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A sense of home in residential care

Journal article
Authors Hanna Falk
Helle Wijk
Lars-Olof Persson
Kristin Falk
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Volume 27
Issue 4
Pages 999–1009
ISSN 0283-9318
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 999–1009
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/scs.12011
Keywords place-attachment;home;institutional care;ageing;elderly
Subject categories Nursing

Abstract

Moving into a residential care facility requires a great deal of adjustment to an environment and lifestyle entirely different from that of one's previous life. Attachment to place is believed to help create a sense of home and maintain self-identity, supporting successful adjustment to contingencies of ageing. The purpose of this study was to deepen our understanding of processes and strategies by which older people create a sense of home in residential care. Our findings show that a sense of home in residential care involves strategies related to three dimensions of the environment – attachment to place, to space and attachment beyond the institution – and that the circumstances under which older people manage or fail in creating attachment, consist of psychosocial processes involving both individual and shared attitudes and beliefs. Assuming that attachment is important to human existence regardless of age, attention must be paid to optimize the circumstances under which attachment is created in residential care, and how nursing interventions can help speed up this process due to the frail and vulnerable state of most older residents.

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