Being able to continue living in their own home as long as possible is the general preference for many older people, and this is also in line with the public policy in the Nordic countries. The aim of this study was to elucidate the meaning of self-care and health for perception of life situation and identity among single-living older individuals in rural areas in southern Norway. Eleven older persons with a mean age of 78 years were interviewed and encouraged to narrate their self-care and health experiences. The interviews were audio taped, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a phenomenological-hermeneutic method inspired by the philosophy of Ricoeur. The findings are presented as a naïve reading, an inductive structural analysis characterized by two main themes; i.e., "being able to do" and "being able to be", and a comprehensive interpretation. The life situation of the interviewed single-living older individuals in rural areas in southern Norway was interpreted as inevitable, appropriate and meaningful. Their identity was constituted by their freedom and self-chosen actions in their personal contexts. The overall impression was that independence and the ability to control and govern their own life in accordance with needs and preferences were ultimate goals for the study participants.
Cites: Int J Nurs Stud. 2000 Aug;37(4):361-810760543
Knowledge about how to support nutritional self-care in the vulnerable elderly living in their own homes is an important area for health care professionals. The aim of this case study was to evaluate the effects of nutritional intervention by comparing perceived health, sense of coherence, self-care ability, and nutritional risk in two older home-dwelling individuals before, during, and after intervention and to describe their experiences of nutritional self-care before and after intervention.
A study circle was established to support nutritional self-care in two older home-dwelling individuals (=65 years of age), who participated in three meetings arranged by health professionals over a period of six months. The effects of this study circle were evaluated using the Nutritional Form For the Elderly, the Self-care Ability Scale for the Elderly (SASE), the Appraisal of Self-care Agency scale, the Sense of Coherence (SOC) scale, and responses to a number of health-related questions. Qualitative interviews were performed before and after intervention to interpret the changes that occurred during intervention.
A reduced risk of undernutrition was found for both participants. A higher total score on the SASE was obtained for one participant, along with a slightly stronger preference for self-care to maintain sufficient food intake, was evident. For the other participant, total score on the SASE decreased, but the SOC score improved after intervention. Decreased mobility was reported, but this did not influence his food intake. The study circle was an opportunity to express personal views and opinions about food intake and meals.
An organized meeting place for dialogue between older home-dwelling individuals and health care professionals can stimulate the older person's engagement, consciousness, and learning about nutritional self-care, and thereby be of importance in reducing the risk of undernutrition.
The growing number of older people is assumed to represent many challenges in the future. Self-care ability is a crucial health resource in older people and may be a decisive factor for older people managing daily life in their own homes. Studies have shown that self-care ability is closely related to perceived health, sense of coherence and nutritional risk.
The aim of this study was to describe self-care ability among home-dwelling older individuals living in rural areas in southern Norway and to relate the results to general living conditions, sense of coherence, screened nutritional state, perceived health, mental health and perceived life situation.
A cross-sectional survey was carried out in rural areas in five counties in 2010. A mailed questionnaire, containing background variables, health-related questions and five instruments, was sent to a randomly selected sample of 3017 older people (65+ years), and 1050 respondents were included in the study. Data were analysed with statistical methods.
A total of 780 persons were found to have higher self-care ability and 240 to have lower self-care ability using the Self-care Ability Scale for the Elderly. Self-care ability was found to be closely related to health-related issues, self-care agency, sense of coherence, nutritional state and mental health, former profession, and type of dwelling. Predictors for high self-care ability were to have higher self-care agency, not receiving family help, having low risk for undernutrition, not perceiving helplessness, being able to prepare food, being active and having lower age.
When self-care ability is reduced in older people, caregivers have to be aware about how this can be expressed and also be aware of their responsibility for identifying and mapping needs for appropriate support and help, and preventing unnecessary and unwanted dependency.