Incorporating Group Activities and Community/Medical Services in CCRCs

Katherine Marx and colleagues conducted a multi-year exploratory study of older adults’ participation in group activities and use of community and medical services one year before moving into a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) and five years after residing in one. Participants in the study were 60 years old and lived in independent living in a CCRC. Of 300 participants who were eligible to participate in the study and enrolled, interview data was collected from 157 residents at each of the six different assessment points.

Data from the interviews revealed five patterns of change in participation in activities and/or use of medical/general services over time. Pattern 1-No Change is when there is no change in activity before moving into the CCRC to five years after residing in one. The article states one reason for this may be residents live close to their past community and continue to rely on these services. The authors recommend CCRCs immediately provide new residents with medical and general services that are either of equal or superior quality than services they used to rely on. Pattern 2-Immediate Change happens when there is an increase in group activity within the first year after moving into a CCRC. This increase may occur because activities are provided onsite and residents do not have to travel to participate in them.  The authors state this pattern demonstrates CCRCs effort to improve the quality of life among residents. Pattern 3-Late Change is when residents do not change their participation in activities offered at CCRCs during the first year, but increase participation during years 1 through 5. This may be because residents require some time in adjusting to their new living situation and gradually participate in activities once they have acclimated to their new environment. The authors recommend CCRCs increase opportunities for these residents to participate in activities. The findings of this article provide valuable information to retirement industry leaders on how to successfully incorporate services and activities into CCRCs.


Article cited:

Marx, K., Gaines, J., Burke, K., Resnick, B., & Parrish, J. 2010. Group activity participation and community/medical service use before and after moving into a continuing care retirement community: a five-year examination. Seniors Housing & Care Journal, Vol. 18, Number 1.

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