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Housing and social support needs of elderly persons: a needs assessment in an independent living facility.

Evaluation and Program Planning

Author: Lewis, J. S.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1997


The dramatic increase in the human lifespan has prompted much research on quality of life in old age. Psychosocial needs and developmental tasks of later life are an important focus for service providers in gerontology. A wide variety of housing alternatives for elderly persons now exists and housing program administrators and planners must be informed about developmental and social support needs of elderly residents if they wish to accommodate to residents' changing needs. This research supported the efforts of an independent living apartment complex for the elderly in its plan to adapt in a systematic way to the changing needs of its residents. Residents (N = 128) were interviewed about their social support perceptions and needs, their use of available services and activities, and their ideas about additional service needs. Respondents were very active and socially involved, and placed great value on independence and not "being a burden" to anyone.While network members, both friends and family, were great sources of emotional support, respondents were less likely to feel able to call on them for tangible or physical aid. Implications of findings for housing programs and for social work researchers and practitioners are discussed.

Further Details

Pages: 269-277
Volume: 20
Issue: 3
Accession Number: December, 2010
Keywords: North America, older, emotional, modification, assessment
Reads: 610