The Program on Aging, Disability, and Long-term Care, led by Co-Directors Drs. Sheryl Zimmerman and Philip Sloane, has recently been awarded more than $9.3 million from the National Institute on Aging to conduct two pragmatic R01 clinical trials. Both trials are aimed at improving care and outcomes in assisted living communities – efforts that align seamlessly with the newly instated CEAL@UNC’s goal of advancing the well-being of the people who live and work in assisted living.

Evaluating a National Person-Centered Training Program to Strengthen the Dementia Care Workforce

This project, a collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, will study two models of dementia care training provided to staff across six states. One program is essentiALZ, a low-cost, evidence-based, online training program; the other is Project ECHO, a widely used virtual tele-mentoring model. Outcomes will examine change in organizational practices and staff and resident wellbeing.

A Pragmatic Crossover Trial to Test the Effectiveness of a Novel Lighting System to Reduce Nighttime Falls in Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

This project is testing the effectiveness of horizontal and vertical lights intended to promote postural stability and reduce nighttime falls. It follows from a recent R21 pilot study that found a 34% reduction in falls due to the lights and will enroll 390 residents across 42 communities. If effective, this passive lighting system has the potential to become a new standard of care.