Author(s): Gillsj C, SchwartzBarcott D
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Abstract AIM: To identify and define the concept of home and its meaning in the lives of three older women. BACKGROUND: For many older adults home is the centre of daily life and increasingly important as a place where health care is delivered. Yet, as a concept, home remains theoretically and empirically underdeveloped. METHODS: The Hybrid Model of Concept Development was used to interface theoretical analysis and empirical observation with a focus on definition. A comprehensive, interdisciplinary literature review, semi-structured interviews with three older women and case and cross-case analysis were completed. RESULTS: Interviewees spoke of childhood, community, residential, church and heavenly homes. Feelings of comfort and security were associated with residential homes, peace and quiet with church homes, safety and pleasure with heavenly homes. The experience of home as being taken for granted, unselfconscious and unrecognized, became obvious when one woman tried to consciously establish a sense of being at home in her new residence. CONCLUSION: No single comprehensive and measurable definition was found. However, three major components were identified (place, relationship and experience) and used to define home as a place to which one is attached, feels comfortable and secure and has the experience of dwelling. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Every day assumptions about the meaning of home and home as just another place where health care is provided are called into question. Increased awareness and dialogue is needed among health-care providers working with older adults in their homes. Future research needs to explore the impact of home care on the older adult's meaning of home and its potential impact on recovery. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This article was published in Int J Older People Nurs
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research