5.1 DESCRIBING PERSON-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS

Competence and Environmental Press • Discovering Development: What’s Your Adaptation Level? • The Congruence Model • Stress and Coping Framework • Common Theoretical Themes and Everyday Competence

5.2 THE ECOLOGY OF AGING: COMMUNITY OPTIONS

Aging in Place • Deciding on the Best Option • Home Modification • Adult Day Care • Congregate Housing Assisted Living

5.3 LIVING IN NURSING HOMES

Types of Nursing Homes • Current Controversies: Financing Long-Term Care

• Who Is Likely to Live in Nursing Homes? • Characteristics of Nursing Homes

• Special Care Units • Can a Nursing Home Be a Home? • Communicating with Residents • How Do We Know? How Do People Respond to Patronizing Speech? • Decision-Making Capacity and Individual Choices • New Directions for Nursing Homes

SOCIAL POLICY IMPLICATIONS

Summary • Review Questions • Integrating Concepts in Development • Key Terms • Resources

YOU ENCOUNTER THEM EVERY DAY – DEVICES SUCH AS GRIP BARS IN BATH­ROOMS, WIDER DOORWAYS, RAMPS

leading to building entrances. You may even take them for granted. But these environmental modifications may mean the difference between living independently and living somewhere else. Supportive environments for adults, especially older adults with significant physical or cognitive impairment, are a relatively recent phenomenon. Research on how people deal with the settings in which they reside has revolutionized the way we design houses and care facilities. The rapidly increasing need for alternatives to nursing homes has resulted in the creation of a wide range of options for families. All of this started with the simple observation that behavior is a function of the environment in which it occurs in interaction with the individual’s personal characteristics.

In this chapter, we explore how differences in the interaction between personal characteristics and the living environment can have profound effects on our behavior and our feelings about ourselves. Several theoretical frameworks are described that can help us understand how to interpret person-environment interactions in a developmental context. Next, we consider the ecology of aging, and discover how people can age in place, along with the support systems that underpin that goal. We consider the role of adult day care and several different housing options that help people stay in the community as much as possible. Because some people need more intensive support, we take a close look at nursing homes. Even though we must sometimes consider the person separately from the environment, keep in mind throughout the chapter that in the end it is the interaction of the two that we want to understand.