Program on Aging, Chronic Illness, and Long-Term Care

Striving to improve the well-being of elderly, disabled and long-term care individuals

The Program on Aging, Chronic Illness, and Long-Term Care aims to better research and improve the well-being of older persons and the quality of care they receive. Our work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Alzheimer’s Association, and other foundations include observational studies, clinical trials, and community-based participatory research projects.

Our program has conducted some of the seminal work in residential care/assisted living, and has maintained a research consortium (the Collaborative Studies of Long-Term Care) of more than 700 settings for the last 15 years. In addition, our research team has developed, tested, and published numerous measures for use with older populations, created and shared multimedia educational programs for caregivers of older adults, and disseminated their work in three special journal issues, two books, and hundreds of peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Our program directors

sheryl zimmerman at sheps

Sheryl Zimmerman, PhD, MSW

Zimmerman is an internationally recognized research expert in long-term services and supports for older adults, including those living with dementia. She works closely in a leadership capacity with the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Gerontological Society of America, the National Center for Assisted Living, and the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, as well as with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and other organizations on initiatives addressing a range of issues related to care, outcomes, and quality of life for older adults.


Philip Sloane headshotPhilip Sloane, MD, MPH

Dr. Sloane, a family physician and geriatrician, is a nationally recognized expert in both fields. As a researcher, he was the first family physician in the country to receive an NIH research career development award (1986), and he has been continuously funded by the NIH ever since. He co-directs the Program on Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, which has conducted over 50 funded studies of care issues related to older persons. He is particularly noted for his work around the management of behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease, for which he received the prestigious Pioneer Award from the US Alzheimer’s Association.

Research interests

  • Dementia care
  • End-of-life care and hospice
  • Human-centered care and practices
  • Medication administration
  • Caregiver training and education
  • Fall prevention
  • Health care screening
  • Nursing services