- The study was undertaken to determine
1) The types, numbers and status (previously owned
or newly purchased) of the household furnishings
2) The types and amounts of selected personal
3) Adequacy of storage space provided
4) Selected activity patterns
of a specific group of retired women living in one retirement home.
The retirement home selected for the study was Terwilliger Plaza,
a 342-unit complex located in Portland, Oregon.
The aforementioned information was obtained through personal
interviews with a random sample of 45 residents of the retirement
home--25 living in studio apartments and 20 living in one-bedroom
apartments. Comparisons were made between residents of the
two types of apartments in each of the areas studied.
The interviews revealed that there was no significant difference
between residents of the two types of apartments studied
relative to length of time at Terwilliger Plaza, previous residence,
age and annual income.
Approximately three-fourths of the total group had lived in
the home the entire four years it had been in operation. The largest
group lived in apartments or their own home for an average of ten
years before entering the retirement home. The mean age of the
occupants was 72.4. Most of the women had an annual income of
less than $5,000.
When household furnishings were considered, it was concluded
that favored items included in the living-dining area by both groups
of women studied were easy chairs, small tables, dining tables and
chairs, television sets and table and/or floor lamps. The one-bedroom
apartment occupants favored a sofa in this area. In the sleeping
area, studio apartment occupants were about equally divided in
their choice of single bed or convertible sofa-bed. The business
centers of studio apartments often featured a secretary. Some of
the one-bedroom apartments also had a secretary but more of this
group had desks and chairs.
Relative to status of furnishings, it can be concluded that the
majority of the residents in this retirement home found it most
satisfactory to include furnishings from their previous home along with a lesser number of newly purchased items. If they did
buy new items, the items purchased most often were television
sets, easy chairs, sofas, sofa-beds and bedroom sets.
Personal belongings inventoried included outer garments,
bedding, household linens, dinnerware, silverware, small electrical
appliances and cooking utensils. In every category, with the exception
of frequently used cooking utensils, the one-bedroom apartment
occupants owned and kept in their apartments a slightly greater
number of items than did the studio apartment occupants. The
differences were not great enough to be significant.
The occupants in both types of apartments tended to keep hobby
and business supplies, coats and other clothes, chests, extra food,
extra bedding, dishes, cooking utensils: and ironing boards in the
storage closet in their apartments. They stored luggage, Christmas
deccorations, extra boxes, out-of-season clothes, chests, photographs,
personal and family papers, extra bedding, canned foods
and cooking utensils in the storage space provided outside their
apartments. Nearly all those interviewed were satisfied with the
storage space provided.
Selected activities participated in by retirement home occupants
were meal preparation, meals for guests, light housekeeping
chores, entertaining, hobbies, and volunteer work for the retirement
home and other organizations.
The findings of the study can be useful to 1) Educators concerned with the aging
2) Prospective "retirees"
3) The building trades constructing retirement
4) Interior decorators working with the aged
5) Furniture manufacturers and retailers who
design, produce and sell furniture for the aged.