Emotional support is considered to be important to older patients because it is a contributing factor to experiencing good health and it has been shown that it can prevent depression after a hip fracture. Opinions differ on whether emotional support falls within the field of nursing, and studies also show that nurses in an elderly home care setting fail when it comes to giving emotional support. The aim of this study was to explore reasons for registered nurses to give emotional support to older patients in a municipal home care setting. The study was conducted using Grounded Theory. Data collection was carried out through interviews with 16 registered nurses. The inclusion criteria were emotional support given to patients aged 80 years and above living in ordinary or sheltered housing and who were in need of help from both the home help service and registered nurses. The results show that the main concern of emotional support was "Trying to relieve the patient from their emotions so they are able to cope with everyday life." This core category illustrates how registered nurses tried to support the patients' own strength, so that they were able to move forward. Registered nurses consider that they could support the patients because they give them access to, or could create access to, their emotions, but there were also times when they felt helplessness and as a result, consciously opted out. The results also indicate that registered nurses were keen to give emotional support. To develop patient-centered elderly care, more knowledge of emotional support and the elderly's need for this support is required.
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