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Supporting Aging in Place Through IWISH: Results from the First Phase of the Supportive Services Demonstration


Authors: Vandawalker, Melissa     Breunig, Ian     Abt Associates    

Report Acceptance Date: December 2022 (151 pages)

Posted Date: June 27, 2023

The evaluation of the Supportive Services Demonstration is a large, cluster-randomized controlled trial (cRCT) that tests the Integrated Wellness in Supportive Housing (IWISH) model, which leverages coordinated service delivery to address the interdependent health and supportive service needs among older residents in HUD-assisted properties. The IWISH model is intended to reduce unplanned hospitalizations and use of other types of acute care, increase the use of primary and nonacute care, and increase the length of stay in housing by reducing transitions to long-term care facilities.

The model includes a full-time Resident Wellness Director (RWD) and half-time, nonclinical Wellness Nurse (WN) embedded at the property to coordinate health and social services and implement six core components:

  • Proactive engagement with residents to maximize participation and to make sure residents understand what IWISH has to offer.
  • Standardized resident health and wellness assessments at enrollment and annually thereafter so that Resident Wellness Directors and Wellness Nurses understand resident needs and priorities more comprehensively.
  • Individual and community plans for healthy aging to help residents identify and meet wellness goals.
  • Web-based data platform to record information about IWISH participants, assessment data, healthy aging plans, and usage of programming and service coordination.
  • Partnerships with health and social service providers to coordinate services and enhance opportunities and resources for residents.
  • Evidence-based health and wellness programming to address the needs of residents.

The third in a series, this report provides a quantitative analysis of the impact of IWISH on residents’ healthcare utilization and housing stability at the end of the first three years.

Congress extended the IWISH demonstration and evaluation for two additional years. A fourth and final comprehensive report, including an analysis of impacts over the entire study period, is expected at the conclusion of the study.

Supportive Services Demonstration and Evaluation: Testing the Integrated Wellness in Supportive Housing (IWISH) Model


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