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Balance of occupation in older adults: Experiences in a residential care home

Hearle, Deborah, Rees, Valerie and Prince, Jane 2012. Balance of occupation in older adults: Experiences in a residential care home. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults 13 (2) , pp. 125-134. 10.1108/14717791211231201

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Purpose: The significant increase in the number of older adults in the UK population is expected to continue. Physical and psychological problems associated with ageing often require older adults to move into residential care where opportunities to participate in previously enjoyed occupations may be limited. Engagement in self-selected purposeful activities is positively related to physical and psychological well-being. Design/methodology/approach: An ethnographic approach, a single case study of one care home in a semi-rural area of Wales was designed to investigate the balance of occupation of residents. Occupations were observed and recorded using a time-sampling frame over 12 hours on three consecutive days. Field notes were used to contextualise the data in reflecting the home environment. Findings: The majority spent their time in the lounges and remained passive, interacting infrequently with staff and each other. Little opportunity or intervention has been afforded to residents to encourage or support participation in occupation. Research Limitations/Implications: A single case study may not be representative of the experiences of residents in other care homes. Time limited observation over different locations may miss activities. Future research could extend the scope of the study. Practical Implications: Older adults in residential care should be supported to engage in occupations. Employment of occupational therapists could allow support to be individually and appropriately focussed. There are implications for health and social care course design and also for the training of care workers. Originality: This paper illustrates observation of activities in a care home over an extended period.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Case studies; Elderly people; Engagement; Experience; Observational methods; Occupations; Older adults; Residential care; Social care; United Kingdom
Publisher: Pier Professional
ISSN: 2044-1827
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 02:44

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