In Sweden, housing policies for seniors’ care, have generally focused on the development of assisted living and care standards (supply-based care), rather than on adapting the SHA to the requirements of the individual residents. This is despite the fact that the political discourse claims to offer care that is tailored to the individual’s needs (demand-based care). This poses some interesting questions. Specifically, 1) What is the seniors’ experience living in a SHA when the accommodation mandates are based on both supply-based care standards and on the institutional order or discourse, rather than the individual influence? 2) Can the SHA be viewed as a home where the person actually feels like being at home? 3) Is the perceived life at a SHA experienced as something more than a solution to care requirements
This oral presentation is based on a hermeneutic phenomenological analysis of interview material in which 12 seniors living in Special Housing Accommodation (SHA) facilities reflect on the experience of living in such facilities. Of particular interest in the analysis is living in a SHA as a phenomenon.
The data material was collected by face-to-face interviews (each participant had one interview) using an interview guide (Fontana & Frey, 1994), containing the question topics of (i) life situation now, (ii) experiences of dwelling, (iii) being at home, and (iv) life situation in the future.
The finding shows that the phenomenon of lived experience in a SHA seems to be a state of ambiguity regarding one’s existence, which is made up of several constituents (elements of meaning).The analysis contributes to the understanding of how the phenomenon of SHA living is coming into existence as a need, due to an individual’s failing health; however, the SHA is not considered to be a true home
The seniors learn to cope with living in the SHA by lowering their expectations of life and existence while the SHA provides the prerequisites for their existence. An implication for promoting care is to support the seniors to enable a full existence of life within SHA living.
The 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG 2013), 23 June (Sun) ~ 27 (Thu), 2013, in Seoul, South Korea.