The bright side of life : support in municipal elderly home care

University dissertation from Örebro : Örebro universitet

Abstract: Registered nurses in municipal elderly home care have in some occasionsdifficulties in identifying the patients’ needs and prioritize intervention inaccordance with the patients’ preferences, which is to obtain social and emotional support. The overall aim was to explore and describe which supportive interventions registered nurses use in municipal elderly home care settings and if it is in agreement with the patient’s preferences. Methods: A retrospective descriptive study (I ) were conducted and followed up by a qualitative approach with Grounded Theory as a method (II IV ). Sample to study; I , registered nurses (62) performed interventions to 6138 patients between 80- 109 years. II , 12 registered nurses, who performed 36 home visits to patients between 80- 102 years. III , 16 registered nurses. IV , 18 patients between 80- 96 years. Data was collected by; I , between 2004- 2008, during the months of April and October using a web- based form which was filled in by registered nurses. II , through nonparticipant observations when the registered nurse made a home visit. III and IV , using informal conversational interviews. Results: Combined, the four studies show that emotional support is important to a group of older patients because it helps them to experience serenity. Serenity is a state of relief and the moment required for the patient to be able to move forward in a dignify way. Patients lost or reduced ability to process their emotions makes so that they get stuck in a state, which fatigue them with additional experience of disease and illness. To get out of their state the patient uses the registered nurse as a reliever whose mission is to identify their needs and guide them into a state of serenity. Registered nurses on the other hand, makes priorities based on patients preferences. Registered nurses strengths was their profession that contributed to the patient's emotions became available to them. Weaknesses was registered nurses workload and lack of knowledge about the identification of emotions. Emotional support should be developed as a nursing intervention and be integrated as a part of nursing.

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