Caring for Our Elders: Multicultural Experiences with Nursing Home Placement

By Particia J. Kolb | Go to book overview

6
SETTLING IN:
ADJUSTING TO THE CHANGES

l felt terrible because he didn 't want to stay.

—A resident's wife, ten years after her husband's admission

They greeted us with open arms, and they still do.

—A resident's friend, one year after her friend's admission

I feel good. There wouldn't have been anybody to take care of him at home. It would
have been worse. At the beginning, l felt really, really bad.

—A resident's granddaughter, three years after her grandfather's admission

THE EXPERIENCES leading to admission had been difficult for residents and for their relatives and friends, but finally the day to move into the nursing home had arrived. This chapter addresses the final phase of the transit stage, admission day; the process of resettlement, or adjustment to life in the nursing home, including issues of ethnicity and provision of services; and reflections of relatives and friends about the placement decision and plans for the future.

Adapting Drachman and Ryan's stage-of-migration framework to the events taking place after admission, the discussion of the resettlement process for residents and their relatives and friends begins in this chapter and continues in chapters 7 and 8. Drachman and Ryan identify critical variables in the resettlement stage for immigrants migrating to another country, including cultural issues, reception from the host country, opportunity structure of the host country, discrepancy between expectations and reality, and the degree of cumulative stress experienced throughout the migration process. In applying the resettlement concept to adjustment to a nursing home, the salient variables become adjustment of residents and their relatives and friends to nursing home culture, services and other support provided by staff, social and recreational opportunities provided by the nursing home, discrepancies between the expectations of residents and their relatives and friends and the realities of nursing home life, and the degree of

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