Lessons Learned From 5 Women as They Transition Into Assisted Living

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Relocation and transition to an assisted living facility (ALF) is considered a critical period for the prospective new resident both in the anticipatory time prior to admission and the early weeks post admission.1 Administrators and health care providers at a large life care, aging-in-place facility in the southwest identified a need for improving supportive nursing interventions for easing the transition of newly admitted residents into the assisted living apartments. In response, a qualitative study exploring the expectations and experiences of five newly admitted residents was conducted over a six month period. Thirty-five interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed, and interpreted using content analysis. Four themes emerged: deciding to move, becoming dependent, remembering what was and yearning for the past, and creating a new community. Understanding the perspective of residents experiencing this transition may lead to innovative changes in ALF orientation programs, caring interventions, delivery of consumer directed care, and health provider educational strategies.

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