The lived experiences of ‘home' for women waiting to relocate into a long-term care home
Master of Health Sciences
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'Home' is typically described as a haven for safety, comfort, privacy, and familiarity. For older women who are unsure of their future or who may have a different relationship with their place of residence, 'home' is an experience that may be difficult to define. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of older women's lived experiences of 'home' when they are on a waitlist to relocate into a long-term care home. Using a hermeneutic phenomenology approach, three women were interviewed about their experience of 'home' and how being on a waitlist affected the experience. For each woman, the experience of 'home' was rooted in their individual life stories and their perspectives on waiting to relocate to a longterm care home were varied. Despite the differences, several common themes emerged from the interviews: 1) home is described as a feeling; 2) home is experienced through spatial embodiment; 3) the role others play in the meaning of 'home'; 4) home is expressed through memories and past experiences; and 5) the experience of 'home' through aging, life stages, and life events. The results of this study have implications for practice for staff of home care organizations and long-term care homes who work directly with older women who are on a waitlist to move into a long-term care home or who have recently relocated into a long-term care home. This understanding of older women's experience of 'home' through relocation could help staff make the transition an easier process.