Tiffany Lindsey


Fascinating are projects that explore microcosms in society which remain for individuals largely unknown and hidden until changing personal circumstances render those microcosms visible. The circumstances with which this paper is concerned are advanced age and declining health; the microcosm is that of a Metropolitan Milwaukee retirement-nursing home. The purpose of this paper is to investigate via interviews conducted with staff and residents of and participant observations made at this retirement-nursing home the levels of death anxiety felt by members of the latter group. With consideration of subjects’ emotions regarding their surroundings, I concluded that (a) elderly individuals living in the facility experienced greater death anxiety than those residing in personal residences and that (b) there existed within the confines of the retirement-nursing home opportunities for staff members to make environmental improvements so as to limit individual experiences with death anxiety.