Professor, Department of Nursing, Umea University, Umea, Sweden.
Aim: To illuminate the meaning of offering care and a place to live to people with Alzheimer's disease in a special care unit.
Rationale: There is a need to gain a deeper understanding about so called 'homelike' care settings, and about how to promote experiences of being at home in residents with Alzheimer's disease. The study is part of a long-term study in a special care unit.
Methods: The study comprises phenomenological hermeneutic interpretation of interviews with 10 care providers.
Results: The analyses revealed a number of caring aspects such as, for example, 'viewing dignity and striving to preserve a sense of self in the resident', 'encouraging a sense of belonging', 'offering relief' and 'promoting a sense of power and control in the resident', although integrated and reflected in each other. The caring aspects constituted the themes confirmation, familiarity, communion and agency considered as dimensions of the good life.
Conclusion: To avoid simplification in which, for example, the furniture from a certain decade become the standard for good care, it seems important to focus upon the meaning of the good life. Care that promotes a good life of people with Alzheimer's disease seemed relationship centred.