Enhancing Relationships in Long-Term Care: Through Story Sharing

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Relationships between staff and residents in long-term care (LTC) are foundational to quality of life and high standards of care. Although nurse aides (NAs) provide more than 80% of personal care to nursing home residents, little research has focused on the NAresident relationship or how NAs come to know and connect with their residents. This interpretive phenomenological study explored how a Story Sharing intervention initiates and enhances this relationship. Following the Story Sharing intervention, 84 volunteer NAs and 54 residents in six nursing homes were interviewed over a 6-month period. Analysis of these interviews revealed 9 patterns and 25 themes that describe how NAs and residents interact every day, along with innovative NA best practices. One theme, exemplifying a best practice, Restoring the Reciprocity of Care, is given. The findings have been incorporated into an extended Story Sharing Program for all LTC staff.

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