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"Such Trivial Matters:" How staff account for restrictions of residents' influence in nursing homes

Harnett, Tove LU and Wästerfors, David LU (2009) In Journal of Aging Studies 23(1). p.1-11
Abstract
National policies emphasize older people's right to autonomy, yet nursing home residents often have restricted opportunities to make decisions about everyday matters. We use qualitative interview data to analyze staff members' explanations of actions that conflict with both social norms and national policies. Two types of problematic actions are discussed: restrictions of elderly residents' influence in decision making and neglect of residents' complaints. While staff members describe residents' influence as desirable, they simultaneously formulate accounts that justify their inability to live up to this ideal. Further, we demonstrate how certain complaints are "made trivial" when they are described and treated in specific ways by the... (More)
National policies emphasize older people's right to autonomy, yet nursing home residents often have restricted opportunities to make decisions about everyday matters. We use qualitative interview data to analyze staff members' explanations of actions that conflict with both social norms and national policies. Two types of problematic actions are discussed: restrictions of elderly residents' influence in decision making and neglect of residents' complaints. While staff members describe residents' influence as desirable, they simultaneously formulate accounts that justify their inability to live up to this ideal. Further, we demonstrate how certain complaints are "made trivial" when they are described and treated in specific ways by the staff. We argue that the accounts offered by staff members draw on an implicit folk logic, a logic in which residents are allowed to exercise influence only as long as it does not conflict with the efficient running of the institution as a whole. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Folk logic, Nursing home, Elderly people, Accounts, Influence
in
Journal of Aging Studies
volume
23
issue
1
pages
1 - 11
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000262883900001
  • scopus:57049178960
ISSN
0890-4065
DOI
10.1016/j.jaging.2007.09.005
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b0989ff4-b358-4df8-8e63-1e41e2b39203 (old id 1311439)
date added to LUP
2009-03-17 11:05:45
date last changed
2017-10-01 03:48:46
@article{b0989ff4-b358-4df8-8e63-1e41e2b39203,
  abstract     = {National policies emphasize older people's right to autonomy, yet nursing home residents often have restricted opportunities to make decisions about everyday matters. We use qualitative interview data to analyze staff members' explanations of actions that conflict with both social norms and national policies. Two types of problematic actions are discussed: restrictions of elderly residents' influence in decision making and neglect of residents' complaints. While staff members describe residents' influence as desirable, they simultaneously formulate accounts that justify their inability to live up to this ideal. Further, we demonstrate how certain complaints are "made trivial" when they are described and treated in specific ways by the staff. We argue that the accounts offered by staff members draw on an implicit folk logic, a logic in which residents are allowed to exercise influence only as long as it does not conflict with the efficient running of the institution as a whole. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Harnett, Tove and Wästerfors, David},
  issn         = {0890-4065},
  keyword      = {Folk logic,Nursing home,Elderly people,Accounts,Influence},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--11},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Aging Studies},
  title        = {"Such Trivial Matters:" How staff account for restrictions of residents' influence in nursing homes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2007.09.005},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2009},
}