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Rehabil Nurs. 2011 Mar-Apr;36(2):83-8.

Memory matters in assisted living.

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Truman Medical Centers Hospital Hill, Kansas City, KS, USA.


Memory loss often signifies loss of independence, which is a growing concern for residents in assisted living (AL) facilities. The purpose of this exploratory study was to characterize the memory experiences and concerns of AL residents. Six residents voluntarily participated in 1-hour recorded interviews focusing on memory and guided by eight open-ended questions. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Subjects reported varying degrees of memory loss they found frightening and frustrating, but also accepted the loss as a natural part of the aging process. Concerns focused primarily on inability to recall staff and resident names and activities, schedules, and appointments. Understanding memory experiences and concerns is important for nursing staff members who care for AL residents. Memory challenges identified by these residents were used to develop a memory intervention for older adults residents of this and other AL facilities. Improving cognitive skills may help AL residents maintain their functional abilities, enabling them to "age in place" in AL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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