The meaning of actualization of self-care resources among a group of older home-dwelling people : a hermeneutic study
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Original versionSöderhamn, U., Dale, B., & Söderhamn, O. (2013). The meaning of actualization of self-care resources among a group of older home-dwelling people : a hermeneutic study. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 8, 1-9. doi: 10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20592 10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20592
Self-care is an activity of mature persons who have developed their abilities to take care of themselves. Individuals can choose to actualize their self-care abilities into self-care activities to maintain, restore, or improve health and well-being. It is of importance to understand the meaning of the actualization of self-care resources among older people. The aim of this study was to investigate the meaning of the actualization of self-care resources, i.e., actions taken to improve, maintain, or restore health and well-being, among a group of older home-dwelling individuals with a high sense of coherence. The design of this study was to reanalyse narratives revealing self-care activities from 11 (five females and six males) Norwegian older home-dwelling people (65 years or older) identified as having a high sense of coherence. In order to reveal the meaning and get an understanding of why these self-care resources were realized or actualized, a Gadamerian-based research method was chosen. The analysis revealed four themes that showed the meaning of actualization of self-care resources in the study group: ‘‘Desire to carry on’’, ‘‘Be of use to others’’, ‘‘Self-realization’’, and ‘‘Confidence to manage in the future’’. The findings showed what older people found meaningful to strive for, and this information can be used as a guide for health professionals when supporting older people in their self-care. Older people with self-care resources can also be an important resource for others in need of social contact and practical help. These resources have to be asked for in voluntary work among older people in need of help and, thereby, can be a valuable supplement to the community health care system.
Published version of an article in the journal: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. Also available from the publisher at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20592 Open access