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A grounded theory of seniors’ self-preservation: maintaining residual self and resisting decay
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. School of Social and Health Sciences, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
FoU Kronoberg, Växjö & Department of Clinical Sciences, Family Medicine, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the major health issues in elderly are injuries and the second most prevalent causes of injury-related hospitalizations are falls. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to generate an explanatory theory of seniors living independently in the community and how they possibly resolve issues influenced by visual impairment and risk of falling. Thirteen elderly people living independently in the community (seven women and six men, aged between 73 and 85 years) and six visual instructors participated as data informants in this interview and observational study where we applied classic grounded theory. The elderly individuals were maintaining their residual self and resisting self-decay as part of an overarching pattern of behaviour that we call self-preservation. The main concern of participants was to remain themselves as who they used to be. This study is not a typology of people but of their behaviour and one person could use both these strategies to preserve self. He or she would both maintain their residual selves by living with the past, keeping their home intact, maintaining past activities and appearances by facading and avoiding burdening their family; as well as resisting self-decay by exercising, using walking aids or hearing aids or maintaining support networks with neighbours, friends or other groups of seniors as well as being physically active. Whilst maintaining one’s residual self is mostly driven by inertia resisting self-decay is often a proactive and purposely driven strategy.

National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35860OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-35860DiVA: diva2:736208
Available from: 2014-08-05 Created: 2014-08-05 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Being on the trail of ageing: functional visual ability and risk of falling in an increasingly ageing population
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Being on the trail of ageing: functional visual ability and risk of falling in an increasingly ageing population
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The elderly population is estimated to increase worldwide. One of the major health determinants identified in this population are injuries where one of the most prevalent causes are falls. The overall aim of this thesis was to describe and explore visual impairment and falls of inpatients and independently living elderly in the community and how daily life activities were influenced by visual ability and risk of falling. Methods in the studies were a quantitative retrospective descriptive design for study I followed by two quantitative retrospective and explorative studies where in study II perceived vision related quality of life and in study III performance-based visual ability were investigated. Study IV was a qualitative explorative study using classic grounded theory. In study I all falls of inpatients at a medical clinic 65 years and older (n=68) were registered during one year. In study II and III a random sample (n=212) of independently living elderly between 70 and 85 years of age participated in both studies. In study IV seven women and six men between 73 and 85 years of age from the two previous studies and six visual instructors (n=19) participated. The data in study I was collected during 2004, study II and III between February 2009 to March 2010 and study IV December 2009 to January 2013. The results in study I showed that most falls in five hospital wards occurred at night and those most affected had an established visual impairment. Almost half the population in study II and III fell at least once. Perceived vision when performing daily life activities showed a positive association between visual impairment and falls in men but not in women (II). No associations were found between performance-based measured visual ability and falls (III). Visually impaired elderly did not consider risk of falling as a problem (􀀪􀀷). Their main concern is to remain themselves as who they used to be which is managed by self- preservation while maintaining their residual selves and resisting self decay. Maintaining residual self is done by living in the past mostly driven by inertia while resisting self decay is a proactive and purposeful driven strategy. It is a complex issue to do fall risk assessments and planning fall preventive action where the individual’s entire life situation has to be taken into consideration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2014. 83 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Care Sciences, ISSN 1652-1153 ; 56
Keyword
elderly, experience, falls, independently living, perceived vision, performance-based vision, visual impairment
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-33837 (URN)978-91-7529-018-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-30, Haldasalen, Högskolan i Halmstad, Kristian IV:s väg 3, 301 18 Halmstad, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-02-19 Created: 2014-02-19 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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