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NIA Assisted Living Research Team Completes Data Collection

April 2006

Gerontology Institute researchers have completed data collection of a 3-year, National Institute on Aging, $873,000 project studying staff satisfaction and retention in assisted living (AL) facilities. They have interviewed over 450 direct care workers and facility administrators in 45 AL homes across the state of Georgia. The last phase is in progress as the research team, Mary Ball, Frank Whittington, Molly Perkins, Robert Adelman, Carole Hollingsworth, Mark Sweatman, Michael Lepore, and DeVette Taylor-Harris analyze data that were collected during the past 2 years.

A preliminary report of findings soon will be released to study participants and posted on this web site. The main focus of the study is to learn how AL facilities can create an environment that maximizes satisfaction and retention of direct-care staff, thus enhancing quality of care and quality of life of residents in these facilities.

Staff interviews captured their attitudes toward their jobs as caregivers, their rewards and frustrations, and the likelihood they will stay in their jobs for the next year. Administrators were asked about the policies and procedures of the facilities and their viewpoint of staff relationships on the job. Additionally, researchers spent time in each facility observing staff interactions with residents, coworkers, and resident's families-a total of almost 700 hours.

Institute faculty and students are scheduled to present research data at the 2006 Gerontological Society of America's 59th annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, November 16-20