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Shaping nursing home mealtimes

Harnett, Tove LU and Jönson, Håkan LU (2016) In Ageing & Society p.1-22
Abstract
A number of studies stress the importance of positive mealtime experiences for nursing home residents. However, the components that comprise an ideal nursing home meal remain unclear, reflecting the ambiguity of whether nursing homes should be framed as institutions, domestic settings or a type of hotel. In this study, nursing home meals were viewed as situations that the involved parties could continuously modify and ‘work on’. The aim was to analyse how the staff and residents shaped mealtimes by initiating frames and acting according to established social scripts. The study was based on semi-structured interviews with staff and residents and on ethnographic data, consisting of 100 hours of observations at two nursing home settings in... (More)
A number of studies stress the importance of positive mealtime experiences for nursing home residents. However, the components that comprise an ideal nursing home meal remain unclear, reflecting the ambiguity of whether nursing homes should be framed as institutions, domestic settings or a type of hotel. In this study, nursing home meals were viewed as situations that the involved parties could continuously modify and ‘work on’. The aim was to analyse how the staff and residents shaped mealtimes by initiating frames and acting according to established social scripts. The study was based on semi-structured interviews with staff and residents and on ethnographic data, consisting of 100 hours of observations at two nursing home settings in Sweden. The analysis revealed how staff and residents interactively shaped meals using institutional, private or restaurant frames. There were three important findings: (a) an institutional meal frame was dominant; (b) there were substantial difficulties in introducing private frames and established private scripts for meals, since such meal versions are personal and not easy to transport into collective settings; (c) successful creation of private or home-like meal situations illustrates an often overlooked skill in care work. Making meals as ‘care-free’ as possible can be viewed as a way to operationalise the goal of providing a non-institutional environment in nursing homes. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
nursing homes, meals, social scripts
in
Ageing & Society
pages
1 - 22
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:84954318004
  • wos:000398500200008
ISSN
0144-686X
DOI
10.1017/S0144686X1500152X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2700d9d5-b0c4-4ce1-8420-b71394a3751e (old id 8564079)
date added to LUP
2016-01-22 13:37:40
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:28:36
@article{2700d9d5-b0c4-4ce1-8420-b71394a3751e,
  abstract     = {A number of studies stress the importance of positive mealtime experiences for nursing home residents. However, the components that comprise an ideal nursing home meal remain unclear, reflecting the ambiguity of whether nursing homes should be framed as institutions, domestic settings or a type of hotel. In this study, nursing home meals were viewed as situations that the involved parties could continuously modify and ‘work on’. The aim was to analyse how the staff and residents shaped mealtimes by initiating frames and acting according to established social scripts. The study was based on semi-structured interviews with staff and residents and on ethnographic data, consisting of 100 hours of observations at two nursing home settings in Sweden. The analysis revealed how staff and residents interactively shaped meals using institutional, private or restaurant frames. There were three important findings: (a) an institutional meal frame was dominant; (b) there were substantial difficulties in introducing private frames and established private scripts for meals, since such meal versions are personal and not easy to transport into collective settings; (c) successful creation of private or home-like meal situations illustrates an often overlooked skill in care work. Making meals as ‘care-free’ as possible can be viewed as a way to operationalise the goal of providing a non-institutional environment in nursing homes.},
  author       = {Harnett, Tove and Jönson, Håkan},
  issn         = {0144-686X},
  keyword      = {nursing homes,meals,social scripts},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1--22},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Ageing & Society},
  title        = {Shaping nursing home mealtimes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X1500152X},
  year         = {2016},
}