The experiences of registered intellectual disability nurses caring for the older person with intellectual disability

Authors


Correspondence: Owen Doody, Lecturer, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick (North Bank Campus), Limerick, Ireland. Telephone: +353 61 213367.

E-mail: owen.doody@ul.ie

Abstract

Aim and objectives

To explore the experiences of registered intellectual disability nurses caring for the older person with intellectual disability.

Background

Increased longevity for the older person with intellectual disability is relatively a new phenomenon with social and medical factors having significantly increased the lifespan. The ageing population of people with intellectual disability is growing in Ireland, and they are outliving or expected to outlive their family carers.

Design

A qualitative Heideggerigan phenomenological approach allowed the researcher become immersed in the essence of meaning and analyse how registered intellectual disability nurses working with the older person perceive, experience and express their experience of caring.

Methods

After ethical approval was granted, data were collected through semi-structured interviews from seven participants and were transcribed and analysed thematically using Burnard's framework for data analysis.

Results

Three key themes were identified: ‘care delivery’, ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘client-focused care’. The study highlights the need for effective planning, an integrated approach to services and that the registered intellectual disability nurse needs to be integrated into the care delivery system within the health service to support client and family carers in the home environment.

Conclusions

Overall, the study shows the importance of teamwork, proactive planning, inclusion, attitudes, individualised care, knowing the person and best practice in providing care for older people with intellectual disability.

Relevance to clinical practice

This paper reports on the findings of a study which explored the experiences of caring for the older person with intellectual disability. Teamwork, proactive planning, client-centred approach and supporting clients living at home are important as ageing is inevitable.

Ancillary