Needs Assessment for Elderly Housing in Yukon-Koyukuk Sub-Region (2001)

Beth Landon, MBA, MHA
Janice Troyer, BS
Mark Anaruk, M.Ed
Stacy L. Smith, MFA

Six loosely connected villages on the Yukon and Koyukuk rivers sought to provide an assisted living home in the sub-region for their residents. At the current time, Elders had to move to Tanana or Fairbanks to access assisted living services. In October 2000, a Steering Committee for the sub-region formed to address this service delivery gap. Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) provided funds for a Market Study & Feasibility Report. The contract was awarded to F. James McConnell & Associates, a qualified contractor. F. James McConnell & Associates sub-contracted the needs assessment, essentially primary data collection and portions of the secondary data review, to the Alaska Center for Rural Health, University of Alaska Anchorage (ACRH). The final document presents those data related to the GOAL Program market study requirements. F. James McConnell & Associates incorporated this information into the Market Study and Feasibility Report of the GOAL Program.

To collect primary data for the market study, ACRH staff traveled to each of the six villages in the Yukon-Koyukuk sub-region and conducted key informant interviews with residents. Interviewees were categorized and given one of four sets of questions, including: 1) Elder/family member; 2) Community leader; 3) Community member; or 4) Healthcare provider. All four groups responded to questions regarding: a) physical characteristics, services and activities to be provided in the proposed assisted living home; b) appropriateness of co-locating elders with disabled adults; c) appropriate village for the facility; and d) seasonal demand for services. Other questions varied according to “category” of respondent. Copies of the questions are provided in Appendix A of the report.

ACRH staff also reviewed secondary data. The data sources included: 2000 Census data, Longevity Bonus recipients, Adult Public Assistance recipients, and Tanana Chiefs Conference home-care services users.