|Abstract or Summary
- Specific concern for housing and caring for the elderly has
received national attention since the White House Conference on Aging
held in 1961. The federal government has provided funds for studying
housing needs of the elderly. One alternative is the retirement home
which is defined as providing food, shelter and security for the elderly.
These facilities require an administrator who understands the special
needs of the aged and is .a good business manager.
Gerontologists are realizing the advantages of an academic
program designed to prepare people to enter the field of retirement
home administration. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to
identify the responsibilities and problems of and background preparation
needed by administrators and to make recommendations for
planning an interdisciplinary academic program in Oregon, to qualify
individuals for such positions.
A survey of retirement home administrators was made by
questionnaire, sent to 126 administrators in HEW region X. Fifty-one
or 40.5 percent were returned and usable. Data showed that facilities
in the Northwest are largely under 200 units in size and the majority
offer a variety of services. There is little mobility among administrators.
Their educational backgrounds are very diverse but the
majority have had some college preparation. The fields of preparation
most often mentioned were Business Management, Human Relations
and Administration. Occupational backgrounds of respondents
were also varied but the majority had been business managers,
sociologists and ministers, and administrators of various types.
Respondents indicated that they received their greatest satisfaction
from serving people. Employee-related problems and "human
relations problems with the residents" seemed to cause the most
frustration to the administrator. Long-range thinking and planning
took up much time for the majority of respondents. Tasks that could
be easily delegated appeared to be employee-centered. It appeared
that a correlation might exist between the problems reported by the
administrator as being most frustrating and how much time he spent
and whether or not it was a delegated task. Therefore Pearson's
product-moment correlation coefficient was used to analyze the
related data by computer. A significant positive correlation was
found between the problem of obtaining and maintaining staff and time
spent on staff recruitment and termination. A less significant correlation was found between getting desired production from staff
and time spent on dealing with employee problems and in-service
training. The relationship between human relations problems with the
residents and the delegation of the task of meeting with residents and
prospective residents gave a positive but small correlation.
Data showed that professional preparation of retirement home
administrators should be concerned with administrative skills, ability
to work with and understand people, and business management. The
majority of respondents were interested in providing an internship in
their facilities and also in attending workshops and seminars to update
On the basis of the questionnaire data, the curricular patterns
of retirement home administration programs now in existence and the
availability of applicable courses, recommendations were made. It is
hoped that these could serve as a basis for planning an interdisciplinary
1. This program be offered at either or both the graduate or
2. That courses from the three major areas reported by the
respondents, Business Management, Administration, and
Human Relations, be included in the curriculum.
3. The 12 hours of gerontology core courses offered through the
Oregon Center for Gerontology be a required part of the
4. Basic courses in Nutrition and Institution Management be
included as a required part of the academic program.
5. Related courses with an emphasis on the needs of the
elderly be selected to round out the individual student's
6. A carefully planned internship be a required part of the
7. Consideration be given to making available workshops and
seminars on retirement home administration on various
campuses and other central locations in the Northwest.