Details of Thesis

Title Relocation to a Nursing Home: The significance of cultural diversity
Author Yeboah, Cecilia Akua
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2009
Abstract Australian society is changing in its composition. People are living longer than previously which has led to increase in older people. Increased immigration during the past few decades has led to a significant increase in the number of older Australia residents who are both culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD). Also families, familial relationships and traditional support structures are altering. These demographic changes have significant implications for the challenges that Australia faces with its ageing population. The longevity is partially due to advances in preventative and curative health care, as well as to improvements in living standards. Research suggests alterations to the structure of family life are also affecting care relations. As in many parts of the world, kinship-based security and intergenerational reciprocity are disappearing and are being replaced by publicly or privately organised systems of care for the elderly in Australia, thereby leading to an increasing need for Nursing homes. The increase in the number of older adults from non-English speaking backgrounds, who are placed in nursing homes without giving adequate attention to the consequences of their culture or migrant status, is particularly challenging. Perceiving Australian society and local communities as multicultural and looking upon cultural diversity as important for health care, pose challenges for Australian health professionals. Cultural diversity is a prominent feature of the Australian health system and is impacting significantly on the quality of nursing care that is required, particularly in aged care. Culture is a way of perceiving, believing, evaluating and behaving. A person's cultural identity is based on traits and values that are learnt during life experience associated with ethnic origin, religion, gender, age, socio-economic level, primary language, geographical region, place of residence and level of abilities and disabilities. For this purpose, this study was set out to explore CALD elderly residents’ experience of nursing home relocation. Using a Grounded Theory and interpretive methodology, data was collected through progressive, semi-structured, repeated, in-person, individual interviews from residents of four nursing homes in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Employing theoretical sampling, data was collected from 20 participants, five from each participating nursing home. The initial objective of exploring the participants’ nursing home relocation experience shifted during the study to participants’ experience from the beginning of the pathway to nursing home relocation. Four major categories emerged from the data: (i) losses experienced by participants, (ii) participants’ responses to losses that they experienced, (iii) participants’ experience on deciding to move and moving to a nursing home and (iv) how participants dealt with settling in and adjustment to the nursing homes. This study found that it is not just the culturally specific things that allow people to feel connected to their old cultures but also those things, which all cultures believe are important. The study findings also indicate that whilst some residents found the nursing home relocation experience acceptable, many reported that things are done differently in their culture and that their expectations about old age have, for the most part, been influenced by their own cultural upbringing, making it somewhat difficult at times for them to accept the realities of their situation - that they live in a different culture. The four nursing homes in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and the twenty participants studied constitute only a small proportion of all CALD elderly nursing home residents in Australia and therefore the findings could not be claimed as pertinent to all members of this group. Nonetheless, this study makes an important contribution to future discussions regarding cultural diversity in nursing home relocation of CALD elderly in Australia. The study findings provide some insight into the conditions and contexts that impact on nursing home relocation.
Thesis 01front.pdf  528KB
02chapters with references.pdf 1,500KB
03appendices 01-04.pdf 5,116KB
04appendices 05-07.pdf 3,816KB

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