Gerontology - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Safety Culture in Long-Term Care Organizations: What Can Be Learned from the Commercial Aviation Industry?

Date created: 
2013-04-22
Abstract: 

The safety of older adults requiring institutionalization due to their higher care needs is an important public health concern. This capstone paper defines the emerging concept of safety culture and provides a critical examination of the current gaps in the safety culture in Long-Term Care (LTC) organizations designed mostly for older adults who cannot live independently at home. Conceptualized as the manifestation of complex systems failure, falls are the most commonly reported adverse events and a great safety concern in LTC. An overview of a successful safety culture in the commercial aviation industry is explored for policy and practical implications. It is hypothesized that the lessons from the commercial aviation industry can be translated to improve the safety culture in LTC and ensure the safety of and prevent harm to older residents. This exploratory analysis reflects how an effective safety culture could contribute to optimize the safety of residents by the processes of care in place. Challenges in addressing resident safety in LTC on quality outcomes and the resident’s rights to autonomy and human dignity in LTC are also addressed.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Andrew Sixsmith
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

The role of community gardens in supporting quality of life in urban dwelling older adults

Date created: 
2013-04-02
Abstract: 

The goals of this case study were to explore the role of community gardens in supporting quality of life in urban dwelling older adults and to gain a better understanding of the social aspects of community gardening participation. Qualitative research methods were employed, including in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations with selected garden members from Cottonwood Community Garden in East Vancouver, Canada. Five substantive themes emerged: a) Maintenance of overall well-being, b) Engaging in a meaningful pastime, c) Social engagement, d) “Staying invested in the garden as I age”, and e) Gardening in East Vancouver. These themes depict the subjective experiences of older community gardeners and highlight the physical, psychological and social benefits ensuing from their participation in community gardening. The findings have potential implications on community gardening programs for older adults and design guidelines to support the inclusion of accessible green spaces in urban environments to facilitate active aging.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Habib Chaudhury
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Place attachment among older adults living in northern remote communities in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Place attachment refers to the experience of emotional and cognitive ties to the physical environment. Among older adults, place attachment may be experienced and represented as a sense of insideness that consists of three dimensions: physical insideness, social insideness, and autobiographical insideness (Rowles, 1990). The study employed a qualitative research method to examine the dimensions of place attachment among older adults living on the Queen Charlotte Islands, a northern remote setting in British Columbia. Overall, aspects of the physical and social environment, rural lifestyle, and time in place are salient to the development and reinforcement of place-based ties. Findings from the study have relevance for health and housing policy for older rural populations in reducing potential trauma from relocation, planning and development of appropriate housing options and improving service delivery for new and long-term residents.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Rural-urban differences in self-care behaviours of older Canadians: The effects of access to primary care

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This thesis explores effects of access to primary care on the self-care of older Canadians, across 5 residential categories. Previous research indicates persons living in rural environments experience profound barriers to primary care, compared to their urban counterparts. Further, self-care is influenced by health knowledge, often acquired through the formal health care system. It was hypothesized that the association between residential status and self-care will be partially explained by access to primary care. Data from the CCHS - Cycle 1.1 (2001) were used. The research sample consisted of 24,281 Canadians, aged 65 and older. Logistic regression results evidenced several predictors of self-care. However, none of the independent variables fully explained the association between access to primary care and selfcare. Since previous research employs dichotomous rurallurban comparisons, these findings provide an important and unique contribution to the literature. The results suggest need for research identifying factors mediating group differences in self-care.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Retirement income policies and welfare state retrenchment: A comparative study of Canada, Sweden and the Netherlands

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of welfare state retrenchment on the retirement income system in Canada during the years 1980-2000. In order to provide perspective on the Canadian experience, this study also examined the effects of retrenchment on the pension systems in the Netherlands and Sweden. The theoretical foundation for this study was supported by Esping-Andersen's (1990) welfare-state regime typology (liberal, conservative and social-democratic). To address retrenchment, this study incorporated Rice and Prince's (2000) model of retrenchment strategies. It was hypothesized that: 1) there is a link between regime type and retrenchment strategy pursued; and, 2) the liberal regime (Canada) will be more likely to experience retrenchment than either the conservative (the Netherlands) or social-democratic (Sweden) regimes. Contrary to these predictions, it was found that while all three countries did experience retrenchment, the Netherlands experienced the most retrenchment.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Exploring gender differences in the outcome of a self-care intervention to reduce cardiovascular disease risk

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

A multitude of gender differences exist in relation to primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Thus, a gender-based approach to interventions for cardiovascular risk has been identified as the ideal. However, there is a research gap as to what strategies such interventions should include. This investigation explored gender differences in the effectiveness of a cardiovascular risk reduction intervention, the Cardiovascular Health Best Practices Project. The intervention was successful for females but not for males. Gender differences in self-care patterns for physical activity, weight loss, and stress, as well as health care utilization, did not contribute to these findings. Future research should identify which strategies were effective for females as well as explore strategies for risk reduction among males, and future intervention analyses should assess outcome by gender.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
A
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

The role of the social and physical environments in informal social interaction among people with dementia residing in special care units

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study was to explore the nature of informal social interaction among people with dementia residing in special care units and to provide insight into the role of the social and physical environments in facilitating or hindering these spontaneous interactions. An ethnographic approach was used including in-depth interviews with staff members and resident observations. Findings revealed that residents within special care units engage in several types of informal social interactions including: 1) active verbal communications, 2) brief verbal communications, 3) touching, 4) gesture, 5) glancing, 6) attention seeking, and 7) other non-verbal communication. This study also found that social environmental factors such as staff work roles and resident group size as well as physical environmental features such as the presence of multiple sightlines, transitions spaces, low noise levels, and the nursing station location play a crucial role in influencing informal social interaction within a dementia care setting.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
H
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Exploring the quality of life of younger residents living in residential care facilities

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the characteristics of the quality of life of younger residents in residential care facilities, and to gain an understanding of the important factors that contribute to their quality of life. Multiple methods were employed to collect data, including younger resident in-depth interviews, focus groups with staff members, and interviews with a member from the management team at two residential care facilities in British Columbia, Canada. The data analysis revealed four main themes, each containing a number of specific codes: (1) A New Chapter in life; (2) Experiencing Quality of Life; (3) Staying Engaged and (4) Social Life. These themes outline the characteristics of the younger residents’ quality of life and the important factors that contribute to it. The results are beneficial for understanding younger resident quality of life needs and providing person centred care that is appropriate for this population.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
H
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

A comparison of intimate partner violence in mid-and-old age: is elder abuse simply a case of spousal abuse grown old?

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

The study used a national pooled dataset from the 1999 and 2004 Canadian General Social Surveys (GSS) to compare spousal abuse between mid-age adults (45-59 years) and older adults (>60 years). Two types of abuse: emotional/financial and physical/sexual are investigated. Three regression models on personal, relationship and environmental explanatory factors are examined to determine salient predictors of spousal abuse for each age group. Both similarities and differences were uncovered across the age groups. In general, the differences reflect the complexities of an aging population indicating the importance of social network, such as participation in social activities and community size. In addition, disability status and spousal drinking habits for both age groups were found to be associated with abuse. This study is first of its kind to examine spousal abuse among younger and older populations on the national level. The findings have implications for intervention programs for abused victims.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
D
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Psychological resilience in spousal caregivers of memory clinic patients with Alzheimer disease

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Faced with comparable demands, some caregivers of persons with Alzheimer disease (AD) become overwhelmed early in the course of the illness while others cope for many years under remarkable stress. Psychological resilience may enable clinicians to identify caregivers at risk for stress-induced psychopathology. The current study examined the three facets of psychological resilience (i.e., commitment to living, challenge, perceived control) relative to the well-being of a sample of cohabitating, community-residing spousal caregivers of persons with AD using hierarchical regression. The sample was recruited from a tertiary diagnostic clinic over a period of 21 months (N = 130). Challenge and perceived control were inversely associated with depressive symptoms. Perceived control was also significantly related to caregiver burden. None of the psychological resilience constructs uniquely contributed to the prediction of life satisfaction. These findings provide partial support for the hypothesized association between psychological well-being and caregiver well-being indices.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
N
Department: 
Dept. of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)