Staff activities and behaviour are the source of many feelings: relatives’ interactions and relationships with staff in nursing homes


  • Annika Hertzberg MScN, BSc, RNT,

    1. Red Cross College of Nursing and Health, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sirkka-Liisa Ekman PhD, RN,

    1. Professor, Department of Sciences and Health, University of Karlskrona/Ronneby, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Karin Axelsson DMSc, RNT

    1. Dean, Department of Health Science, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Occupational Therapy, and Elderly Care Research, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author

Annika Hertzberg Arnövägen 12, S-132 34 Saltsjö-Boo, Sweden (tel.: + 46 87159267; fax: + 46 87159267; e-mail:


• Family members do not give up their involvement in the life of their older relatives when they move to an institution.

• Relatives feel that it is they who take the initiative to establish a working relationship with the staff at the nursing home.

• Relatives want more spontaneous information from staff, particularly about residents’ daily lives, and there is a need for relatives to have opportunities to talk with staff under relaxed conditions.

• Staff behaviour and activities towards residents and relatives are a source of many feelings for relatives.

• Relatives’ understandings of the challenges faced by staff are not communicated to staff, nor are positive or negative experiences explicitly passed on to staff.