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A Meaningful Daily Life In Nursing Homes- A Social Constructionist Study Of Residents And Health Professionals' Perspectives And Wishes

Background: "Improved Elderly Life" is a rehabilitation concept at nursing homes in Aalborg municipality in Denmark, which aims to enhance the perception of a meaningful everyday life for the residents, and hereby maintain daily-life activities. In “Improved Elderly Life” a basic team which consists of a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and an activity employee, collaborate with the care staff at nursing homes. In this study our aim was to investigate the consistency of the meaningful everyday life and activities, from the perspectives of the residents as well as how the staff esteem and contribute to this at nursing homes.

Methods: Semi structured, qualitative interviews were conducted with residents and staff at two nursing homes.

Results: Residents` perception of a meaningful life in nursing home generated five significant themes; To use oneself and to be of use; Social communities; Meaningful activities; Self-determination and influence on daily life; Self-reliance. Findings showed that residents and staff at the included nursing homes, in some areas have different perceptions of what contributes to a meaningful everyday life.

Conclusion: The residents wish for autonomy and individual activities that harmonize with their past lives. The employees and training staff concur with this, however in the daily routines at the nursing homes there is a discrepancy between what is spoken by the employees and what the residents experience.

Author(s): Mette Holst, Camilla A Lindholm, Anja H Lomholdt and Per Elmstrøm

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