Ethnicity as a factor affecting adjustment of elderly to a nursing home
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This study examines the impact of ethnicity upon the adjustment of nursing home residents to one multi-cultural nursing facility. A sample of convenience was used to select 71 Jewish and 21 African American alert residents age 65 and older.;Face-to-face interviews were conducted at a single point in time and incorporated several scales that measure strength of ethnic identity, resident satisfaction with nursing home living and religiosity. Additional information was gathered that pertained to resident's health status and physical function, mental status, social support network and demographic data. Nursing home social workers were requested to assess the adjustment process of the subjects by utilizing a structured measure.;The findings revealed that residents who exhibit higher levels of ethnic identity and religiosity were more likely to show higher levels of adjustment and satisfaction with nursing home living. The stepwise multiple regression analyses disclosed several key variables that served as predictors for adjustment such as desire to relocate to a nursing home, family involvement and ability to be toileted. Satisfaction with nursing home living encompassed predictors such as religious identity, family involvement, desire to relocate and length of stay. The propensity for successful adjustment did not vary by ethnic background.;The impact of these predictors on the adjustment process of the residents can be attributed to the individual's strength of ethnic identity, religiosity, cultural practices, familial role, norms and set of values. The implications of these findings for practice, policy and program development, social work education and future research efforts will be discussed.
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