The Importance of Roles to Retarding Deterioration of Health and Well-Being in Older Adults
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This study examined the functional and psychological abilities of newly admitted female residents to Springpoint Senior Living Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC's) in an attempt to understand why some residents rapidly suffer decline while others do not. The study incorporated mixed methods as data was gathered both quantitatively and qualitatively. The first portion of the study quantitatively measured the health and wellness of residents using the SF-36-Item Health Survey, (SF-36) at the time of moving into the community and again six months later. The second portion of the study was qualitative, incorporating Grounded Theory. The results of the study support previous research findings that membership in roles promotes health and well-being. However, the results of this study suggest that the quantity of roles may be equal to or even less a factor than consistency of membership in even a single role. While membership in many roles has been proven to enhance the quality of life for older adults, membership in a single role may offer the same benefits. The challenge is to find the singular role that ignites the older adult's passion. This could take the form of supporting a role that has been lost or helping an older adult find a new passion. Social workers are positioned to play a pivotal part in helping older adults realize this passion as Germain (1976,1978) noted, the role of social work is to enhance the growth and the adaptive capacity of the individual.;Keywords: CCRC, roles, SF-36, Grounded Theory.