A home away from home? : the transitions of older people within two new zealand retirement villages.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study explores the experiences of retirement village residents as they move from an independent to a supported living environment within a retirement village. It focuses on residents’ perceptions of their transitions and adopts a qualitative approach to understand the nature of their transitions and the way in which they are experienced. A grounded theory framework is used in order to capture the meanings that participants apply to concepts such as home, and to the physical, social, personal and veiled spaces in which they live.
The findings from the study reveal that as residents’ health fails, the impact of increasing dependence is such that their sense of social and personal autonomy is gradually eroded. The research also provides insights into residents’ expectations and fears surrounding end of life. In many ways the experiences of the residents in supported living environments do not differ greatly from those of residents in any aged care facility. One major finding of this research, however, is the debilitating impact on well-being that occurs as a consequence of these transitions from independent to supported living, taking place within one physical location – the retirement village – a physical space which promises prospective residents the opportunity for active and positive ageing.