OJN  Vol.5 No.11 , November 2015
A Meaningful Life for Older Persons Receiving Municipal Care—Unit Leaders’ Perspectives
Abstract: Introduction: In Sweden, new national guidelines for elderly care have been introduced containing core values and local guarantees of dignity that highlight the need for dignity, well-being and the organisation of the older person’s daily life, so it is perceived as meaningful. Unit leaders play a crucial role in health care organisations when guidelines are to be implemented. Aim: The aim was therefore to describe unit leaders’ experiences about what constituted a meaningful daily life for older persons receiving municipal care and the opportunities and obstacles that might exist. Method: Repeated interviews using reflective conversations with nine leaders were performed and analysed with qualitative content analysis. Results: Unit leaders felt a shared vision regarding a meaningful life was needed. Daily routines and habits that promoted independence, a feeling of community together with familiarity with the job, and got the little extra from knowledgeable staff were important. The historical collective paradigm in elderly care needed to be abandoned in favour of one promoting more individualism. Fundamental was the courage to ask the older person what was important and dared to follow through to “Give power to the older person to decide what care to be given”. Conclusion: Organisational conditions affect unit leaders’ ability to succeed in the implementation of the work. Further studies are required regarding the nature of the support that the unit leaders need to succeed in their work.
Cite this paper: Kihlgren, A. (2015) A Meaningful Life for Older Persons Receiving Municipal Care—Unit Leaders’ Perspectives. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 1033-1041. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.511110.

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