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l-r, Kimberly VanHaitsma, associate professor of nursing, Pennsylvania State University; Katherine Abbott, assistant professor of sociology & gerontology and research fellow, Miami University Scripps Gerontology Center; Jane Straker, director of research, Miami University Scripps Gerontology Center; Jerry Gannod, chair and professor of computer science, Tennessee Tech University.

Associate Professor Kimberly Van Haitsma is working with researchers at Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center in Oxford, Ohio, on “Incorporating the Preferences for Everyday Living into Ohio’s Nursing Homes to Improve Resident Care,” a project funded by the Ohio Department of Medicaid to improve quality of life for residents of 960 Ohio nursing homes.

Van Haitsma, director of Penn State’s Program for Person-Centered Living Systems of Care, developed the Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI), a tool used to collect data on nursing home residents’ strongly held preferences. The project will use information collected through PELI to assist nursing home providers with training on how to deliver person-centered care by honoring residents’ preferences for everyday living.

“Research suggests person-centered care can improve health-related quality of life by knowing each person and honoring individual preferences,” said Katherine Abbott, assistant professor of gerontology at Miami University and principal investigator on the study.