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Adjustment Strategies of Older Adults Transitioning Into an Assisted Living Facility: Implications for RT Practice

Kaitlin E. Mueller, Marieke Van Puymbroeck, Brandi M. Crowe, Nicole J. Davis


Transitions into an assisted living facility (ALF) may have major impacts on the well-being of older adults, both positively and negatively. The purpose of this study was to explore strategies that older adults are implementing to maintain or improve their well-being during their transition into an ALF. A grounded theory, descriptive approach employed 14 individual, in-person interviews at an ALF in the rural, southeastern U.S. Eight central findings emerged as adjustment strategies used by older adults, catorgizied as active and passive strategies. The five active strategies were identified as importance of health promoting activities (subthemes: promoting physical health and promoting mental health), connections to the outside world (subthemes: community integration outings and community visitors), placing possessions, finding a new routine, and engaging in spiritual practices. Three passive strategies were identified: peer support, staff support, and prior familiarity with the ALF. Implications for recreational therapists working with older adults in ALFs are detailed and future research recommendations are provided.

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adjustment strategies; assisted living facility; older adults; recreational therapy; therapeutic recreation; transitional care; wellbeing

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