Searching for new possibilities to care: a qualitative analysis of family caring involvement in nursing homes



This paper explores families’ experience of searching for new possibilities to continue caring which emerged as a significant aspect of a larger hermeneutic phenomenological study of family caring in nursing homes. Hermeneutic analysis of in-depth interview transcripts and observation field notes of 14 family carers’ experiences of caring uncovered eight shared meanings: feeling duty-bound; setting up possibilities for human connection; possessing special knowledge and skills; providing the personal approach; acting as an advocate; living with hope of improvement and recovery; feeling satisfied when care experienced was deemed to be quality care; and possessing a sense of worth through making a useful and positive contribution. Being engaged in new caring activities and relationships in the nursing home context assisted family members in coping with the changes in their situation. This paper highlights how finding new ways of caring for their relatives was important as everyday involvement in care set up possibilities through which meaning could be attributed to their existence.