Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Deb Byram-Hanson


Aged; Life Change Events; Occupational Therapy -- methods


As individuals age and approach retirement, face life changes (loss of spouse or significant others), or health changes, they often make the decision to relocate. Responses may vary; but frequently stress, depression, and anxiety are experienced to the level that they impede a healthy adjustment. This can lead to diminished self-care, difficulty engaging in meaningful occupation, and isolation. Older adults may experience a poor sense of personal mastery within their new environment, contributing to feelings of low self esteem, sadness, grief secondary to loss, anger, and loneliness.

The purpose of this scholarly project was to address the pre-relocation needs and desires of the older adult as they plan for, or are moving through the life transition of relocation. A multi level pre-relocation intervention program was developed to address the physical and psychosocial needs of older adults at their present life stage. Based on a comprehensive review of literature, the program' focus was on the identification of older adults' needs and desires, development of various coping strategies, and identification of habits, resources, and environmental adaptations that support and encourage occupational performance/balance and positive participation in daily life.

The goal was to provide the older adult with tools to make wise housing decisions that promote occupational performance, balance, and psychosocial skills as they transition from one residence or home to another. The pre-relocation protocol will benefit occupational therapists working within acute health care and out patient programs, and in community based settings with older adults, their families, and community health care providers or educators.