Building Relationships with Local Communities

Going to rural communities where older people live

My husband and I have retired to Alcona County in rural northeast Michigan. The population in this county is the 7th oldest in the U.S. but we have such poor medical resources that very little is going on in the way of clinical trials. I am a retired BSN from U of M and personally know there are many retirees here who would gladly participate in research dealing with aging by filling out lifestyle surveys, diet diaries, health history, medical care contacts during their lives and such. I believe many of them would be willing to participate in clinical trials of medications or other specific proposed treatments such as physical therapy or pain reduction activities.

Much of the need I see is for something like talking, group therapy to help people know they aren't dealing with their issues alone. Because we have so few doctors and so little clinic access, valuable data is dying with the local population. I believe if researchers would come to this area and work with the local public health department and Mid Michigan Health Care to simply collect data, areas of investigation would become obvious. We just need to have professional personnel who are interested in gathering data and working with seniors who choose not to move to Florida where climate and lifestyles are likely more homogeneous and they have lots of doctors available for medical interventions.

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Idea No. 284