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'I don't have any other choice': spouses' experiences of placing a partner in a care home for older people in Sweden
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Care, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Neuroscience and Locomotion, Geriatrics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Gerontological Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffeld, Sheffeld, England.
2000 (English)In: Journal of Advanced Nursing, ISSN 0309-2402, E-ISSN 1365-2648, Vol. 32, no 5, 1178-1186 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this paper is to consider the experiences of Swedish spouses who have placed a partner in a care home for older people. Data were gathered from semi-structural interviews with 14 spouses (11 wives and 3 husbands) who had been involved in a care home placement within the previous 6 months. The results reported here are from the first component of a larger grounded theory study, the aim of which is to explore, describe and understand the experience of care home placement from a variety of perspectives and to identify the implications for policy and practice in Sweden. The focus here is on the experience of spouses, relating to the decision-making process, the move into care and subsequent contact with the care home. Four themes emerged from the data – making the decision, making the move, adjusting to the move and reorientation. The results show a lack of planning for the elder person’s entry to a care home, and professional dominance of this stage of the process. The largely ambivalent emotional responses to the move that spouses experience and the difficulties in initiating and sustaining relationships with staff in the home are discussed in the light of previous research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 32, no 5, 1178-1186 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-27024DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2000.01588.xLocal ID: 11668OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-27024DiVA: diva2:247575
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Placing a spouse in a care home for older people: (re)-constructing roles and relationships
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Placing a spouse in a care home for older people: (re)-constructing roles and relationships
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the process of placing a spouse in a care home for older people from the perspectives of the key actors involved. Due to the lack of previous studies in this area in Sweden and the desire to generate new insights that have the potential to inform practice developments a grounded theory methodology was adopted.

Data were collected using semi-structured interviews (70 in total) with spouses, adult children, community based staff and staff in care homes. Analyses of these data suggested that placement is best interpreted as a temporal experience comprising four stages: making the decision, making the move, adjusting to the move and reorientation. Each of the key actors offered differing insights into the way that the process as a whole was experienced with it emerging that in the initial two phases the primacy focus was on the practical and instrumental aspects of the move, with the emotional consequences being largely overlooked. This is a key issue as spouses were usually unprepared for the sense of separation and loss that the placement caused. Subsequently, spouses placed particular importance on maintaining their sense of involvement with their partner by a variety of 'keeping' activities. However, children and staff in care homes shared varying degrees of 'awareness' which influenced the way that relationships were forged.

Based on a synthesis of the data the core category and basic social process that emerged was termed '(re)-constructing roles and relationships'. This highlights the subtle and dynamic way that placement unfolds and reinforces the importance of understanding the process from multiple perspectives. In addition to providing new theoretical insights the thesis identifies a number of ways in which the placement process could be improved and suggests the need for more open and explicit discussion of a number of aspects, particularly the ways in which expectations of roles and relationships change over time. Thls is essential if spouses are to be better prepared and supported both for the sense of separation from their partner and for the need to integrate into the care home setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2001. 71 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 710
Keyword
family carers, care home placement, partnership, adult children, community staff, nursing staff, carer support, grounded theory
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28076 (URN)12840 (Local ID)91-7373-148-X (ISBN)12840 (Archive number)12840 (OAI)
Public defence
2001-12-13, Berzeliussalen, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Lundh, UllaSandberg, Jonas

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