"Leaving and making home": Stories of transition when moving into a retirement village

Dirk van Doorene

Research output: ThesisMasters Thesis

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This human research enquiry explores how older adults experience the transition of moving into a retirement village; what coping strategies they use during this transition and how pastoral counselling may assist with this transition. The conceptual framework of this research project is a pastoral counselling enquiry as an application of pastoral theology. The experience of moving is initially explored through a review of the psychological and theological literature on transitioning. “Leaving home” and “making home” is suggested as the essence of the experience when moving to a retirement village. A study is undertaken with participants who are churchgoers, over 70 years of age and have moved into a retirement village in the previous six to 18 months with their partner. A qualitative method is used for the study as the enquiry is interested in the experience of transitioning, which is heard in the voices of participants as they reflect on their experiences of “leaving home” (grief and loss) and “making home” (adjustment). Thematic analysis brings out the nature of the relationship between grief, loss and adjustment when moving into a retirement village as the researcher reflects on these narratives from a pastoral counselling perspective. Implications for pastoral counselling praxis emerge as the pastoral counselling researcher reflects on the dialectic between theory and practice in the experience of the participants.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Arts
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Blake, Helen, Principal Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


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