Nurses’ Encounters With Older Adults Engaged in Self-Neglectful Behaviors in the Community: A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Objective: Alongside clinical tasks and decision making, there is a growing awareness of the emotions that arise during nurses’ interaction with clients and its significance in relation to meeting the demands of one’s role. This study aims to delve deeper into the experience of community care nurses’ encounters with older adults engaged in self-neglectful behaviors. Method: In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted with 22 experienced nurses in Israel, who worked with older adults engaged in self-neglectful behaviors in the community. Results: Three main themes emerged: “Everything is amplified in old age”: An age-related decline in functioning produces situations of self-neglect, Self-neglect as an experience imprinted on the nurse’s work: The struggle for treatment, and “What is our role here?”—Nurses’ obligations in cases of self-neglect. Conclusion: The complexity of older adults engaged in self-neglectful behaviors results in feelings of confusion and ambiguity regarding the nurses’ role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-989
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

Keywords

  • community health
  • nursing
  • old age
  • qualitative research
  • self-neglect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology

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