Living with dementia in a nursing home, as described by persons with dementia: a phenomenological hermeneutic study.BMC Health Serv Res. 2017 01 31; 17(1):93.BH
Persons with dementia have described life in nursing home as difficult and lonely. Persons with dementia often reside in nursing homes for several years; therefore, knowledge is needed about how quality of life is affected in the nursing-home setting in order to be able to provide the best possible care. The aim of this study was to investigate the personal experience of living in a nursing home over time from the perspective of the person with dementia and to learn what makes life better or worse in the nursing home.
A phenomenological hermeneutic research design was applied. Unstructured, face-to-face interviews and field observations were conducted twice, three months apart.
Twelve persons residing in three different nursing homes were included. The analysis revealed four themes: "Being in the nursing home is okay, but you must take things as they are"; "Everything is gone"; "Things that make it better and things that make it worse"; and "Persons - for better or worse? Staff, family, and co-residents".
Persons with dementia are able to communicate their feelings and thoughts about their lives in the nursing home and can name several factors that have impacts on their quality of life. They differentiate between members of the staff, and they prefer their primary nurse. They are content with life in general, but everyday life is boring, and their sense of contentment is based on acceptance of certain facts of reality and their ability to adjust their expectations.