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The experience of older people of entering into the phase of asking for public home help - a qualitative study

  • Ann-Christin Janlöv
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
  • Kerstin Petersson
Publishing year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 326-336
Publication/Series: International Journal of Social Welfare
Volume: 14
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

The aim of this qualitative study was to explore older persons' (n = 28, 75-96 years of age) experience of becoming in need of public home help, their experience of participation and of having influence on the needs assessment procedure and the decisions made about public home help. A content analysis revealed a broad overarching category, labelled: experiencing discontinuity in life as a whole - the countdown has begun. In addition, four principal categories emerged from the data: comparing the past with the present and losing parts of oneself and connectedness; worrying about the losses and what they will bring about; struggling against losing abilities to avoid dependency and home help; and struggling with conflicting feelings about being/becoming in need of help, and from whom. That older people can so perceive their life situation needs to be recognised if they are to be empowered to become involved in and exert influence on the assessment process and its outcome as well as on their life situation as a whole.


  • Nursing
  • needs assessment
  • home help
  • social service
  • age 75 and older
  • transition experience


  • ISSN: 1369-6866
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions