Aim: The bedridden elderly with moderate-to-severe dementia account for a large proportion of the residents in nursing homes and form a specialized group requiring customized care in order to encourage their remaining functions, which determine the quality of their residual life. The purpose of this study was to search for ways to invigorate and foster the remaining functions of this complex-disability group, based on practical nursing strategies in nursing homes. Methods: The qualitative thematic analysis was done by conducting in-depth interviews with 29 nurses working at 11 different nursing homes in South Korea. Results: This study proposed four main themes and 19 sub themes as keys for providing specialized nursing care to the elderly with physical and cognitive disabilities. The main themes encourage the residents' remaining functions: (i) accurate identification of an elderly resident's physical, cognitive, and behavioral baseline is necessary in order to determine their functional levels; (ii) nurses provide meticulous management to support the remaining functions in order to prevent further deterioration; (iii) optimized know-how, based on accumulated experience and knowledge, is reflected in nursing strategies that maximize the effects of nursing interventions; and (iv) steady compliance with nursing guidelines and standards in nursing homes creates the best therapeutic environment and brings unexpected positive changes in the elderly's status. Conclusion: A practical nursing strategy to target the group with a demented and complex disability in nursing homes was developed through thematic analysis of the empirical knowledge of nurses. The findings provide new insights for developing specialized nursing interventions and practical nursing models in long-term care facilities.
- functionally impaired elderly
- nursing care management
- nursing homes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Research and Theory