Background: The continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is a long term care alternative available to older adults who are independent upon entrance. The present study evaluated perceptions of old age and aging among new CCRC residents and their adult children.
Methods: A qualitative study with 34 dyads of older adults and their adult children (34 adult children and 36 older adults) was conducted. Interviews were analyzed using constant comparisons within and across interviews. Dyadic analysis of older adults-adult children interviews was followed.
Results: Three major themes concerning the perception of old age and aging emerged: (a) expectations for multiple losses that occur in old age; (b) different views and definitions of old age as being composed of various dimensions including chronological age, mental age, physical age and appearance and (c) diverse perceptions of the CCRC as a luxurious hotel vs. the "last stop."
Conclusions: A more balanced portrayal of old age and the CCRC might result in an easier acceptance of these concepts among older adults and their adult children.
Keywords: older adults.