The spatial linkages of retirement centers in Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bz60d087t

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  • The retirement center is the new pattern of settlement in Oregon. A few years ago there were no modern living accommodations in the state especially designed for people in the retired category. As to July 1966 development organizations have thirteen centers in operation and over 4,000 people are in residence. Retirement centers are not "old folks homes "! They are modern apartment dwellings or individual homes grouped into a community, where senior citizens may acquire living quarters for the balance of their lives. By choice they live in a social environment that is compatible to their age group. In many cases financial problems associated with future living and possible hospitalization and medical care are minimized. Group living for senior citizens is the fundamental philosophy of all retirement centers, however, differences exist that make possible two broad divisions. The groupings are the life care and the non-life care centers. The former furnishes the residents with complete care for the balance of his life; the latter is similar but does not guarantee complete medical or nursing care. The majority of the centers in Oregon have been concentrated in the western portion of the state. Eleven of the thirteen centers are in the Willamette Valley and the other two are in southwest Oregon. A number of factors influenced the location of centers at sites in western Oregon. Perhaps the most significant factor was the preponderance of population in this portion of the state which provided potential residents. Furthermore, associated with areas of high population densities were adjuncts vital to center location which would include medical and hospitalization care, transportation, shopping, recreation, and cultural advantages. Proximity to a shopping center played a part in the location and medical aid, hospitals, nursing and convalescent care were vital considerations in site selections. Nursing homes and infirmaries are a part of the physical make-up to most centers, however, few have hospitals. Easy access to principal arteries of transportation was a site factor and availability of vicinal transport services was even more significant. In all cases no center was isolated from main highways nor lacking in public or private transportation facilities. Use of leisure time is a serious problem for the senior citizen and it is a responsibility of center administrators to provide stimulating and satisfying leisure time outlets. A location with access to recreation facilities was significant as well as space and the nature of the space on the site for outdoor recreation possibilities. The potential for more retirement centers in Oregon is great particularly in the Willamette Valley. In the next 14 years, that is by 1980, it is projected that Oregon's total population will increase to 2,373,085 people. Of this number, 271,903 people would be 65 years of age or older. Sixty eight percent of this age group or approximately 186,000 people would be residing in the nine Willamette Valley counties. Presently the Oregon retirement centers have about 6,732 units and approximately 4,322 residents or 2.2 percent of Oregon's population of 65 years of age and older. If the percent of resident occupancy remains constant there would be over 7,000 residents by 1980. It is felt that numbers will increase and the percent of residents will escalate from 2.2 percent to about 5 percent or 11,500 individuals by 1980. The success of retirement centers in Oregon is assured and the need is corroborated by the fact that four new centers are scheduled to open in the near future. Retirement centers are an integral part of the landscape mosaic of Oregon and make a notable contribution to the state's settlement pattern.
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