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Keywords:

  • carers;
  • encounter;
  • hermeneutics;
  • nursing homes;
  • residents and relatives

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore and interpret the meaning of residents' experiences of encounters with their relatives and other significant persons in nursing homes. Twelve residents in three different nursing homes in a western Sweden municipality were interviewed. The method used was hermeneutical text analysis. Three themes emerged in the interpretation of the text: being pleased, being someone, and being inconvenient. These themes were also described through seven subthemes: to be happy to have someone, to make someone else happy, going back in life, to be together in a community, not being alone, to be disconnected, and to be a burden. The study concludes that it is important for nurses in nursing homes to develop a deeper insight into what various social contacts can mean for residents. To develop this knowledge, it is important that nurses in nursing homes can be educated, and supported by clinical supervision, in relation to residents' experiences of encounters with relatives and other significant persons.