In Norway, there is a focus on home-dwelling people with dementia receiving the opportunity to participate in organized meaningful activities. The aim of this study was to elucidate the experiences of home-dwelling persons with early-stage dementia who attend an activity center and participate in adapted physical and social activities delivered by nurses and volunteers.
The study adopted a qualitative approach, with individual interviews conducted among eight people diagnosed with early-stage dementia. The interview texts were analyzed using manifest and latent content analysis.
Four categories, ie, "appreciated activities", "praised nurses and volunteers", "being more active", and "being included in a fellowship", as well as the overall theme "participation in appreciated activities and a sense of feeling included in a fellowship may have a positive influence on health and well-being" emerged in the analysis. The informants appreciated the adapted physical and social activities and expressed their enjoyment and gratitude. They found the physical activities useful, and they felt themselves to be included in a fellowship through cheerful nurses and volunteers. The nurses were able to create a good atmosphere and spread joy in the center together with the volunteers. The informants felt themselves valued as the persons they were. These findings indicated that such activities may have had a positive influence on the informants' health and well-being.
In order to succeed with this kind of activity center, it is decisive that the nurses are able to tailor meaningful activities and create an environment where the persons with dementia can feel that they are respected and valued. The municipality health care service should implement such activity centers with specialist nurses in dementia care together with volunteers.
Cites: J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2006 Sep;7(7):426-3116979086
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 aim of this study was to test the homogeneity and construct validity of the Sense of Coherence 29-item scale (SOC-29) among older home-dwelling Norwegians.
A postal questionnaire, consisting of background variables, five health-related questions, the SOC-29, and three other instruments measuring mental health, self-care ability, and risk for undernutrition, was sent to 6033 home-dwelling older people (65+ years) in southern Norway. A total of 2069 participants were included. Homogeneity was assessed with Cronbach's alpha coefficient and item-to-total correlations. The construct validity was assessed with "the known-groups technique," a linear stepwise regression analysis with SOC score serving as the dependent variable and with confirmatory factor analysis.
With a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.91 and statistically significant item-to-total correlations, the SOC-29 was found to be homogeneous. Construct validity was supported because the SOC-29 could separate known groups with expected high and low scores. The factors that could predict SOC were mental health, self-care ability, feeling lonely, being active, and chronic disease or handicap. Evidence of construct validity was displayed in a confirmatory factor analysis that confirmed SOC-29 as one theoretical construct with the three dimensions, comprehensibility, manageability, and meaningfulness.
The Norwegian version of the SOC-29 is a reliable and valid instrument for use in research among older people. The results confirm that SOC has a particularly strong relationship with mental health and self-care ability.
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.
To investigate the prevalence of individuals who often feel lonely among a sample of Norwegian older home-dwelling people aged =65 years old, as well as to identify any possible factors explaining their loneliness.
Loneliness is known to be common among older people. To identify those older adults who are lonely, and to acquire knowledge about the complexity of their loneliness, is important to provide them with adequate help and support.
This study employed a cross-sectional design.
A questionnaire was mailed to a randomised sample of 6,033 older home-dwelling persons aged =65 years. A total of 2,052 persons returned the questionnaire and were included in the study. The questionnaire consisted of questions asking whether the subjects often felt lonely or not, as well as health-related and background questions and instruments to measure the participants' sense of coherence, mental problems, nutritional screening and self-care ability. The data were analysed using univariate and multivariate statistical methods.
A total of 11.6% of the participants reported often feeling lonely. Six factors emerged to be independently associated with often feeling lonely among the respondents: Living alone, not being satisfied with life, having mental problems, a weak sense of coherence, not having contact with neighbours and being at risk for undernutrition.
The study shows that often feeling lonely among older home-dwelling persons is a health-related problem that includes social, psychological and physical aspects. Moreover, these persons have limited resources to overcome feelings of loneliness.
Lasting loneliness among older home-dwelling persons requires an overall, person-centred and time-consuming approach by nurses. Nurses with advanced knowledge on geriatric nursing may be required to offer appropriate care and support. Healthcare leaders and politicians should offer possibilities for adequate assessment, support and help.