Along with efforts in advocacy and service delivery, ILCs could join forces with rehabilitation and wellness specialists at medical research centers to investigate the plausibility of wellness programming for consumers who are growing older with a chronic disability. Many questions at the national, regional and local levels need to be answered. A list of potential research projects follows:
Collaborative Study Ideas for University Researchers and ILC Staff
- Survey IL consumers to see if they believe they would take part in and benefit from wellness programming. What are their barriers? What are the aids to facilitate wellness program participation? Do they know about secondary conditions for which they are currently at risk?
- Survey IL directors to discover ILC barriers to wellness programming, whether to or how to minimize those barriers.
- Continue to collaborate with ILC staff, consumers, rehabilitation and fitness researchers to study and design several comprehensive wellness models for programs that would work in the local community (rural, urban or suburban). Test their effectiveness via pilot demonstration models, report results at national meetings, publish findings.
- Survey local wellness, nutrition, fitness, and recreation centers to learn about current services that include or do not include people with disabilities. Identify how the ILC could collaborate with these centers to integrate people with disabilities into existing community programs or to create focused programs for people with disabilities.
- Survey ILC staff to learn what they would like to incorporate into a work site wellness program. Design a model program. Test its effectiveness and disseminate the results of this study.
- Of the ILCs across the nation that are doing wellness programs, survey for best practices and publish results nationally.
- Survey selected health insurance companies to investigate necessary outcome requirements to reimburse for ILC-sponsored wellness programs that address the prevention of secondary conditions.