Making Choices

Making Choices



Olderadults go through numerous challenges that range from medicalconditions to inability to perform activities of daily living. Thesechallenges force the older adults to look for help that may beobtained from community facilities that are developed to take care ofolder adults. However, different facilities give a differentiatedliving environment that affects the quality of life as well as theoverall well-being of the seniors (Horgas &amp Abowd, 2004). To thisend, older adults should select environments that they believe willmaximize their satisfaction, well-being, and the quality of life.This paper will focus on variables that influence the choice for aliving environment for older adults.

Effectof financial resources on options

Theamount of financial resources that one has at the old age determinesthe level of independence as well as the type of environment that onewill live in at old age. All services in the living environments areoffered at a cost, which means that an older person with morefinancial resources will be able to access more and quality services.Although the type of environment that one sends an old age is mainlydetermined by the health condition, people living in a similar typeof environment access different services as long as they havedifferent abilities to pay for those services. For example, assistedliving facilities charge an equal amount for the basic services, butthe client who needs specialized attention or more quality services(such as means and nursing care) pay an additional fee (Pratt, 2009).Therefore, only those with adequate financial resources will be ableto access additional services, which increase their quality of lifeand the level of independence.

Influenceof cultural beliefs, religion and traditions

Olderadults have their sets of beliefs, cultural practices, and traditionsthat they may not be able to part with just because their age andhealth condition has created the need for assistance from a communityfacility. By holding other factors constant, senior members of thesociety select the living environment that offers services that areconsistent with their traditions, cultural beliefs, and religion.According to Pratt (2009) some assisted living facilities inviteclergies within their facilities and other transport their clients tothe nearby places of worship. A senior person with strong religiousbelief is likely to attend a facility that offers religious serviceswithin the campus. Similarly, older adults are more likely to go forenvironments and a facility where service providers are culturallysensitive and provide services (including foods) that respect theirrespective traditions and cultural practices (Coolen, 2012).

Whyindividuals and couples need to consider the variables

Itis evident all older adults desire to live a satisfying life and beable to access all services that can help the seniors achieve theirdesires. However, the ability of individuals and couples to accessservices offered in different environments is subject to multiplevariables that must be considered before making choices. Some of thekey variables that should be considered include the availablefinancial resources, religion, traditions, and cultural beliefs. Allolder adults desire to achieve independence, but only those who haveabundant financial resources are able to access a living environmentthat can give them the independence they need (Pratt, 2009). Forexample, people who get into old age, having accumulated substantialfinancial resources are able to hire nursing care providers at home,which maximize their independence and the quality of life. On thecontrary, poor seniors have to consider their limited financialabilities and select a living environment that they can afford,irrespective of whether it gives them the independence and qualityservices that they desire.

Whycaregivers and families consider the variables when deciding forother people

Familymembers and caregivers may make choices for different reasons, buttheir choices should take account of multiple variables, such as thefinancial constraints, religion, traditions, and cultural beliefs ofthe older adult (Pratt, 2009). In most cases, the decision of thefamily members may be regulated by the financial capacity of thefamily. In the case of an older adult who aged having accumulated afew or no resources, the family may select a government fundedenvironment for their senior or go for the cheapest environment.Caregivers, on the other hand, are more concerned about the qualityof life and satisfaction of older adults with the services that theyreceive. To this end, a caregiver may select a living environmentwhich services match the cultural beliefs and religion of the olderadults since these variables will determine their comfort and theoverall well-being while living in the selected environment.Therefore, caregivers and the family members have different views,but their choices are regulated by variables.


Differentliving environments for older adults give them different levels ofindependence and the quality of life. However, older adults areguided by different variables when selecting an environment. The keyvariables that should be taken into consideration include thefinancial resources at the disposal of the senior or the familymembers, religion, traditions, and cultural beliefs held by the olderadult. The selected environment should have services that accommodatecultural and religious differences of the older adults in order toenhance their satisfaction with the services that they receive.Family members and caregivers are guided by the same variables whenselecting the living environment for other people.


Coolen,R. (2012). Culturalrelevance in end-of-life care.Washington, DC: University of Washington.

Horgas,A. &amp Abowd, G. (2004). Theimpact of technology on living environments for older adults.Washington, DC: National Academy of Science.

Pratt,R. (2009). Long-termcare: Managing across the continuum (3rdEd.).Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.