The role of religion in mediating the transition to residential care

Michael J Lowis, Anthony Edwards, Chris A Roe, A Jewell, Michael I Jackson, W Mannes Tidmarsh

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Purpose The move from independent domicile to residential care can be a traumatic experience for the elderly. This study investigated the mediatory role of the individual's religious and spiritual beliefs on coping with this transition. Design and methods A self-report survey design was used, and questionnaires were administered to 50 individuals who had entered residential care within the previous 12 months. Results The analyses showed that scores on a life satisfaction scale were significantly and positively correlated with those from a spirituality measure (p = .033), from a faith in nature and humanity scale (p = .001), and from an instrument to measure the use of religion as a coping measure (p = .004). Contrary to the hypotheses, there were no such significant relationships with measures of either organised or non-organised religion. The relationships between variables were further explored through a path analysis. Implications The findings pointed to the benefits of a more personal and subjective belief system than a formal one. We concluded that it is important for all those who work with the elderly to acknowledge and recognise the role that religious and spiritual beliefs may have as a coping mechanism during stressful times
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2005


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