Empowerment of nursing home residents: How participatory action research contributes to an inclusive praxis in Public Nursing Homes in Denmark.

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The objectives: Address the residents’ reports that they lack both choice and influence in their everyday lives at the nursing home. Engage the stakeholders in development and implementation of strategies to improve quality of life for the residents. The project goal was to engage the public nursing home employees in establishing actions to enhance the lives of the public nursing home residents. More specifically, to increase resident’s autonomy and involvement in decision making at the nursing home. Theoretical frame: Action research was used to frame democratic learning and acting (Lewin 1948) in order to transform a habitual practice into a more social reflexive, collective and morally obliging praxis (Kemmis 2008). Ethics guided the research project and power structures were investigated throughout the action research process (Brydon-Miller 2019). Theoretical concepts of empowerment (Freire 1974) and the importance of participation for older people(Barnes 2018) were employed. The methods used: Group interviews, ‘future creating’ workshops (Jungk & Müllert 1987), network conferences and task force groups with residents, relatives and staff. Results obtained: Learning processes were initiated, enabling employees to respectfully engage in dialogue with residents and their relatives about their needs and wishes. Involvement of residents in decision making was achieved at all levels of nursing home life. The development of democratic knowledge building is based on the perspectives of the residents. Alternative strategies were implemented to address challenges in the New Public Management agenda of standardized care service. In conclusion the project contribute to the commencement of a more reflective and democratic praxis focused on the empowering of primary ‘stakeholders’ in nursing home daily life. Furthermore, it lead to higher job satisfaction for the staff.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region Congress 2019 - Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 23 May 201925 May 2019


ConferenceInternational Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region Congress 2019
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