Healthy Community Living

Healthy Community Living, formerly called Motivation for Self-Management, is a five-year project to develop a multi-media health promotion program to improve people’s health and wellbeing that provides support, health promotion, education and opportunities for people with disabilities to succeed in reaching personal goals. It includes two separate curricula that blend in-person program delivery with online social engagement and website materials.

The curricula currently in development include:

  • Community Living Skills, a multi-media, peer led Independent Living skills curriculum based on the Self-determination Theory intended for consumers who would benefit from developing independent living skills but who are not quite ready to complete goals. Community Living Skills currently includes topics like Self-care, Self-advocacy, Housing, Transportation and Disability Identity.
  • Living Well in the Community, a multi-media, peer led health promotion program adapted from our evidence-based Living Well with a Disability Program and intended to help participants set and reach quality of life goals by developing a healthy lifestyle. Living Well in the Community is a peer led health promotion workshop and includes topics like Goal Setting, Building Support, Eating Well, Physical Activity, and Staying on Course.

We are working with the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) to recruit and establish partners at each stage of project development who represent both rural and urban communities. Staff from eight Centers for Independent Living served on development teams using an Iterative Participatory Curriculum Development (IPCD) procedure to create and adapt the curricula. The use of IPCD in curriculum development helps ensure that the final products of this development project will be relevant, useful and will contribute to the wellbeing of people with disabilities. The two curricula will be rigorously evaluated through implementation and data collection. Knowledge translation activities include new training and technical assistance procedures that, along with outcome results, will be widely disseminated to a variety of community-based programs (such as Aging and Disability Research Centers) and health promotion researchers.

For more information about the HCL program click here: www.healthycommunityliving.com

For more information about the Living Well with a Disability program, click here: http://livingandworkingwell.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/

 

Quick Links: Health & Wellness

Current Projects

  • Ecological Decision Support for Health Promotion
    Many communities across rural America are far away from healthcare services. Rural residents with disabilities may not be able to get to those services to address their healthcare needs. This project will provide a consumer directed health program to people with disabilities in rural communities that allows them to follow their own needs and interests for health improvement. Participants will use tablet computers and work with local Centers for Independent Living in order to participate in the program.
  • Healthy Community Living
    Healthy Community Living is a project to develop a multi-media health promotion program to improve people’s health and wellbeing that provides support, health promotion, education and opportunities for people with disabilities to succeed in reaching personal goals. It includes two separate curricula that blend in-person program delivery with online social engagement and website materials.
  • Resilience in Community Participation
    Employment, social support, health status and the environment influence a person’s ability to deal with difficult experiences. These factors also have an effect on whether or not someone participates in their community. This study will focus on rural resilience to learn more about how people deal with difficulties associated with having a disability even as they participate in the rural community.

Completed Projects

COMPLETED PROJECTS | 2014 - present

 
  • Pain Interference Patterns
    Because many people with disabilities experience significant limitations in their ability to engage in community activities (e.g., shopping, entertainment, etc.), we wanted to know how pain and environmental conditions affected participation in community activities. To help answer this question, we asked people with disabilities to complete 4 surveys over 18 months about their pain levels, environmental barriers, and participation in daily activities. About one-third of these people also completed six surveys for day for 14 days using an electronic diary that asked similar questions. We found that as people experience more fatigue and pain, their community participation decreased.

COMPLETED PROJECTS | 2008 - 2013

 
  • Consumer Self-Managed Use of Rural Healthcare Services
    In rural America, health management resources are not as available as they are in urban areas which makes managing complex health needs more difficult. One way of improving health status for rural Americans with disabilities is to use existing healthcare services that serve rural communities to promote effective health-related self-management.
  • Nursing Home Emancipation
    Many people with disabilities are institutionalized in nursing homes when they could live independently. Nearly forty percent of nursing homes are located in rural communities with limited access to services, family and oversight. Centers for Independent Living (CILs) have worked to move people from nursing home facilities into independent living situations with great success. Few people, once they leave a nursing home, ever return.
  • Peer Support for Rural Mental Health
    People with disabilities have poor access to mental health services in rural areas, a gap that may be decreased through peer specialist services. Peer specialist providers offer a variety of services to people with disabilities and share similar experiences to those they are serving. They provide peer counseling, advocacy and can help in accessing resources. This project developed and offered a peer support training program to Centers for Independent Living staff and peers to help identify and provide support for mental health needs among CIL consumers. Results showed that people sought peer services when they experienced an increase in mental health symptoms which subsequently were reduced back to normal.
  • Peer Support for Secondary Mental Health Conditions
    When people with disabilities experience mental health symptoms, participation in community life can be reduced. This study surveyed people with disabilities in rural communities to see what kinds of mental health conditions they experience. Implementation of a peer specialist training curriculum for CIL staff and peers indicated that people experiencing elevated mental health symptoms presented for peer support. Subsequently, their symptom levels returned to normal.

COMPLETED PROJECTS | prior to 2008

 
  • Living Well with a Disability
    The Living Well with a Disability workshop is a ten-week evidence-based program designed to improve the health and wellness of people with disabilities. People who have taken the workshop report better health, lower medical costs and improved quality of life.
  • Nutrition
    Good nutrition can be facilitated and supported by organizing the home environment. This line of research describes methods for assessing the environment and the ways in which it promotes healthy eating.
  • Secondary Conditions
    Health problems that come as a result of having a disability, such as high blood pressure and weight gain, can limit people from participating in life activities. This project focused on these secondary health conditions and led to the development of the Living Well with a Disability program.

Products & Training

  • Living Well with a Disability Living Well with a Disability is a peer-led health promotion workshop that focuses on improved quality of life through the development of a healthy lifestyle. Training is available.

External Resources