Exploring the meaning of home and its implications for the care of older people
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Board, M. & McCormack, B. (2018) Exploring the meaning of home and its implications for the care of older people. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(15-16), pp. 3070-3080.
Aims and Objectives To explore the meaning of home for six baby boomers and consider how this insight can be used when caring for older people in hospital or residential settings. Background Feeling at home is important to help retain a sense of autonomy, security and well-being, but home is a complex concept to understand. The baby boomers are a large cohort entering later life and understanding their sense of home is not only an example of anticipatory gerontology but it could also provide the tools to explore home with the current older population, who may be in a variety of care settings. Design and Methods A qualitative hermeneutic approach was adopted to explore the meaning of home of six baby boomers. The participants were asked to take photographs showing what home meant to them and interpret these in a recorded photo-elicitation interview. Small teams then reviewed the images to provide further insight. Finally, all the data was reviewed to provide an overall analysis of the revealed meaning of home. Results Having possessions or stuff was important for the meaning of home; being familiar with the local environment was also 'homely', as well as certain textures and familiar sounds and smells; relationships with others and the ability to have choice in where and how the participants live were also significant for their meaning of home. Conclusions The meaning of home is complex. Nevertheless, in this study an evocative sense of home was revealed and these insights could be used in discussions with older people in care settings to help increase their sense of autonomy, security and well-being. Furthermore these insights could also be used to develop a framework to help nursing staff guide these discussions.