Perceptions of Home in Long-Term Care Settings: Before and After Institutional Relocation

Mineko  Wada (Lead / Corresponding author), Sarah L. Canham, Lupin Battersby, Judith Sixsmith, Ryan Woolrych, Mei Lan  Fang, Andrew Sixsmith

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Abstract

Although moving from institutional to home-like long-term care (LTC) settings can promote and sustain the health and wellbeing of older adults, there has been little research examining how home is perceived by older adults when moving between care settings. A qualitative study was conducted over a two-year period during the relocation of residents and staff from an institutional LTC home to a purpose-built LTC home in Western Canada. The study explored perceptions of home amongst residents, family members and staff. Accordingly, 210 semi-structured interviews were conducted at five time-points with 35 residents, 23 family members and 81 staff. Thematic analyses generated four superordinate themes that are suggestive of how to create and enhance a sense of home in LTC settings: (a) physical environment features; (b) privacy and personalisation; (c) autonomy, choice and flexibility; and (d) connectedness and togetherness. The findings reveal that the physical environment features are foundational for the emergence of social and personal meanings associated with a sense of home, and highlight the impact of care practices on the sense of home when the workplace becomes a home. In addition, tension that arises between providing care and creating a home-like environment in LTC settings is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalAgeing and Society
Early online date9 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2019

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Keywords

  • care practices
  • institutional relocation
  • long-term care
  • meaning of home
  • semi-structured interviews
  • thematic analysis

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