According to recent reports, BC is home to about 678,000 people 65 and over. By 2020, that number is expected to grow to 984,000, and by 2036 there will be nearly 1.5 million older adults in BC. With the population of older adults increasing, the number of people choosing assisted living will continue to grow. In order to understand the unique challenges of promoting assisted living residents’ quality of life and engagement, a team of researchers are looking for patient partners to contribute their insight as they develop a study of attitudes, beliefs and behaviour towards quality of life.
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Previous research acknowledged that quality of life is an important outcome of care in assisted living residences. For example, participation in yoga classes of residents in assisted living homes has been shown to be associated with their level of well-being (Chen et al., 2010). However, little research has examined residents’ participation in activities more holistically, such as what types of activities residents participate in a day (e.g., self-care, social, recreational, productive), how much time they spend on each type of activities; how they prioritize activities and why; how satisfied they are with the variation in the types of activities; and how the variation influences their quality of life. It is particularly important to explore the meanings that residents ascribe to their activities in assisted living settings because those meanings determine their satisfaction with their residential lives.
Some older adults may devote a significant amount of time to psycho-social activities that they find mitigate their feelings of loneliness, which in turn sustains their mental health and well-being (Milligan et al., 2015), while others may spend a great amount of time on physical activities to maintain their physical health and well-being. Understanding what an ideal mix of activities looks like for older adults in assisted living residences and what meanings are ascribed to each activity as well as the variation in activities will help residential service providers, community service providers, and health care providers to promote quality of life and well-being in older adults in assisted living residences.
Chen, K.-M., Chen, M.-H., Lin, M.-H., Fan, J.-T., Lin, H.-S., & Li, C.-H. (2010). Effects of Yoga on Sleep Quality and Depression in Elders in Assisted Living Facilities.
Journal of Nursing Research, 18(1), 53–61. http://doi.org/10.1097/JNR.0b013e3181ce5189
Milligan, C., Neary, D., Payne, S., Hanratty, B., Irwin, P., & Dowrick, C. (2015). Older men and social activity: a scoping review of Men’s Sheds and other gendered interventions.
Ageing and Society, (May), 1–29. http://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X14001524