The good life in care homes: A Qualitative Investigation with Residents, Relatives, Care Workers and Managers

Jakob Emiliussen*, Søren Engelsen, Regina Christiansen, Søren Harnow Klausen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Western societies are aging, and many older adults need or will soon need care in care homes. Life quality and well-being are widely discussed also concerning older adult residents in care homes. However, no studies have attempted a comparative approach to investigate life quality from the perspective of all the central stakeholders in care homes – residents, care workers, relatives, and management. The present study seeks to illuminate and compare life quality perceptions among residents, care workers, relatives, and managers in care homes. 14 participants from the stakeholder groups were interviewed in semi-structured open-ended interviews. Data analysis was conducted in accordance with the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis framework. The study underlines the diversity of older adults. Rather than considering older adults as one homogeneous group, older adults hold diverse and sometimes conflicting ideas on life quality. Additionally, values on life quality and well-being are different between the four groups. Care workers and managers have the added difficulty of trying to balance values on good health and good health care while still incorporating the residents’ and relatives’ values in care work. These differences can lead to disagreements and potential conflicts. Care work should be considered a complex task where the personal values of each involved party can easily conflict with others.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgeing International
VolumeOnline first
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Care homes
  • Wellbeing
  • Life Quality
  • Phenomenology

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