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

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Assisted living in BC: effects of organizational factors on residents’ satisfaction

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

In British Columbia, Assisted Living has been at the forefront of housing options for older adults due to their growing numbers and inadequate housing and health care resources to accommodate them. Assisted Living is a potential viable alternative for relatively high functioning seniors. Fraser Health Authority, one of the largest health regions, anticipates the creation of up to 1200 units by the end of 2007. This study examines residents’ satisfaction levels in Assisted Living facilities in Fraser Health Authority, and the extent to which organizational factors influence their satisfaction. Data were collected in interviews with 52 residents residing in funded beds in 10 for-profit and non-profit Assisted Living facilities. Site managers/administrators completed organizational factors’ surveys. Results indicate that residents were generally satisfied with the care received. Organizational factors did not appear to influence residents’ satisfaction. This study assists in exploring AL residents’ experiences and identifies areas for further study.

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

Exploring the potential benefit of adult day centre exercise programs

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the potential physical benefit of exercise programs offered to clients from 54 Adult Day Centres in British Columbia, Canada. The purpose of the research was to determine characteristics of clients, exercise programs and leaders and to establish their relative influence on an exercise classification system (ECS) score, which categorized each program as offering minimal, moderate or optimal potential benefit.

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

Adaptable Design in Five Housing Projects in North Vancouver: Client Use and Satisfaction

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

In 1997, the City of North Vancouver, British Columbia developed 'Adaptable Design Guidelines'. This was the first qualitative evaluation since guideline implementation that evaluated why tenants moved to Adaptable Designed units, identified changes being made by tenants, and indicated if functional independence was being supported due to the design features. Participants were satisfied with their unit and the decision to move into their unit was primarily guided by location of the building. Also, participants were aware of Adaptable Design; however, some were misled about its uses. Most participants were high functioning; however, several required assistance with household tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Unfortunately, these same support services are being eliminated by the provincial government in British Columbia. Results can be used to guide future revisions pertaining to the guidelines as well as demonstrate what needs to be done in physical environments in order maintain functional independence in older adults.

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

Exploring physical pain and injuries in informal caregivers to older adults

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Previous studies document positive and negative effects of informal caregiving on the caregiver’s physical and mental health. Although injuries are highly prevalent in professional home care workers, they have not been fully examined in informal caregivers. This study has explored physical pain and injuries in informal caregivers to frail older adults using the grounded theory approach and symbolic interactionism theoretical background. In-depth interviews have been conducted with twenty primary caregivers. Injuries in study participants included muscle and back strains, falls, sprained ankles, twisted knees, a broken wrist, a dislocated shoulder, and burns and bruises. Female spousal caregivers were especially vulnerable to physical pain and injury. A substantive theory was developed, relating to the social process of “attenuating the caregiver’s well-being while accentuating the care recipient’s well-being in the course of informal care provision.” This will provide a useful conceptual framework for future studies and caregiver interventions.

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

Personality and cognitive adaptation: the absence of neuroticism and its effects on the well-being of widowed women over time

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Widows scoring lower on the trait of neuroticism (N; i.e., negative emotional reactivity) tend to score higher on measures of well-being than high-N widows. This study examined if low-N widows employ adaptive cognitive processes (e.g., positive information processing biases) to mediate the association between personality and well-being. Reports of widowed women's perceptions of their marriage, measured in 2002/2003 by the Marital Aggrandizement Scale (MAS; O'Rourke & Cappeliez, 2002), were compared to their perceptions of their marriage at that time, as recalled three years later, as well as at present (N = 47). It was predicted that low-N widows would have higher MAS responses than high-N widows, and that this difference would increase over time. There was no interaction between neuroticism and time on MAS scores. Scores of high- and low-N widows on measures of psychiatric distress and life satisfaction were different at baseline and demonstrated lesser disparity at Time 2.

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

Fear of crime and design: Exploring the linkages in a seniors' housing complex

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This project explores the influence of environmental factors on older adults' fear of crime. Based on the crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) model, four environmental domains were examined: natural access control, natural surveillance, territoriality and maintenance. These are linked to fear of crime using person-environment theory. The data used in this study was based on a questionnaire comprised of structured questions provided to a sample (n=102) of older residents living in an age-heterogeneous housing complex in Vancouver, British Columbia. Respondents evaluated environmental features linked to the CPTED model and reported on self-perceptions of crime and their surrounding neighbourhood. Findings suggest that fear of crime is significantly correlated with gender and social disorder variables. It is concluded that, in terms of fear of crime, neighbourhood context variables have limited explanatory power based on this pilot project, but further research is necessary to establish more definitive results.

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

Organizational and physical environmental correlates of bathing-related agitation in dementia special care units

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Both the organizational and physical environments of long-term care facilities are believed to influence agitation levels among cognitively impaired residents. This thesis explores the relationship between selected organizational and physical characteristics of the facility bathing environment and bathing-related agitation. Findings are based on survey data obtained from 47 of the 90 Special Care Units in British Columbia. Of the 1,565 baths conducted during the study period, 46.8% involved some form of agitation. While the provision of initial and additional staff training reduced the likelihood of bathing-related agitation, the presence of a bathing policy and a dedicated bath team actually increased the likelihood of bathing-related agitation. Of the physical environmental features, only the provision of privacy was found to reduce the likelihood of bathing-related agitation. In order to enhance the quality of the bathing experience for residents, facilities are encouraged to direct their resources to improving the organizational bathing environment.

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

Beers criteria-based review of medication appropriateness in British Columbia seniors living in residential care

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

A study was conducted to explore the prevalence and predictors of inappropriate prescribing, as defined by the 2002 Beers criteria, in a sample of nursing home residents in British Columbia, Canada (n=,449). Medication-related data were extracted from residents' medication review letters. The overall prevalence of inappropriate prescribing was 29.4 percent. The prevalence rates for the three sub-types of inappropriate prescribing, namely unconditionally inappropriate prescribing, inappropriate drugdisease combinations, and inappropriate doses or durations, were 16.9, 12.4, and 5.1 percent, respectively. The likelihood of inappropriate prescribing was increased with the total number of prescription medications and the number of prescribing physicians. The single most commonly prescribed inappropriate medication was anticholinergics, for residents with cognitive impairment. Clinicians need to be extra vigilant to distinguish between the central nervous system effects of anticholinergic medications and the effects of the underlying disease.

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

Examining key factors and influential actors involved in the decision to relocate into assisted living: A sample funding proposal

Date created: 
2013-01-14
Abstract: 

This capstone project presents a conceptually grounded, methodologically appropriate and logistically feasible Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding proposal. By examining key factors and influential actors involved in the decision to relocate into an assisted living facility (ALF), the proposed study will provide insight into and a rich description of the decision making process as it unfolds. Presented in the format of a CIHR pilot study grant, the proposal details a qualitative research plan utilizing pre-move observations and post-move interviews to examine relocation into two public and two private ALFs in Vancouver. A project budget and justification is included along with materials related to the research protocol (informed consent forms, observation guide, interview questions, research timeline, etc). To provide context, preceding the CIHR proposal is a chapter with an extended literature review focused on later life relocation and a chapter on methodology highlighting the salient points of the different methods selected for this study.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Atiya Mahmood
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Development and initial validation of the Gay Men's Physical Attractiveness Scale

Date created: 
2012-12-12
Abstract: 

Young and older gay men from 40 countries rated the importance of 258 body features in judging the physical attractiveness of other men (N = 3,600). Exploratory factor analyses using two separate, independent samples suggested four factors underlying male same-sex physical attractiveness: Facial Attractiveness; Muscularity/Body Shape; Body Fat/Overall Appearance; and Intimate Regions. Twenty items representing the four dimensions were selected. Confirmatory factor analytic models using two other separate, independent samples supported the viability of a hierarchical structure with four first-order attractiveness factors mapping onto a higher-order Attractiveness construct. Responses to the scale exhibited strong internal consistency and test-retest reliability (r = .73 over an average period of 16 weeks). In addition, the hierarchical structure of responses appears to be time- and age-invariant. Results are discussed in the context of evolutionary theory.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Norm O'Rourke
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.