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Quality of life survey highlights need for holistic approach in elderly residential care
Date:5/12/2009

Choice, privacy and a sense of identity are just some of the things that older people living in residential care need to maintain a good quality of life, according to research in the May issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Researchers from the National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway, spoke to 101 older people living in 12 long-stay care homes, including small and large facilities, well-established and recently built homes and those provided by the public, private and voluntary sectors.

They found that four key themes had an impact on the subjects' quality of life: the ethos of care provided by the home, the residents' sense of self and identity, how connected they felt and the activities and therapies they got involved in.

"It was clear from our research that practitioners and policy makers need to take all these factors into account if they are to provide older people with the sort of residential care that enhances their quality of life" says lead author Dr Adeline Cooney, from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University.

"We also found that residents tended to be happier if they had been involved in the decision to move into residential care, as they were more likely to make the best of it, getting involved in activities and making friends. People who were not involved in the decision tended to withdraw into themselves and were more likely to be lonely, unhappy and keen to return home."

Two-thirds of the residents who took part in the study were male. All were 65 or over and the majority of residents (45 per cent) fell into the 75-84 age group and had been in residential care for two to four years (37 per cent).

Key findings included:

  • Participants said choice was important when it came to their daily routine. "I can go to bed anytime I like" one said positively, while another complained that "you're woken at six and breakfast isn't until ten past eight." '/>"/>

Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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