ABSTRACT Perceptions and expectations of elderly people about residential care facilities
The choice to move to residential care facilities is crucial in the lives of the elderly. The decision to move into residential care is often seen as a last resort because older people may prefer to stay at home. However, sometimes this is not possible. It is important to note that when the elderly move away from their home, they still have the need to feel at home.
Aim of the study: To explore what contributes to the feeling of the “sense of home” and what are the housing needs of elderly.
Method: A qualitative descriptive study was carried out. Fourteen older adults attending an “Alberto Sordi” Senior Day Centre in Rome were interviewed about which factors could contribute to a good/bad experience of living in a hypothetical residence.
Results: The analysis generated five categories: the residence: a safe and quiet place; need for privacy; contact with reality; freedom of choice; and keeping human interaction.
Discussion and Conclusion: A “sense of home” is a complex and multifactorial phenomenon, linked to a sense of identity and wellbeing. Our results underline the importance of the sense of independence: the elderly want to be respected in their choices and to maintain their residual autonomy.