Changes in Self-Rated Health During the Transition to Retiring Living Among Medicare Managed-Care Recipients

Colby Lea, Ana Quiñones, Heather Whitson, Julie Bynum, Stephen Thielke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: Moving into a retirement community may be precipitated by or bring about changes in health status. We hypothesized that moving into a retirement community would be associated with a decline in self-rated health (SRH), but that health-related factors would mitigate this association. We analyzed data from 58,272 participants in Cohort 3 of the Medicare Health Outcome Survey. Individuals answered questions regarding living status in 2000 and 2002. Those who moved into a retirement community were compared with those who did not. The primary outcome was change in SRH. We created adjusted and unadjusted models. A total of 2,520 participants (4.4%) moved into retirement communities between 2000 and 2002. There were no substantial differences in the mean change in SRH between those who moved and those who did not.  In adjusted and unadjusted models, moving was not significantly associated with changes in SRH.  In an analysis stratified by SRH, only those with the best SRH had a significant decline in SRH during the move. SRH mainly remained stable for most people regardless of moving into a retirement community. These findings argue against environmental context being a main determinant of self-perceived health status among older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-88
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Housing for the Elderly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016


  • residence
  • retirement
  • self-rated health
  • social comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Public Administration
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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