An exploration of the meaning of home for adult wheelchair users
(2014) An exploration of the meaning of home for adult wheelchair users, no. 92.
Home is a word that individuals have a knowledge and understanding of, be it in the form of a place to live, a country or birthplace. For each individual home will hold different meanings - both positive and negative. It is apparent, regardless of its meaning, home creates a connection between person and place, emotionally, physically and socially. Over time various disciplines have explored the meaning of home for different client groups - yet, there has been little acknowledgement of what home might mean for adult wheelchair users. Occupational Therapy is a profession that works closely with individuals that use a wheelchair, promoting and enhancing functioning with everyday occupations, both in and out with their home environment. It has been suggested that if Occupational Therapists have an understanding of what home means to their clients, this will promote collaborative working and wellbeing for the service user. Therefore this thesis aims to explore the meaning of home for adult wheelchair users. Firstly, this is explored through a literature review incorporating home and disability literature. Throughout the literature review it transpired that home for this client group, had both negative and positive meanings associated with home, and was subject to change following disability. Secondly, it became evident that there was limited evidence solely exploring wheelchair user's perspectives and the literature largely focused on women's views, those over 30 years old and individuals who had a degenerative condition. Therefore, in chapter three a research proposal is suggested in order to facilitate research with young males, who are full time wheelchair users following a traumatic injury. It is hoped this research will encourage collaborative working between Occupational Therapists and other agencies when working with adult wheelchair users - sustaining and compensating homes meaning.