Research Paper Examines the Importance of Relationships in Residential Care Communities

October 1, 2015

Press Release

Wins Prudential Real Estate Investors Award for Outstanding Research Paper in 2015 Seniors Housing & Care Journal

Contact: Biba Aidoo, (410) 267-0504 or

Annapolis, Md. – The research paper, Relationships Matter: The Importance of Friendships Among Residents of Independent Living Communities, was named Outstanding Research Paper in an announcement by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) during the 25th NIC National Conference in National Harbor, Md. The annual competition, which calls for applied research papers, was sponsored by Prudential Real Estate Investors. The winning paper will be featured in the 2015 Seniors Housing & Care Journal.

The paper, written by Kristen Paris, Edie Smith, Rachelle Bernstecker, and David Schless, highlights the importance of social relationships and camaraderie in residents’ evaluations of their living communities.

The authors found that formal activities offered by communities do not seem to affect residents’ sense of social connectedness, but informal activities, such as entertaining in private residences or eating meals in a communal dining room, are more impactful drivers of feeling connected. Evidence presented in the paper suggests that recognizing the importance of friendships among residents would be wise for senior living personnel, as social connectedness affects both resident quality of life and residents’ likelihood to recommend the community to others.

The 2015 edition of the Seniors Housing & Care Journal also includes three research papers and three commentaries focused on critical issues faced by professionals in the field:

  • Self-Compassion and Resilience in Senior Living Residents, by Jennifer L. Smith, PhD.
  • Using the SOS Tool to Evaluate Outdoor Spaces in Seniors Housing, by Eric Bardenhagen, PhD, RLA, ASLA; and Susan Rodiek, PhD, NCARB, EDAC.
  • Senior Living Residents’ Perceptions of the Boost Your Brain & Memory Program, by Catherine O’Brien, PhD, MPH; and Roscoe Nicholson, MA.
  • Dementia Environment Design in Seniors Housing: Optimizing Resident Perception and Cognition, by Steven J. Orfield.
  • On Campus and in the Community: How Higher Education Can Inform Seniors Housing Models, by Lisa Morgenroth, Assoc. AIA; and Michael Hanley, AIA.
  • Making Innovation Work: Ambidextrous Organizations in the Seniors Housing and Care Industry, by Ryan Frederick, MBA.

For the first time, the 2015 edition features an Executive Roundtable, which provides industry executives’ first-person insights about topic areas relevant to all in seniors housing: quality, leadership, and affordability.

NIC, with assistance from Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, has made copies of the 2015 Seniors Housing & Care Journal available free of charge to users and institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.

Visit to download the journal.

About NIC
The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to advance the quality and availability of seniors housing and care options for America’s elders. NIC provides research, education, and increased transparency that facilitate leadership development, quality outcomes, and informed investment decisions with respect to seniors housing and care. Since 1991, NIC has been the leading source of research, data and analytics for owners, operators, developers, capital providers, researchers, academics, public policy analysts and others interested in meeting the housing and care needs of America’s seniors. For more information, call (410) 267-0504.

About Mather LifeWays
Based in Evanston, Illinois, Mather LifeWays is a unique, non-denominational not-for-profit organization founded 70 years ago to serve the needs of older adults. Dedicated to developing and implementing Ways to Age Well. Mather LifeWays creates programs, places, and residences for today’s young-at-heart older adults. These include providing continuum of living and care; making neighborhoods better places for older adults to live, work, learn, contribute, and play; and identifying, implementing, and sharing best practices for wellness programs, aging-in-the-workplace issues, emergency preparedness, staff development, and online education and programs empowering working family caregivers.

About Prudential Real Estate Investors
Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI) is a leader in the global real estate investment management business, offering a broad range of investment vehicles that invest in private and public market opportunities in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Latin America. Headquartered in Madison, N.J., the company also has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London, Luxembourg, Munich, Paris, Abu Dhabi, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. The company also has a representative presence in Rio de Janeiro. PREI has gross assets under management of USD $61.5 billion (USD $45.7 billion net assets) as of June 30, 2015. For more information, please visit


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