They are still the same - family members' stories about their relatives with dementia disorders as residents in a nursing home.Scand J Caring Sci. 2018 Mar; 32(1):168-176.SJ
In order to better understand the context of suffering from dementia disorders, greater efforts should be made to understand and identify what persons with such disorders experience when living in a nursing home. The aim of this qualitative study was to gain further understanding of how persons with dementia disorders experienced and coped with their changed life situation after being relocated to a nursing home as described by their family members' perceptions. Qualitative data were collected from ten interviews with family members and evaluated using content analysis. The main findings suggest that residents with dementia disorders largely maintained their personality intact throughout the trajectory of illness as they were able to keep their habits and interests. The local environment of the nursing home and the residents' relationships to staff were important in order to feel accepted. Four categories were discerned during the analysis: living in limbo; coming to peace; keeping old habits and relationships; and thoughts about impending death. It is reasonable to believe that old habits and interests may be preserved as the embodiment of such habits are deeply rooted and connected to a person's identity even when going through various changes and transitions in life. Therefore, to be accepted as the person you are requires care and services to specific needs, i.e. person-centeredness. Lack of understanding from staff may therefore have an adverse effect on a person's self-respect and identity. For that reason, staff needs to reflect on their attitudes and relationships as well as extending their knowledge about how to address sensitive topics such as the residents' impending death. To achieve this support from managers is pivotal. Future research should focus on support to nursing staff to further knowledge and understanding about the individual changes resident go through near the end of life.