Active Ageing in the nursing home: could participatory action research provide the answer?
Dr. Svante Lifvergren writes of our work, ““An ageing population with more citizens suffering from multiple diseases is putting increasing pressure on the healthcare system. To meet these challenges, it is imperative to invite elderly to co-create new structures and processes together with the care provider to transform the care system. “Active ageing” seeks to enhance the quality of life for elderly by optimising their health, security and participation in different life domains. However, it is critical that elderly themselves are invited to take part in these activities on equal grounds. In this paper, we learn how Participatory Action Research (PAR) was used as a means of structurally and sustainably embedding the voice of the elderly residents in a nursing home to improve their quality of life together with co-workers and managers. The study shows that PAR in this context has the potential to empower residents in a nursing home to be part of the community and to be in control over their life and living conditions. Further, the lessons learned are highly relevant for similar co-creation processes in many other healthcare contexts.”
Quality of life becomes increasingly important in nursing homes. An Active Ageing (WHO) policy in nursing homes can enhance residents’ quality of life, by starting from their competences and participation. Still, residents’ participation is often restricted.
Within a nursing home, PAR was introduced, attempting to structurally enhance residents’ involvement. This article builds on our experiences as researchers on introducing PAR within this setting. There were various opportunities and challenges with which we were confronted when starting PAR.
The question we raised was “Active Ageing in the nursing home: could participatory action research provide the answer?”. We believe so. PAR can be a feasible empowering method, when giving it a chance and time. Still, monitoring remains needed to avoid that nursing home regimes prevail over PAR contributions.
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