Social needs in a nursing home context How are social needs and social care understood within a nursing home context?
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This thesis explores how social needs and social care are understood within a nursing home context. Studies suggest that elders in nursing homes are susceptible to loneliness. Newer political aims are to combine caregiving from family members and public health services to ensure extensive care of elder’s social needs, but there is a lack of conversation about how this collaboration should come to place. This thesis seeks to explore the research question based on semi-structured interviews, as well as follow-up interviews, with six family members of nursing home residents. The analysis is inspired by interpretative phenomenology, social constructionism and symbolic interactionism. Family members’ understanding of social needs and social care is attended to as created and influenced by the interactional interview process. The analysis explores family members’ accounts and their underlying preconceptions. Additionally, how the accounts legitimize or create different understandings for the concepts of social needs and social care. The results suggest that social needs are a broad concept with both a general and a personal dimension. They also suggest a downplaying of social care in favor of healthcare within the nursing home context. This argues for measures for social care to take into account social needs as both general and personal to ensure its extensiveness. Further research is needed on how to care for general and personal social needs in a declared strategy, and how to incorporate this to a functional collaboration between the caregiver roles. Further research on the perspectives of the nursing staff and the nursing home resident would give beneficial insights and is encouraged.
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