needs, and concerns, 3) perceptions of social support and community connectedness, and 4) positive and negative experiences attributed to participants’ identities.
  • Participants will be compensated with a $50 Amazon gift card

If you are interested, fill out a brief online screening questionnaire: If you have any questions regarding this project, please feel free to email the study team at This study is being conducted by Deana Williams, MPH and Dr. Brian Dodge (IRB number 2010162923).

LEAF: Life Enhancing Activities for Family Caregivers

University of California, San Francisco and Northwestern University; National Institute on Aging

The purpose of this study is to test a program for adult family caregivers of people with Alzheimer's Disease. The program is designed to increase levels of positive emotion, which in turn can help lower stress and support ways of coping with the stresses of caregiving. 


  • 18 or older
  • Identify as the primary caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Have consistent access to a reliable Wi-Fi connection for your weekly sessions
  • Speaks and reads English

Study Overview

  • (6) hour long positive emotion-based skill-building sessions, delivered over 6 weeks.
    • Participants will be assigned to access the 6 sessions via a self-guided platform online or via Zoom videoconferencing with one of the trained LEAF facilitators.
  • Nightly home practice and online emotion check-ins.
  • A tablet will be provided by the study.  Participants are invited to keep the tablet at the end of the study.

If you are interested in participating, fill out the pre-screen survey.

Study website: 
Email or call (312) 503-5247.

Aging with a Disability

The University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is seeking participants for a research study about aging with a physical disability. The Community Health Study is a telephone-based health/wellness coaching program for adults 45-64 years old who have been living with a physical disability/long-term health condition where symptoms started before age 40.

Rural Dementia Caregiver Project

University of California San Francisco; National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Building Better Caregivers is an online 6-week, interactive, small-group self-management, social support, and skills-building workshop developed for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related dementia. Primary outcomes will be caregiver stress and depression symptoms. The investigators will also identify key strengths and weaknesses of workshop implementation.


  • 18 or older
  • Caring for a person with dementia
  • Able to read and write in English
  • Able to access the Internet
  • Providing care for ≥ 10 hours per week
  • Reporting a minimum stress level of 4 or more on a 10-point scale
  • Living in rural area of United States

Study Overview

  • Length of participation: 12 months
  • Participants will log on to a small group self-management workshop 2-3 times a week at any time (day or night).
  • Participants receive a handbook to keep.
  • Complete four surveys at baseline, 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months.
  • Participants are paid $20 cash for every survey they complete (up to $80 total).

Project website:

Dietary Nitrate and Muscle Power with Aging

Indiana University School of Health and Human Sciences; National Institutes of Aging

The purpose of this study is to see if drinking beetroot juice (BRJ) is beneficial for aging subjects. We hope to determine the effect of BRJ on exercise performance. BRJ may improve exercise performance in athletes and normal people. We are trying to determine if BRJ improves exercise performance in aging subjects. We will be comparing the effects of BRJ versus the effects of a placebo (BRJ without the nitrates that are naturally occurring in beets and other similar foods). It is thought that the benefits of BRJ may come from its natural nitrate content.


  • Men age 65-79
  • Ability to perform leg exercise
  • No current smokers
  • No type I and type II diabetes or thyroid disorders
  • No neuromuscular disease (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, fibromayalgia, etc)
  • No cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, liver disease
  • Not taking phosphodiesterase inhibitors (e.g., Viagra, Levitra, Cialis)
  • Not taking medications for acid reflux, gout, hormone replacement, or antacids regularly
  • No high blood pressure (greater than 140/90, medication ok)
  • Low to moderate levels of physical activity

Study Overview

  • 8-10 weeks in length
  • Study Involves:
    • Completing a screening visit (5 hours)
    • 6 weekly visits (Four 5 hour & Two 1 hour visits)
    • Drinking beet root juice daily for two 2 week periods (4 weeks total)
    • Giving blood samples
    • Having strength of thigh muscles tested
    • Perform tests of walking speed and strength
    • Compensation for full participation is $1000
    • May receive free bone density assessment (optional)

CASOA Survey

In the Spring of 2017, CICOA participated in The Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults (CASOA). Surveys were sent to 3,000 households in Central Indiana with one or more resident age 60 or older.

Results focus on six dimensions that provide an overall picture of Central Indiana as a livable community for older adults:

  • Overall community quality
  • Community and Belonging
  • Community Information
  • Productive Activities
  • Health and Wellness
  • Community Design and Land Use

Survey Highlights


of older adults identified themselves as caregivers


reported they had fallen and injured themselves in the previous 12 months


of older residents rate their quality of life as excellent or good