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Gerontology Institute Awarded $900,000 Grant

March 2008

The Gerontology Institute has recently been awarded a $900,000 research grant from the National Institute on Aging to study social relationships among residents in assisted living (AL) facilities. These relationships have profound effects on physical and mental well-being throughout the life course and into later life. They influence life satisfaction, one’s sense of self-worth, and quality of life, particularly in long term care settings.

Mary Ball, Ph.D, the principal investigator, along with a seasoned research team will begin the project in June.  The specific aims of the study are:

1. To learn how residents experience relationship with other residents in the assisted living setting.
2. To understand how individual, sociocultural, and environmental factors shape how residents experience relationships with other residents in the assisted living setting.
3. To identify successful strategies of assisted living residents and staff that help residents negotiate and manage social interactions and relationships with other residents.

The findings from this study will form the basis of an intervention that will enhance these relationships and ultimately residents’ quality of life.