GERO 811 Institutional Environments for Older Adults

For further assistance with your assignment, ask at the Belzberg Library Reference Desk or contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian for Gerontology (778.782.5043 / nsmart@sfu.caMonday to Thursday.

Course description

What is the nature of lived experience in a residential care setting? Organizational policies, program philosophies, care practices, staff training, staff culture and physical environment -- all contribute in shaping the everyday life of a ―resident in a care facility. This course will explore theory, research and practice in institutional living environments with special focus on the role of the physical/built environment in the residents‘ quality of life and the quality of care practices. The course will focus on environmental design from a multi-faceted perspective taking into account the residents‘ socio-psychological situation, staffing issues and organizational context.  [Note: for more information see the course outline and page in Canvas. If there are discrepancies between  information listed on this page and that in Canvas or instructor handouts, please refer to the latter.]

Finding books

Assisted living : needs, practices, and policies in residential care for the elderly [print and online]
Textbook describing different topics related to residential-care facilities, including regulations, services, staffing, as well as emerging issues    

Creating successful dementia care settings [print]
Describes the different elements involved in providing long-term care facilities for individuals with dementia

Guide to Canadian healthcare facilities [print]  
Facilities listed by province, then by town or city; codes include L = long-term care centre and R = retirement home/resource centre
(Latest print edition is 2014;  closest equivalent is Statistics Canada's Open Database of Healthcare Facilities for 2020, in an Excel file)

Healing gardens: Therapeutic benefits and design recommendations [print]
Discussions about the therapeutic effects of gardens for different populations including in nursing homes, Alzheimer treatment, and in hospice care

Humanistic Design of Assisted Living [print]
Overview text on integrating cooperative design into assisted-living facilities

Linking quality of long term care and quality of life [print and online]
Discussions about creating long-term care programs and facilities that focus on enhancing quality of life

Living with Ageing and Dying: Palliative and End of Life Care for Older People  [print]
Collection of discussions about end-of-life care including the significance of place at the end of life

Universal design handbook [print or online]
Handbook on "global standards and design solutions;" provides discussion and multiple perspectives on universal design.

Catalogue Searching: search SFU catalogue (with its Search Guide) under Subjects such as: (To search for books by subject heading, use the Browse Search option in the SFU Library Catalogue, then select Subject browse from the drop-down menu.)

  • Alzheimer's disease -- Patients -- Dwellings
  • Barrier Free Design For Older People
  • Dementia -- Patients -- Long-term Care
  • Life Care Communities
  • Long Term Care Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Old Age Homes
  • Older People -- Long Term Care
  • Older People -- Institutional Care
  • Retirement Communities

Look for the subheading: "Design and construction"

Finding journal articles

  • Ageline - database for social gerontology
    Sample terms: Long Term Care; Nursing Homes; Retirement Housing
  • CINAHL Complete - database for nursing and allied health
    Sample terms: Long term care; Nursing homes; Aged (can also Limit to Age Groups: Aged: 65+ years)
  • Royal British Architectural Library Catalogue Online - online catalogue for journal articles related to research on building architecture
    Sample term: Housing - Old people  Note: Since BAL only has UK holdings use Citation Finder for SFU and other Canadian holdings 

You can also browse Journal of housing and the built environment 

Web pages: research and organizations