Acceptance and adjustment: A qualitative study of experiences of hearing and vision impairments and daily life among oldest old recipients of home care

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  • Gro Gade Haanes, Faculty of Natural and Health Sciences, University of Faroe Islands, Torshavn, Faroe Islands., Færøerne
  • Elisabeth O C Hall
  • Grethe Eilertsen, University of South-Eastern Norway, Norge

Introduction: The severity of age-related hearing and vision impairments increases with age. Such sensory impairments are risk factors for functional decline, reduced social participation, withdrawal, depression and accidents, and hence they make people vulnerable and adversely affect their quality of life. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore how the oldest old recipients of home care experience sensory impairments in daily life. Design: An inductive, descriptive research design was used. Method: Ten recipients of home care with a mean age of 89 years were interviewed in their homes. The study was implemented in accordance with the suggestions from Elo and Kyngäs for inductive content analysis. Findings: The main theme concerned acceptance and adjustment in daily life. Subcategories concerning the category of reduced hearing were identified as “acceptable though annoying” and “hesitant about using hearing aids.” Subcategories concerning the category of reduced vision were “reading is increasingly challenging” and “living with vision diseases.” The third category of feeling weak was elucidated in the subcategories “troublesome bodily changes” and “strenuous days with limited energy.”. Conclusions: It is imperative to recognise that the oldest old are in a distinct phase of the lifespan. Despite this population being aware of their hearing and vision impairments, they do not always have the strength to alter the situation. Instead they accept it; they often struggle with more serious health challenges. Therefore, they are not prioritising using their limited energy reserves to try to improve or optimise their hearing and vision impairments themselves. Implications for practice: The oldest old with sensory impairments cannot be expected to perform all the necessary activities of daily living or address their functional sensory impairments. Close monitoring and assistance need to be applied to the oldest old.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Older People Nursing
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2019

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