Research

Statistics on older adults 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.

Surveys

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 in Central Indiana

This 10-minute survey is to assess mobility needs and gaps in transportation service for older adults, individuals with disabilities, people with low incomes, and the general public in the Central Indiana region.

Research Study Opportunities

Interested in partnering with CICOA for a research study? Contact the CICOA Research Institute.

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.

Participants

  • 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 prevmed@iu.edu 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.

Participants

  • 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.

Aging with Pride: IDEA

Innovations in Dementia Empowerment and Advocacy

National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health; University of Washington School of Social Work

Aging with Pride: IDEA is the first federally funded research study examining ways to improve the health and quality of life for adults aged 50 and older in the LGBTQ+ community with memory loss and their care partners. This study seeks to determine if an intervention developed by leading experts in dementia is effective in helping those in the LGBTQ+ community. A trained coach provides nine individualized virtual sessions to address problem solving techniques for behavioral issues and communication. Coaches also teach a low-impact exercise program including stretching, flexibility, balance and endurance to strengthen the body, reduce injury and improve mood.

Participants

  • Study participants include both the person with memory loss and their care partner as a pair. At least one of them must be LGBTQ+.
  • Person with memory loss must be 50 years of age or older
  • Both must live in the community, not in a long-term care setting
  • Participants do not need to live together, but both must live in the US

Study Overview

  • The pair has 9 one-hour virtual sessions over a 6-week period with a trained coach.
  • Care partner completes 5 telephone interviews over a 13-month period.
  • If the pair does not have a device, a tablet with connectivity and tech support can be provided.
  • The pair is compensated $25 for each telephone interview completed.

To learn more call 1-888-655-6646 or email ageIDEA@uw.edu. Visit us at https://ageidea.org/.

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.

Participants

  • 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: https://bit.ly/39Glayi. If you have any questions regarding this project, please feel free to email the study team at bi2iu@indiana.edu. 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. 

Participants

  • 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: https://leafstudy.ucsf.edu/ 
Email LEAFstudy@northwestern.edu or call (312) 503-5247.

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.

Participants

  • 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)

TACTICS: An Intervention for Caregivers of Adults with Dementia

Regenstrief Institute Center for Aging Research and Center for Health Services Research; Retirement Research Foundation for Aging

The purpose of this study is to support those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a dementia-related illness, focusing specifically on methods to help the caregiver to reduce stress.

Eligible Participants

  • Primary caregiver to a family member with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia-related illness
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Care recipient must remain in a community setting (excluding nursing facility and assisted living)

Study Overview

  • Complete a brief survey over the phone to determine eligibility for study participation.
  • Participate in telephone support program or receive educational materials by mail.
  • Complete four brief follow-up phone surveys over 9 months.
  • Caregiver can receive a $25 gift card by mail after each completed phone survey for a total of $100.

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact research coordinator Eleanor Batista-Malat at (317) 274-9172 or email evbatist@regenstrief.org.

Care.Coach

IU School of Medicine; National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The purpose of this study is to test a technology which has been developed to allow computers and robots to talk naturally with people who have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD). The technology, called an “avatar,” will engage the individual in conversations in a social and healthcare-supportive relationship. The tablet displays the avatar as an animal, in the form of a dog or a cat, which responds to human voice and touch. The avatar will check on the individual several times during the day to address any needs they may have and encourage them to engage in activities that will help them feel better and stay safe at home as long as possible.

Eligible Participants

  • Patient Eligibility Criteria
    • An existing diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias (ADRD)
    • Stable living environment with AT&T or Verizon data reception (so that avatar device can work well and not become lost/stolen)
    • Age 55+
    • Able to provide informed consent or have legally authorized representative
    • Speaks English
    • Has an informal caregiver aged 21+
  • Caregiver Eligibility Criteria
    • Must have had at least 5 minutes of interaction with the patient either face-to-face, video or phone in the past 2 weeks
    • Age 21+
    • Speaks English
    • Willing to provide informed consent for participation in the study

Study Overview

  • Length of participation: 12 months
  • Participation involved: Enrollment, Survey Completion
  • Compensation for participation: $30 in Kroger gift cards

For more information on this study, please contact Canaan Perry at (317) 274- 9402 or cperry2@regenstrief.org.

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.

Participants

  • 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: caregiverproject.ucsf.edu

Project CARE

Rice University; National Institute of Health (NIH)

The purpose of this research study is to understand the factors (e.g., feeling unhappy, lonely, frustrated) that influence compliance with social distancing recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, this study aims to understand how negative emotions along with social distancing requirements influence family caregivers’ confidence in their ability to provide high-quality care for their relatives with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Eligible Participants

  • Primary Caregiver to family member with diagnosis of dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Devote at least 4 hours daily to the care of a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias for at least the last 3 months.
  • Have a personal smartphone with a cellular data plan for the mobile portion of the study; have access to a personal computer or laptop with internet access to complete the surveys.
  • Fluent in English

Study Overview

  • Complete a series of mobile assessments and online questionnaires over the course of three months.
  • Wear a provided smartwatch to monitor your sleep, heart rates, physical activity and location during the week of mobile assessment.
  • Participants will be compensated up to $255 for completion of all assessments and questionnaires.

The principal investigator of this study is Dr. Christopher Fagundes in the BMED Lab at Rice University. To get more information about the study, please contact us at careduringCOVID@rice.edu or 832-819-4297.

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.

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.

The findings of this survey provide important statistics about older adults in Central Indiana. 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

>50%

of older adults identified themselves as caregivers

1/3

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

75%

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