MAINTAINING DIGNITY IN LATER LIFE: A LONGITUDINAL QUALITATIVE STUDY OF OLDER PEOPLES EXPERIENCES OF SUPPORTIVE CARE

Project Details

Description

The Maintaining Dignity project was a longitudinal qualitative investigation into older people's perspectives on ageing and the need for support and help with every day life as a result of health problems.

Layman's description

In later life, health problems can lead to a loss of independence, identity and dignity and the help of others becomes increasingly important. This study, based in Bristol and Nottingham, examined the experiences of 34 older people in such circumstances. They were interviewed on average 4 times between June 2008 and December 2010.

Participants spoke about the effect of their health problems on everyday life and activities and how they saw the future. They explained how they felt about receiving help from family and friends as well as health and social care services. Their accounts highlight how they adapted to the increasing need for help while striving to maintain their independence and sense of self. This required perseverance and determination. By highlighting their perspectives this study contributes to a fuller understanding of the concept of dignity and how it can be maintained in later life.

Key findings

Dignity cannot be 'delivered' by reference to a standard set of criteria in care. It is both subjective and objective. Older people make strenuous efforts to maintain dignity inwhen their health declines and this requires perseverance and determination.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/10/071/04/11

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for Research in Health and Social Care

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