From Family Involvement to Family Inclusion in Nursing Home Settings: A Critical Interpretive Synthesis

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Abstract

The provision of care work by families plays an integral role in the quality of life of older adults living in a nursing home setting. This critical interpretive synthesis examines family members’ perceptions of their roles and responsibilities in nursing home settings and interrogates the structural and relational barriers and enablers to family involvement as they relate to fostering an inclusive environment. Electronic databases and published literature were searched for empirical studies that were conducted in a nursing home setting and described involvement from the perspective of family members. Thirty-two articles published between 2006 and 2016 were included in the review. Although involvement comprised a variety of roles and responsibilities, it was grounded in family–resident relationships, influenced by family–staff relationships, and deeply affected by broader sociopolitical factors. We conclude that involvement should be understood as a democratic process with supporting policies and programs to encourage family inclusion in facility life.

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