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Residential care facilities: resident characteristics and public policy

Portland State University. PH. D thesis

Author: Baggett, S. A.
Year: 1988
Type: Journal Article


Residential care is a rapidly growing form of housing and service provision for older adults. Policy and regulation in this field are only beginning to take shape, and reflect largely a reliance on previous patterns of policy development and regulation in the nursing home industry. This study examines the characteristics of elderly residential care facility (RCF) residents, and examines these through the lens of current state and federal regulations concerning the type of care given in these facilities. It is hypothesized that the lack of knowledge regarding the characteristics of older persons choosing RCF level care contributes to facility design and regulations which may not provide for living environments in which appropriate care and oversight are given. First, this study examines the factors contributing to the growth of residential care, analyzes federal policy initiatives, and examines the state of Oregon's implementation of the federal initiatives in residential care. A second research task, to provide information about the characteristics of residential care users, includes an analysis of data collected at three points in time from new residents of an RCF and from a community sample. The data were collected using the Geriatric Assessment Testing and Evaluation System (GATES). A descriptive analysis of the samples is reported, and a two-way analysis of covariance for a factorial design with equal cell frequencies (25 in each) is used to examine the effects of the two variables, time and place of residence, on the individual and group scores obtained using the GATES. Primarily, the variables discriminating the RCF consumer from the community sample were found to be: (1) age; (2) number of medications and inability to take them without assistance; (3) continence; (4) mental status; and (5) instrumental activities of daily living. This study concludes that residential care facilities increasingly provide care for a more impaired, dependent population. Yet current policy reflects a desire to maintain some of the more independent nature of these facilities. Maintaining a balance between imposing regulation and fostering expansion of a needed long term care option is a critical policy issue to be addressed by policy makers and aging advocates concerned with long term care in the coming decades.

Further Details

Pages 325
Accession Number 5.3.03
Research Notes Electronic copy added 19/08/2013
Keywords North Americaolderpolicy compliancehealth improvement

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