‘All in a day’s work’ : the lifeworld of older people in New Zealand rest homes

Kiata-Holland, Elizabeth (2010) ‘All in a day’s work’ : the lifeworld of older people in New Zealand rest homes. PhD thesis, University of Auckland.

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Abstract

This doctoral thesis contributes to critical gerontology research by investigating the lived experiences of residents in the everyday world of New Zealand rest homes. There is a need to understand how frail rest home residents experience "age". This study focuses on describing and understanding residents lived experiences. As the New Zealand population is ageing, this phenomenological focus adds clarity to the poorly understood lived experiences about being aged in rest homes. Policy initiatives such as the Positive Ageing Strategy with its emphasis on keeping older people living in the community largely ignore the life practices of the increasing proportions of frail older people who require long-term residential care. My mixed-methods modified framework approach draws on the lifeworld as understood by Max van Manen (1990) and Alfred Schütz (1972). The lifeworld is made up of thematic strands of lived experience: these being lived space, lived time, lived body and lived relations with others, which are both the source and object of phenomenological research (van Manen, 1990). These strands are temporarily unravelled and considered in-depth for 27 residents who took part in audio-recorded interviews, before being interwoven through a multiple-helix model, into an integrated interpretation of the residents‟ lifeworld. Supplementing and backgrounding the interviews with these residents, are descriptive data including written interview summaries and survey findings about the relationships and pastimes of 352 residents living in 21 rest homes, which are counted and described. The residents day-to-day use of rest home space, mediated temporal order, self-managed bodies and minds, and negotiated relationships are interpreted. The mythology of the misery of rest home life is challenged, and a more constructive critical gerontology approach is offered. Findings of this research reveal how meanings around daily work practices are constructed by the residents. These elders participate in daily rest home life, from the sidelines or not at all, as they choose or are able, and this always involves work for the residents. They continue to actively manage satisfactory and fulfilling pastimes and relationships, because in their ordinary, everyday lifeworld it is “all in a day‟s work”.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 63241
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Refereed: No
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Aged Health Care (111702)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Primary Health Care (111717)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Residential Client Care (111718)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Institution: University of Auckland
Deposited On: 10 Oct 2013 04:00
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2013 04:00

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