Exploring the factors that influenced residents with minimal care needs to enter and settle into a care home with registered nurses.
University of Southampton, Faculty of Health Sciences,
This grounded theory study explored the influences that surrounded decision making for people with a minimal requirement for care, who entered a care home with registered nurses (RN’s) when their needs could be met in an alternative environment. The study was undertaken in a geographical area in England, which has in excess of 3,500 care home beds staffed with RNs. In May 2011, there were reported to be 183 residents with minimal care needs, resident in a care home with RNs. The study utilized a grounded theory methodology as described by Glaser and Strauss with influences from Charmaz. The initial sampling was purposive progressing to theoretical. Interviews were conducted with twelve care home residents responsible for funding their own care home fees, assessed as not requiring care by RNs. Data analysis was in accordance with the principles of grounded theory and identified two main categories. The first category, entitled “choosing the path” focused on the decision making process which described a perceived paucity of help and support received by participants and their families in identifying and exploring the available options. The second category termed “settling in” related to the process of adaptation to the new environment. It appeared that participants with greater control over the decision making process found it easier to settle into the home, conversely those with the least control found it more difficult to adapt. These two categories linked to form the emerging theory of “crossing the bridge” from independent living to becoming a care home resident. It is important health and social care practitioners use appropriate evidence based knowledge when assisting older people and their families to consider available options. The findings of the study add to the body of evidence concerning the factors that influence people when considering their future care and the importance of informed decision-making.
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