Transition in care: family carers’ experience of nursing home placement
This paper explores families’ experience of nursing home placement, which emerged as a significant aspect of a larger hermeneutic phenomenological study of family caring in nursing homes. Hermeneutic analysis of 14 family carers’ stories of nursing home placement uncovered five shared meanings: experiencing a loss of control; being disempowered; feeling guilt, sadness and relief simultaneously; possessing a sense of failure; and having to make a forced and negative choice. Discussion of the findings focuses upon the importance of family carer support during the transition period from home care to nursing home care and the subsequent benefits realized as a result of having received such support. Particular emphasis is placed upon how such support assists family carers to begin the process of reconstructing a valued and positive identity through which new possibilities for meaningful caring within a nursing home context can be realized.