THE EXPERIENCES OF ELDERLY PEOPLE IN GERIATRIC CARE WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO INTEGRITY


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Abstract

The aim of this study was to obtain an increased understanding of the experiences of elderly people in geriatric care, with special reference to integrity. Data were collected through qualitative interviews with elderly people and, in order to obtain a description of caregivers' integrity-promoting or non-promoting behaviours, participant observations and qualitative interviews with nursing students were undertaken.Earlier studies on the integrity of elderly people mainly concentrated on their personal and territorial space, so Kihlgren and Thorsén opened up the possibility of considering the concept of integrity from a broader view by recognizing its relationship to the larger framework of the self-concept. Based on this, findings in the present study indicate that elderly people's integrity relating to their corporal self were the least violated. On the other hand, their psycological, information and cultural selves were the most exposed. The study also identified a further dimension (i.e. one relating to social self), which should be included in the concept of integrity because respecting elderly people's social self reduces their feelings of loneliness, isolation and seclusion. In summary, the results indicate that the concept of integrity is complex and has several dimensions.

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