The experience of nursing home life



Fiveash B. International Journal of Nursing Practice 1998; 4: 166–174

The experience of nursing home life

This study explored the articulate resident’s experience of nursing home living. Using an ethnographic approach, data was collected through progressive, in-depth, open-ended interviews and participant observation from two 80-bed nursing homes in New South Wales. Employing purposeful sampling, eight key informants were selected concurrent with data collection and analysis according to the adequacy of information and appropriateness of subjects. Four major themes emerged from the data: (i) against my will, (ii) living in a public domain, (iii) cultural implications of living with others, and (iv) the impact of nursing home residency. Findings indicate that whilst some residents find the experience acceptable, for others the experience is both constraining and dehumanising.