“If There Isn’t Love, It Isn’t Home”: An Exploration of Relationship Qualities and the Meaning of Home for Residents in Aged Care

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Abstract

Exploring the meaning of home is essential for the quality of life and well-being of older people in residential aged care. ‘Home’ is a spiritual concept that is deeply personal and important for older people. Using a qualitative, phenomenologically-based methodology, the meaning of home for ten older people living in residential aged care in Australia was examined using in-depth interviews to draw out the depth of meaning around the home. A key finding of the study showed that ‘home’ means connection through meaningful relationships and meaningful connection to place. The current paper focuses on meaningful relationships required for an older person to feel ‘at home’ in residential aged care. Drawing on residents’ personal narratives, fresh insights are provided into essential relationship qualities, and suggestions are made on how quality relationships can be facilitated and maintained, both for and by residents, to increase a sense of homeliness in residential aged care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number604
Number of pages12
JournalReligions
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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