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Feeling existentially touched - A phenomenological notion of the well-being of elderly living in special housing accommodation from the perspective of care professionals
University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. (Socialpsykologi)
University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. (Socialpsykologi)
Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3870-6426
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 8, 20587Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents a phenomenological analysis of interview material, in which 12 care professionals in elderly care reflect on the elderly's well-being within the frame of special housing accommodation. The perspective of the care professionals is of special interest. The findings show that the well-being is characterized as the elderly's feelings of being existentially touched. The well-being is an existential experience of being acknowledged as a human being and is an approach that classifies the elderly's needs as those of having, loving, and being. The meaning of the phenomenon is elucidated by the constituents: (1) to feel the freedom of choice, (2) to feel pleasure, and (3) to feel closeness to someone or something. The findings contribute new understanding of well-being in the elderly care by its existential dimension of the well-being as "just being'' and of doing things in order to experience meaningfulness. Accordingly, the well-being of the elderly as it is seen from the perspective of the care professionals involves both carers' subjectivity and intersubjectivity between the care professional and the elderly. An implication for promoting elderly's well-being is to develop awareness of these existential dimensions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CoAction Publishing, 2013. Vol. 8, 20587
Keyword [en]
Well-being, phenomenology, elderly care, lifeworld, lived experience, existentially touched
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-8573DOI: 10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20587ISI: 000317964600001PubMedID: 23601762Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84878910405OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-8573DiVA: diva2:659178
Available from: 2013-10-24 Created: 2013-10-24 Last updated: 2016-12-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Rättfärdigade prioriteringar: en kvalitativ analys av hur personal i äldreomsorgen hanterar motstridiga verksamhetslogiker
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rättfärdigade prioriteringar: en kvalitativ analys av hur personal i äldreomsorgen hanterar motstridiga verksamhetslogiker
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation aims at contributing to social scientific knowledge about prevailing prioritizations in eldercarepractice by looking at an economic and a caring logic, and how these logics are overlapping, contradictory or comein conflict with each other. A more concrete aim is to understand how the personnel describe their work with orfor balance between the logics and their justifications prioritizations made in the care of older persons. The researchquestion is: How do personnel and care unit manager at a public nursing home understand and handle the twologics that govern care work for facilitating wellbeing of the residents. The aim and research question led to threesub-aims: 1) to analyze the personnel’s experiences of and meaning making about the care work they carry out, 2)to illuminate and problematize the two logics above, and 3)to analyze how the personnel justify their prioritizationsin prevailing context, and how their accountability have an effect on their professional identities.Empirical material was gathered through 13 individual interviews with care personnel and their care unitmanager at a public nursing home in Sweden. These interviews were complemented by a group interview. Thematerial was analyzed by the use of three methods: phenomenology (Paper I and II), reflexive analysis (Paper III),and a positioning analysis (Paper IV). Paper I found that the personnel understands the residents’ well-being asbeing characterized by feeling of being existentially touched. This essence is constituted by feeling freedom ofchoice, pleasure, and closeness to someone or something. In Paper II, the work for facilitating this kind of wellbeingwas characterized by three ambiguities: (i) freedom of choice for the older persons vs. institutionalconstraints, (ii) the residents' need for activation vs. wanting not to be activated, and (iii) the residents' need forroutine vs. the eldercarers' not being able to know what the residents need. Paper III showed that the care unitmanager created a hybrid of the two logics (economy is care and vice versa) and that the personnel oppose thishybrid. The opposition is shaped as the personnel divides their work in care and “those other things”. Thesefindings showed how interaction between the logics expresses itself in practice and that it is the personnel who hasto handle contradictions between the logics in their everyday care work. The positioning analysis in Paper IV hadthree levels. The first level showed how the carers align with their peers and that they find the organizationalframe, within which they have agency, changed due to increased workload. This change led to an order of priorities.The second level showed that the carers relate to three aspects when making accounts: the care itself, the olderpersons, and the media. The third level showed that the carers share a view of administration, cleaning, servingmeals, and filling up supplies, as not being parts of caring.The dissertation’s theoretical framework focused on theories on logics, accountability, and professionalidentity. The conclusion is that both logics are needed in order to facilitate the well-being of the older persons. Therelationships between the two logics are not always clear and if their contradictions are not illuminated, there is arisk for a care practice that does not facilitate the well-being of their residents. An important theoreticalcontribution is that logics of activities should be understood vertically (form political, through management, anddown to the level of practice) instead of horizontally. The practical implications emphasize the importance ofsupporting the personnel’s professional identity on the one hand, and discussing the logics on the other. Byunderstanding differences between definitions on management-level and practice level, a homogeneity can bereached.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: School of Health and Welfare, 2017. 84 p.
Series
Dissertation Series, ISSN 1654-3602 ; 76
Keyword
Eldercare, personnel, logics, accounts, professional identity, qualitative method, Äldreomsorg, personal, logiker, förklarbarhet, professionell identitet, kvalitativ metod
National Category
Other Social Sciences Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Social Work
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-13250 (URN)978-91-85835-75-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-01-13, Insikten, Skövde, 12:16 (Swedish)
Note

Huvudämne: Välfärd och socialvetenskap

Available from: 2016-12-29 Created: 2016-12-21 Last updated: 2016-12-29Bibliographically approved

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