A reciprocal relationship - an opportunity and a solution for a meaningful daily life in home care - the older person’s perspective

Annica Kihlgren, Karin Blomberg, Inger James


Background: Shortcomings in elderly care have been reported in many parts of the world, including Sweden. National guidelinesfor elderly care have been introduced in Sweden, which contain core values and local guarantees of dignity. These highlightthe need for dignity and well-being and organizing the older person’s daily life so that she/he perceives it as meaningful. Therefore,the aim of the present study was to explore opportunities, obstacles and search for solutions as described by the olderperson in order to create a meaningful daily life.

Methods: The design is based on the underpinning view of seeing the older persons as narrators of their own stories andinterpreters of their own lives. Participatory Appreciative Action Reflection (PAAR) was used when collecting the data. Fifteenolder persons participated, and repeated interviews were carried out as reflective conversations, in total 30 interviews. The olderpersons provided their analyses and reflections on what had been said regarding a meaningful daily life. Finally, an analysis ofthe data was done, based on interpretative description, and an inductive approach built on the key axioms of naturalistic inquiry.

Results: The older persons’ experiences and knowledge of opportunities, obstacles and solutions to a meaningful daily life canbe summarized into four themes: (1) to live as usual, (2) collaboration with the staff, (3) the relationship carries everyday life,and (4) belonging to something. In the discussion, we choose to further develop these four themes by using Buber’s philosophyof dialogue.

Conclusions: An opportunity and a solution for meaningful daily life for the older person were seen in the relationship tooneself, to staff, to others, and the family. The reciprocal relationship, which occurred in the interaction between the staff andthe older person, was the opportunity and solution for a meaningful daily life. It was the ongoing conversation between the olderperson and the staff who became "the glue" and formed the relationship. If the staff could support the older persons to maintaintheir habits and routines, these were solutions for creating a meaningful daily life. A meaningful daily life could be obtained inan I-Thou relation in a shared everyday life, where the relationship and the continuing dialogue becomes the power of balance.The relationship is also relevant for the staff and in line with Buber’s thoughts on how we are shaped by humans in the encounterwith others.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/cns.v3n1P71


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.