'Finding home': a grounded theory on how older people 'find home' in long-term care settings

Adeline Cooney
International Journal of Older People Nursing 2012, 7 (3): 188-99

BACKGROUND: A link between residents 'feeling at home' in long-term care facilities and 'quality of life' is emerging in the literature. Few studies, however, have focused on what helps residents to find a home in long-term care settings. This study aimed to fill this gap.

AIM: This study aimed to understand older peoples' perceptions of 'being at home' in long-term care settings and the factors that influence these perceptions.

DESIGN: Grounded theory guided the study design. Residents (n = 61) living in public or private long-term care settings were interviewed using unstructured interviews.

FINDINGS: Four categories were identified as critical to finding a home in long-term care settings: 'continuity', 'preserving personal identity', 'belonging' and 'being active and working'. 'Finding Home' was conceptualised as the core category. The potential to 'find home' was influenced by mediating and facilitating/constraining factors.

CONCLUSIONS: The Theory of Finding Home was generated from the data. This theory describes the factors critical to 'finding home' in long-term care settings.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The Theory of Finding Home gives insight into what matters to older people living in long-term care settings. Strategies to help generate a feeling of home in long-term care settings are shared.

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