Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Wilson, Keith


In 2011, a period began in which the United States demographic will change to include the largest, least prepared, and most diverse elderly population in our nation’s history. That was the year the “Baby Boomer” generation started retiring and members of this large cohort will continue to do so for approximately twenty years (Kemper, Komisar & Alecxih, 2005). Chronic health conditions and the obesity epidemic may make retirement years less healthy ones than for previous generations of older adults. Lifestyle changes in Baby Boomers as compared to previous cohorts of elders – increased divorce, fewer children, nontraditional family relationships – may result in less support for frail elders when they can no longer care for themselves, thereby increasing their vulnerability to long-term care placement (Cherlin, 2010; Ryan, Smith, Antonucci & Jackson, 2012

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