Title : Older residents’ experience of loneliness in nursing homes: A qualitative study in mainland China
In our presentation, we will explore the experience of loneliness among elder residents in nursing homes in mainland China, digging deeper into the causes of loneliness and the support and help that elder residents would like to receive, and providing a reference basis for the development of targeted intervention programs based on the Chinese cultural context. Specifically, the following sections are described:
Background: The prevalence of loneliness among elder residents in Chinese nursing homes is as high as 68.7%-89.7%, with the overall level at the moderate-to-severe level, which is a complex phenomenon, and few studies have been conducted on the experience of loneliness among elder residents in mainland China. A clear understanding of how elder residents experience loneliness would allow for the development of appropriate intervention programs to reduce loneliness.
Methods: This study was descriptive in nature, using the De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale to select elder residents with a moderate level of loneliness or higher who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for semi-structured interviews; a total of 12 elder residents were interviewed, and the data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Results: Three themes were distilled, including the experience of loneliness (insecurity, pain and despair, helplessness and numbness to reality, and loss of hope for the future), the reasons for loneliness (self-factors, inadequate social support, and unmet needs), and protective strategies for loneliness (viewing loneliness correctly, cultivating positive and optimistic attitudes, and taking possession of one's self to stay busy).
Conclusion: Elder residents in mainland China have difficulty talking openly about loneliness and are ashamed of it, they're always in denial and pretending they're normal, and family members and staff always ignore whether elder residents are lonely or not. Therefore, it is necessary to emphasize the detection of loneliness and the assessment of individual factors of elder residents, help them to correctly perceive loneliness and promote multidimensional social support; promote the contact between elder residents and caregivers through relevant activities, and help elder residents to use smart communication tools to contact their families; provide knowledge lectures and activities on communication, and conduct regular interaction groups to solve the interaction barriers between elder residents, and increase the frequency of interaction between elder residents, the development of meaningful relationships is important to reduce loneliness.
Audience Take Away Notes:
- This is a descriptive qualitative study, and the audience will learn about the characteristics of descriptive research through the complete qualitative research steps of this study, which can be used by faculty to expand their research or teaching;
- Through interviews with elder residents in nursing homes in mainland China, the audience will learn how elder residents experience loneliness in less economically developed regions where Confucianism, such as filial piety, is prevalent, and how understanding loneliness from different perspectives can inform caregivers on how to alleviate loneliness in elder residents i;
- This study can provide a basis for the subsequent development of targeted intervention programs in nursing homes.