Older people moving to residential care in Aotearoa New Zealand: Considerations for social work at practice and policy levels

Delia Margaret McKenna, Barbara Staniforth


INTRODUCTION: This exploratory study, undertaken in 2013, sought to examine how older people, living in Auckland New Zealand who did not have family living locally, experienced the move from living at home, through a hospital admission to living in residential care.

METHOD: Nine qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants while in hospital and following discharge to a residential care facility.  Data were analysed thematically.

RESULTS: For most, this move was a major, traumatic event in their lives. Participants identified both hindering and supportive factors through this process.

CONCLUSION: The process of transition from hospital is helped by older people being involved in decision making, and having adequate time and prior information. An assisted living facility that enables autonomy, has flexibility, and services in place to meet on-going physical and psycho-social needs supports the settling-in process. Continuity of social work interventions, advocacy and reviews of policy may also be useful. 


Key words: Assisted living facilities, hospitalisation, social work, transitioning

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol29iss1id215


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