"Women who made it 'home'": an exploratory study of the experiences of cognitively well women living in long-term care with cognitively impaired older adults
Keating, Bonnie M.
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The meaning of ‘home’ for older adults in long-term care (LTC) settings is not well understood. Furthermore, how living with cognitively impaired older adults may affect the meaning of ‘home’ is under researched. The goal of this study was to explore how living with cognitively impaired older adults affects the meaning of ‘home’ for cognitively well female older adults residing in LTC. A convenience sample of eleven female cognitively well older adults was selected from four LTC settings in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The eleven women were interviewed to determine their meaning of ‘home’ prior to and following placement in the LTC setting. Two key questions posed to the women were, “Do you consider (name of LTC setting) to be ‘home’?” and “How does living with confused people affect the meaning of home?” Eight of the women considered the LTC setting where they reside to be ‘home’. Nine of the women indicated that living with cognitively impaired older adults does not affect their meaning of ‘home’. These findings suggest two things. First, that most cognitively well female older adults create a new ‘home’ for themselves when they move to the LTC setting. Second, that many cognitively well female older adults demonstrate compassion and acceptance of living with fellow residents who have cognitive impairment and may exhibit disruptive behaviours.