Transition from community dwelling to retirement village in older adults:cognitive functioning and psychological health outcomes


Supported living and retirement villages are becoming a significant option for older adults with impairments, with independence concerns or for forward planning in older age, but evidence as to psychological benefits for residents is sparse. This study examined the hypothesis that the multi-component advantages of moving into a supported and physically and socially accessible ‘extra-care’ independent living environment will impact on psychological and functioning measures. Using an observational longitudinal design, 161 new residents were assessed initially and three months later, in comparison to 33 older adults staying in their original homes. Initial group differences were apparent but some reduced after three months. Residents showed improvement in depression, perceived health, aspects of cognitive function and reduced functional limitations, while controls showed increased functional limitations (worsening). Ability to recall specific autobiographical memories, known to be related to social problem solving, depression and functioning in social relationships, predicted change in communication limitations, and cognitive change predicted changes in recreational limitations. Change in anxiety and memory predicted change in depression. Findings suggest that older adults with independent living concerns who move to an independent but supported environment can show significant benefits in psychological outcomes and reduction in perceived impact of health on functional limitations in a short period. Targets for focused rehabilitation are indicated, but findings also validate development of untargeted general supportive environments.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Chronic and Communicable Conditions
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: active ageing,cognitive functioning,extra-care supported living,independence,mental wellbeing,Social Psychology,Health(social science),Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous),Geriatrics and Gerontology,Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Publication ISSN: 1469-1779
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 08:08
Date Deposited: 31 May 2016 10:40
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL) ... 746B2542E19AABA (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2017-08-01
Published Online Date: 2016-05-26
Accepted Date: 2016-03-31
Authors: Holland, Carol (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1846-8897)
Boukouvalas, Alexis
Wallis, Stuart (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-3588-055X)
Clarkesmith, Danielle
Cooke, Richard (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0476-6284)
Liddell, Leanne
Kay, Amanda



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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