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Living longer at home: a qualitative study of older clients' and practical nurses' perceptions of home care

Authors

  • Riitta Turjamaa RN, MSc,

    PhD-Student, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    • Correspondence: Riitta Turjamaa, PhD-Student, Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland, Yliopistonranta 1 PL 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland. Telephone: +358 40 5627856.

      E-mail: riitta.turjamaa@sakky.fi

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  • Sirpa Hartikainen PhD, MD,

    Professor
    1. Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Research Centre of Geriatric Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
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  • Mari Kangasniemi PhD,

    Docent, University Lecturer
    1. Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
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  • Anna-Maija Pietilä PhD

    Professor
    1. Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    2. Social and Health Care Services, Kuopio, Finland
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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To identify descriptions of older (75+) home care clients and practical nurses regarding the current structure of home care available for older clients and the elements promoting the ability of clients to continue living at home.

Background

The ageing population is a major global challenge in social and health care. In many countries, the focus of care for older clients has shifted from institutional care towards a model of home care. Increasing attention has been paid to maximising the resources of older clients and aiming to support their living at home for as long as possible.

Design

A descriptive qualitative study

Methods

Data were collected from individual interviews by using videotaped home care visits as a tool for stimulated recall interviews. Two groups of participants were interviewed: 14 practical nurses and 23 older clients. Data were analysed by using the inductive content analysis.

Results

Both participant groups, practical nurses and older home care clients, described home care as organisationally driven, but highlighted the importance of individual encounters. In addition, both groups noted that clients' living at home can be supported by offering individually designed care. Individually designed care refers to showing respect to clients' opinions and promoting their individual resources.

Conclusion

In order to be able to promote older home clients' living at home, the provided home care needs to be individually designed and must take into account clients' resources and their perspectives of meaningful and inspirational activities.

Relevance to clinical practice

The information produced by this study can be used to promote older clients' living at home for as long as possible. Therefore, practical nurses are required the ability to recognise older clients' individual resources and design individual care plans accordingly.

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