Experiences of Self-Determination By Older Persons Living in Sheltered Housing

Nursing Ethics 14 (3):413-424 (2007)
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Respect for autonomy and self-determination is a central principle in nursing ethics. Autonomy and quality of life are strongly connected, and, at the same time, autonomy is an important quality indicator on how older persons' housing functions. In this study, autonomy was conceived as self-determination. The aim of the study was to describe how older people living in sheltered housing experience self-determination and how they are valued as human beings. Eleven persons living in five different housing facilities for older people in southern Sweden were interviewed. The data were analysed by manifest and latent qualitative content analysis. The overall theme expressing the latent content in the interviews emerged as disempowerment, which implied an environment that does not strengthen individual self-determination. The results showed a negative experience of how these older people thought they were valued in the sheltered housing where they lived. In sheltered housing, more attention should be paid to residents' self-determination and sense of value



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