OTD Capstone Projects


The Lived Experience of Older Adults Desiring to Age in Place is a study conducted by Sarah Dean, a student in Belmont University's Doctorate Program in Occupational Therapy. Purpose: This project was created to determine the lived experience and perspective of older adults desiring to age in place. This project was intended to benefit all older adults attending FiftyForward in Middle TN and their families. Methodology: The student assisted second-year Belmont OTD students in distributing an initial survey to the FiftyForward participants. The student went back to FiftyForward centers, and conducted in-depth interviews with the older adult participants in order to gain further insight into their lived experience with aging in place. The information collected was coded and analyzed into major themes: reason for attending FiftyForward, barrier, beneficial strategy, facilitator, feel safe, feel unsafe, reason, safety resource, socialization barrier, socialization level, and support system. Results: The data that was analyzed and coded identified barriers and facilitators to the older adult participants' ability to safely age in place. This data was used to create an evidence-based resource guide with home safety tips and middle TN resources to facilitate safer aging in place for older adults attending FiftyForward. Resource guides were distributed to each FiftyForward center for participant and faculty use. A presentation was also given to disseminate the findings of the project.

Publication Date

Spring 4-14-2023

Faculty Mentor

Teresa Plummer, PhD, OTR/L, ATP, CEAS, CAPS


Occupational Therapy, School of


Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of

Document Type



Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Degree Level


Degree Grantor

Belmont University


FiftyForward, older adults, resource guide, aging in place, home, safety