Research news: Understanding functional ability: Perspectives of nurses and older people living in long-term care
For the nurses, functional ability was about the basic functions of everyday life, and they often used formal and theoretical language, whereas for older long-term care residents, functional ability was a more versatile concept. Being active was promoted, particularly in the nurses’ talk but also sometimes in residents’ talk, thereby reflecting the public discourse about functioning. In their talk, the nurses positioned themselves in relation to functional ability as competent professionals and active caregivers. In residents’ talk, the study found three positions: an active individual taking care of him or herself, a recipient of help, and a burden to nurses.
This study explored the meanings given to functional ability in the interview talk of long-term care nurses (n=24) and older people living in long-term care (n=16). To move in a direction that promotes activity and rehabilitative care, a better understanding of older people’s individual needs and their own views of functional ability is needed.
Lehto, V., Jolanki, O., Valvanne, J., Seinelä, L., & Jylhä, M. (2017). Understanding functional ability: Perspectives of nurses and older people living in long-term care. Journal of Aging Studies, 43C, 15–22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2017.09.001