Family members’ perceived meaning of visiting nursing home residents in Taiwan

Authors

  • Hsiu-Hsin Tsai,

    1. Hsiu-Hsin Tsai PhD RN Assistant Professor School of Nursing, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan
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  • Yun-Fang Tsai

    1. Yun-Fang Tsai PhD RN Professor and Chair School of Nursing, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan; and Consultant Department of Nursing, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Keelung, Taiwan
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Y.-F. Tsai: e-mail: yftsai@mail.cgu.edu.tw

Abstract

tsai h.-h. & tsai y.-f. (2012) Family members’ perceived meaning of visiting nursing home residents in Taiwan. Journal of Advanced Nursing 68(2), 302–311.

Abstract

Aim.  The purpose of this article is to report the findings of a study to explore perceived family meaning of visiting older nursing home residents in Taiwan.

Background.  Family involvement in the care of institutionalized elders benefits residents, family and staff. Families have traditionally been involved through in-person visits. One factor influencing family visits is motivation, which is a vague concept, creating a need to better understand the meaning families ascribe to visiting nursing home residents. Understanding this meaning is necessary to develop intervention programmes that facilitate the quality of families’ nursing-home visits. However, little is known about the meaning of family visits to nursing home residents in Asian countries.

Methods.  Data were collected April 2009–2010 in audiotaped, individual, in-depth interviews with 15 family members of residents at four nursing homes in Taiwan. These family members included five women and 10 men, predominantly residents’ children and spouses.

Results.  The meaning of family visits to nursing home residents was captured by five major themes: hoping for recovery, honouring filial/karmic responsibility, insuring care quality, maintaining family relationships and making up for guilt.

Conclusions.  The findings of this study can be considered by nurses and policy makers when designing interventions and allocating resources to improve the quality of family visits with nursing home residents. These interventions can be tailored to family members’ perceived meanings for visiting, e.g. those hoping for residents’ recovery may benefit from health-promotion programmes, and those honouring filial/karmic responsibility might be helped by education on different ways to show filial respect.

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