Nurses' Perception of the Physical Activity of Older People in Residential Institutions

Monday, July 11, 2011: 2:05 PM

Hui-Chi Huang, DNSc
Nursing Department and Institute of Long Term Care, National Taipei University Nursing Health Science, Taipei, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to know nurses face the conflict of daily activities in long term care institutions

Learning Objective 2: 2. The learner will be able to know the conflict is safety care.

Purpose: To understand nurses’ perceptions of levels of physical activity by older residents, to identify potential decision making conflicts in relation to the safety of activity and outline way to manage this conflict.

Methods: This study was a qualitative research design with purpose sampling. Twenty nurses who had worked for more than three years and in thirteen different long-term care institutions located in northern Taipei were interviewed.

Results: Five themes emerged from the data analysis: ‘recognizing the importance of participation in daily physical activity’, ‘encouraging participation in physical activity’, ‘respecting the autonomy of the residents regarding participation in physical activity’, ‘preventing falls’, and ‘facing a conflict’.

Conclusion: With increased risk of chronic illness and reduced functional capability, more and more older people are cared for in long term residential homes.  This is partially due to limited support for families to provide care at home. This study identifies that there is a conflict in relation nurses’ perceptions of the residents’ physical activities. Nurses recognize the importance of residents’ participation in daily physical activity but also acknowledge the accompanying increased risk of residents’ falling as a result of this. The majority of staff employed in long-term care facilities are nursing personnel and it is these nurses who have the most contact with the residents. It is therefore believed that nurses can make the greatest difference to the residents’ lives and support the quality of care if they can resolve this conflict.