UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Older adults' experiences of having managed well in making the transition to assisted living Gofton, Lucy Veryan


The number of Canadians over the age of 65 is consistently increasing, and it is estimated that by 2026 over one fifth of the population will be 65 years or older. A significant transition faced by individuals later in life is the move to residential care. In order to better understand the phenomenon of managing well in making the transition to assisted living, eleven individuals between the ages of 66 and 95 were interviewed. The study used an interpretive phenomenological approach guided by the research question: What is the meaning and experience for older adults, of managing-well in making the transition to assisted living? Participants’ accounts of the meaning of managing their transition to assisted living well and common aspects of the experience were identified. The results found that seven themes were common to their experiences of having managed well in making the transition: (1) sense of improved quality of life, (2) sense of belonging, (3) willingness to get involved, (4) sense of continuity, (5) sense of acceptance, (6) perceived sense of openness and (7) not wanting to be a burden. This study provides an in-depth understanding of what may contribute to managing well in making what has previously been identified as a challenging transition. Potential implications for theory, research, and policies for assisted living facilities are discussed. In addition, implications of the study’s findings for counsellors working with older adults and their families around entry into assisted living are addressed.

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