Assisted living facilities are expanding in response to the growing population of older adults in the United States. Assisted living facilities offer a wide array of services including memory care. Research has shown that a majority of assisted living facilities have residents with cognitive impairments living along with non-cognitively impaired individuals (i.e., mixed populations). Little is known about the conflicts that may arise between cognitively and non-cognitively impaired residents in a mixed population. The present study hoped to better understand what conflicts occur, how direct care staff are trained to handle these conflicts, from the perspective of assisted living facility administrators. The 11 administrators who agreed to participate filled out a survey via Qualtrics Survey Software answering questions related to this phenomenon. The results from the study indicated that conflicts do arise in mixed population of residents, with common conflict themes including disruptive behaviors, such as wandering or repeating the same stories. Participating administrators indicated a wide variety of frequencies of conflict and indicated they do receive specific complaints about cognitively impaired individuals from non-cognitively impaired residents. Participants indicated there is training to handle resident conflicts, such as distraction, redirection or education, but there were mixed responses as to whether facilities had specific protocols in place. The small sample size diminishes generalizability of findings; however, the current study can serve as a catalyst for future studies concerning conflicts among mixed populations of residents.


Jeffrey Buchanan

Committee Member

Eric Sprankle

Committee Member

Kristen Abbott-Anderson

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences



Rights Statement

In Copyright