Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Helping older people thrive in nursing homes

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

What happens to older people once they enter nursing and residential homes is of increasing concern, as more older people are admitted to nursing homes and spend longer times in them. Essentially, do they thrive there or not? This study from Sweden by Björk et al. (2017) titled: ‘Residents’ engagement in everyday activities and its association with thrivingin nursing homes’ and published in JAN aimed to: ‘To describe the prevalence of everyday activity engagement for older people in nursing homes and the extent to which engagement in everyday activities is associated with thriving.’

This was a large study involving over 170 nursing homes and over 4000 residents. Standard questionnaires were sent to homes for completion by staff to find out what residents did and if they were thriving. One of the questionnaires was the Thriving in Older People Assessment Scale. The results of the study show which activities were most common for residents such as physical touch and hugs from staff and talking to relatives. The extent to which residents thrived was related to things like being involved in an activity and being nicely dressed.

The authors concluded: ‘This study found that resident engagement in activities was significantly associated with thriving. Engagement in everyday activities can be interpreted to support resident personhood by being connected to one’s life history, significant others, activities and interest.’

You can listen to this as a podcast


BJÖRK S., LINDKVIST M., WIMO A., JUTHBERG C., BERGLAND Å. & EDVARDSSON D. (2017) Residents’ engagement ineveryday activities and its association with thriving in nursing homes. Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.13275

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