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|Marlene M Rosenkoetter|
|Augusta University, USA|
|Keynote: J Palliat Care Med|
|When older adults move to retirement communities there are major life transitions that occur. While these communities vary considerably in their focus, the types of housing available, and the services offered, they are primarily designed in the United States for the well elderly who are able to provide for their own basic needs. In Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), there is the option of moving from independent living to assisted living and then to skilled care. Residents move their personal belongings, including furniture, to their new home. Services include housekeeping, meals, and care of the apartment and grounds. This transition involves numerous changes and can result in adjustment needs that may or may not be met sufficiently. They must leave their previous home where they have frequently lived for many years, their friends and family, and their community. Their roles change from being the primary provider to having services provided. Responsibilities change from home care to freedom. Their self-esteem can be impacted and support groups change to other older adults and staff in the retirement community. Their use of time and life structure now focuses on the activities of the retirement community and their new surroundings. There are significant changes in their Life Patterns: Roles, Relationships, Self-Esteem, Support Groups, Use of Time and Life Structure. These Life Patterns were used as the conceptual framework for the development of a psychosocial assessment tool to measure the impact of changes upon the transition and adjustment to residential life in a retirement community. Results from 240 residents in three retirement communities in the south-eastern United States indicated that the instrument can be used effectively to assess the adjustment of these residents. A principal factor analysis with varimax rotation supported the use of the framework as the organizing referent of the instrument, the first published tool for this measurement.|
Marlene Rosenkoetter has been a nurse researcher for 35 years with over 300 publications and national/international presentations. She has been a consultant to 50 hospitals and health care systems as well as universities. She is the former Dean of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the Medical College of Georgia. She has travelled to 30 countries and is widely sought for her expertise in nursing research and geriatric nursing. She has been a clinical practitioner, nurse administrator and academician. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She is a Professor Emerita of Augusta University, formerly Georgia Health Sciences University.
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