Recent demographic projections indicate significant increases in the number of older people across Europe. This population shift requires appropriate responses by health and social care systems. An important challenge is to ensure that the years added to life are healthy, active and productive. Thus, research must make a concerted effort to enhance independent living through the exploration of measures which promote and maintain optimum health and quality of life among older persons in extended care settings. The purpose of this research was to explore psychosocial needs among older persons in extended care settings in Ireland. The research design was guided by a grounded theory approach based upon the principles of symbolic interactionism. The sample consists of caregivers and residents from two publicly funded extended care settings in the South of Ireland. Employing a theoretical sampling strategy, data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. A theory was then constructed from the emergent concepts within the data. Findings show that specific psychosocial determinants are acknowledged by residents and caregivers as being intrinsic to quality of life and well-being among older persons in extended care facilities. The importance of psychosocial well-being among residents of extended care facilities was highlighted by the service-users as the data demonstrate how effective coping skills, positive adaptation and an optimistic internal locus of control can promote psychosocial well-being by reducing the impact of negative life events and optimising present circumstances. Furthermore, residents and caregivers either directly or indirectly referred to the multifaceted value of social interaction to the psychosocial well-being of older persons in receipt of extended care services. However, a number of barriers exist which must be addressed to ensure the optimal quality of life and well-being of older persons in extended care facilities. Arguably, these barriers may be reduced through effective communication amongst caregivers, residents and families as findings show that communication and fundamental human interaction are the most lucrative means of assessing and subsequently fulfilling the heterogeneous psychosocial needs of older people residing in extended care settings.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2008|
- Older people, care settings