Dementia and Homesickness: A Qualitative Study of the Experience of Living in a Nursing Home in a Town That One Immigrated to as an Adult.
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How does it feel to have moderate to severe dementia and live in a nursing home in a place that one moved to as an adult? Do the patients in question know where they are, both in relation to the nursing home and the place where the nursing home is located? Drawing on theories of homesickness, emotions, language, and culture, these are the main questions that this study seeks to explore. Emotions play a major role in how we deal with the world, but have still failed to gain proper access into the debate around dementia and quality of life. Emotions have traditionally been seen as a property of the disease, and therefore not been given enough attention when it comes to how they should be dealt with in dementia-care. This study is a qualitative study applying the IPA-method. Four people with moderate to severe dementia were interviewed in order to explore their emotions related to place, time, and home. Four family members and one group of nurses were also interviewed to gather additional information of the informants and the topic. Results indicated that the informants had a stronger emotional connection to the place where they had grown up than to the place where they currently lived and that their current home felt more like a transitional place. The results underline the importance of implementing a better understanding of emotions in dementia-care.