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                            Family Involvement Within Assisted Living: Care-Receivers' and Caregivers' Roles and Relationships
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University of Denver University of Denver

Digital Commons @ DU Digital Commons @ DU

Electronic Theses and Dissertations Graduate Studies

1-1-2011

Family Involvement Within Assisted Living: Care-Receivers' and Family Involvement Within Assisted Living: Care-Receivers' and

Caregivers' Roles and Relationships Caregivers' Roles and Relationships

Rachel Vineet Solomon
University of Denver

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Roles and Relationships" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 616.
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Page 2

FAMILY INVOLVEMENT WITHIN ASSISTED LIVING: CARE-

ROLES AND RELATIONSHIPS



__________



A Dissertation

Presented to

the Faculty of the Graduate School of Social Work

University of Denver



__________



In Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Doctor of Philosophy



__________



by

Rachel V. Solomon

June 2011

Advisor: Jean East, Ph.D.

Page 128

119

Providing inter-generational support and caregiving. Despite past research that

has tried to establish that elderly family members disengage from participating and being

actively involved in their families and communities, the elderly care-receiving

participants in this study, though limited in their involvement, were found to increasingly

value reciprocal exchanges, family ties, and inter-generational solidarity within their



Grandparenthood is one of the primary familial roles through which elderly

family members provide assistance and care to not only their children, but also their

use they view

their children and their grandchildren as extensions of themselves. Grandparents who

share a good relationship with their children often assist them by baby-sitting their

grandchildren. An elderly participant observed,

I sometimes watch my grandson, like when my daughter went to take her oldest

daughter to college two years ago...and my son-in-law had a meeting. I stayed

with the younger boys, and they are quite close to me. The youngest one is 13,

at.



Elderly grandparents living in close proximity to their adult children were,

therefore, able to develop a close bond with their grandchildren and were able to pass on

their beliefs and values, which they could share in common with their grandchildren. In

this regard, an elderly resident mentioned,

My three youngest grandchildren are here and I see them a lot, but I have a total

of eight and you know, the kids are all good kids, and I hear from them; but I see

my youngest daughter and her family a lot more just because they are here.

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120

This finding was also reiterated in the words of a caregiving son, who stated,



Well, I think that my kids had more of a relationship with my parents than I had

So I think place does matter.



Some relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren were also

viewed as less prohibitive, which created an unrestricted climate for expression of any



Grandfather: Our grand-kids live here in Denver, so we see them pretty

remained here and has pursued being a medic, and we have that in common with

him. I mean, with my wife having been a nurse and I was a doctor, and so we see

him on a ver

Caregiving son: My son really understands, medically, a lot of the things that my

parents are dealing with, which is a real common ground for both my parents and

he, and so they have good conversation about some of their medical needs, some

of their future needs; and I think my parents listen to him almost more than my

brother and I, because he may be more knowledgeable, and it may be because he

e these relationships with

our grandkids that are less prohibitive than our own children. Uh, it just is, and so

there are some things that your dad and I talked about, you kn



Elderly care-receivers who felt emotionally close and available to even some of

their grandchildren, if not all, considered themselves as engaging and involved family

members. They reported being more involved when their grandchildren were younger,

because they volunteered to watch and engage them, which allowed them to frequently

visit and associate with their grandkids.

However, as the grandchildren became teenagers and adults, it was noted that

most grandparents expected an inevitable change in their relationship, because more often

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246



Appendix D

Care-receiving Resident Interview Guide

1) Introduce the study
2) How did you come to be living here?
3) Do you like living here?
4) What is it that you like or dislike about living here?
5) Tell me about your family members and your relationship with them?
6) Tell me specifically how your family members are involved in your life now

that you are living here?

7) How has your role in family changed now that you are living here?
8) How has the assisted living staff and administration detracted from or supported

your roles and relationships within your family and within the assisted living

facility?

9) How can the assisted living staff and administration facilitate more involvement
between you and your caregiving family members?



Key Focus Areas of Interview



1) Elderly residents’ Perception of their Family Involvement


 Family Relationships
- Nature of relationships
- Quality of relationships

 Role Fulfillment within your Family
- Types of role fulfillment
- Frequency of role fulfillment

 Obstacles to Attaining Active Family Involvement
- Assisted Living Policies & Regulations
- Assisted Living Staff Attitudes’ & Behaviors
- Assisted Living Environment
- Sense of Community & Belongingness

 Strategies to Overcome Barriers and Promote Family Involvement




2) Elderly residents’ perception of their Primary Family Caregiver(s) Involvement

 Primary Caregiver’s level of Involvement

 Support from other family members’

 Assisted Living Support programs to assist caregivers’

 Policies that restrict more caregiver involvement

 Suggestions to help improve and enhance family involvement

Page 256

247



Appendix E

Family Caregiver Interview Guide


1. Does your elderly relative like living in an assisted living facility?
2. had an impact on

your involvement in their care process?

3. How has living in an assisted living facility had an impact on your elderly


4. How has caring for your elderly relative(s) in assisted living affected your
mutual involvement, as well as your involvement with other family members,

with respect to family relationships and role fulfillment?

5. How has the assisted living staff and administration detracted from or
supported your involvement with your elderly family member(s)?

6. How can the assisted living staff and administration facilitate more
involvement between your elderly relative(s) and you, as well as other

members of your family network?



Key Focus Areas of Interview

tion of their family involvement



 Family Relationships
- Nature of the relationship
- Quality of the relationship

 Role Fulfillment
- Type
- Frequency

 Obstacles to Attaining Active Family Involvement
- Assisted Living Policies & Regulations
- Assisted Living Staff
- Assisted Living Environment
- Sense of Participation

 Strategies to Overcome Barriers and Promote Family Involvement






 f Involvement
 Sense of Freedom & Flexibility to stay involved
 Assisted living Policies that restrict more care-receiver involvement
 Suggestions to help improve and enhance family involvement

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