Forgotten Vision. The perception of elderly in a nursing home on the personal treatment by caregivers.
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Abstract Title: Forgotten Vision. The perception of elderly in a nursing home on the personal treatment by caregivers. Background and objectives: Although the importance of perceptions of elderly on personal treatment and quality of care in nursing homes is acknowledged, research regarding this subject remains scarce. To date no study has investigated the perceptions of elderly living in a nursing home in the Netherlands about the personal treatment given by caregivers. The aim of this study was to provide a general description of the perception of elderly in a nursing home on the personal treatment by caregivers. Study design and method: A qualitative survey, using semi-structured interviews for data collection. Setting: A representative nursing home in a middle large town in the Netherlands. Study population: Elderly without cognitive impairments living in a nursing home. From this population a purposive sample was drawn consisting of 15 elderly. Results: Elderly expressed the need for their caregiver to be: friendly, calm, understanding, respectful and involved. The most important finding is the assumptions made by elderly in relation to communicating and connecting with caregivers. Due to these assumptions elderly were reluctant to share their wishes and needs with caregivers. This is limiting the relation between elderly and caregiver and therefore of influence on personal treatment within this relationship. Conclusion: Findings from this study give insight in how elderly in a nursing home want to be personally treated by caregivers in terms of behavior but more importantly reveal the influence of elderly on personal treatment. Because of the reticence of elderly due to the assumptions an extra claim on the attentiveness of caregivers is made. It is important that caregivers are capable to fulfil this claim. This involves practical implications such as adjusting the nursing system and education of caregivers.