Maintaining the Meaning of Home for Older Adults: An Exploration of Occupational Therapists’ Perspectives Regarding the Meaning of Home and Professional Reasoning Throughout Home Modification Delivery.
BACKGROUND: For most people, their home is a significant and meaningful place and is the location in which they desire to spend most of their lives. Unfortunately, for some, this may not be possible due to the complications that transpire from ill-health, disability, or ageing. It is, therefore, the role of OTs to assess peoples’ abilities and needs and put the required interventions in place, so people can live fully independent lives within their own homes. One intervention comprises home modifications, but, due to the complexities that come with the meaning of home to the individuals who live there, it is difficult to get the home modification right for every person. For example, peoples’ homes lose the homely sensation which can be caused by the clinical appearances of home modifications. In addition, OT is a profession that always aims to uphold an all-inclusive and person-centred approach always, however, economic austerity, as well as, limited resources are hindering its ability to maintain this. PURPOSE: The proposal will explore OTs’ understanding of what they think home means to older adults and whether it is taken into consideration throughout the process of home modification interventions. The proposal will also explore if factors such as economic austerity and limited resources are impacting on the OTs’ ability to fully maintain person-centred practice. Much of the published literature involves the perspectives of older adults regarding what home means to them but not the perspectives of the OTs. It would be beneficial to gain an insight into OTs understandings in relation to the meaning of home to inform OT practice. METHOD: Three experienced community OTs working within a local authority who prescribe home modifications as a part of their role will be recruited for this study. The study will consist of a focus group in the form of a pilot. The researcher will use a series of semi-structured questions to guide and facilitate the focus group. The focus group will be video recorded, and all generated data will be transcribed using thematic analysis. IMPLICATIONS: Due to the limited experience of the researcher, a research supervisor will be recruited. The proposal aims to contribute to the knowledge base and inform the OT profession with maintaining its unique philosophy relating to the holistic and person-centeredness approach to practice.