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Self-perceived needs and nursing involvement with the elderley living at home Donaghue, Shirley June, 1930

Abstract

This study surveyed the self perceptions of thirty individuals over sixty-five years of age, who lived in the Vancouver Quadra electoral district, in order to gather information about their needs. The study was designed to answer three questions. Do the elderly living at home in a specific geographical area of Vancouver perceive themselves as having needs in the need areas defined by the literature, namely housing, health, independent living, employment, economic security and interpersonal relations? Do the elderly in the selected sample perceive their needs as being met? Do the elderly in the selected sample perceive nurses as involved in helping them meet their needs? A semi-structured interview schedule was used to obtain information relevant to the research problem. The results of this study indicated that more than half the respondents, or 53 per cent, perceived needs in the need areas defined by the literature. The majority of perceived needs, or 76 per cent, were not met. None of the elderly whose needs were met perceived nurses as involved in helping them meet these needs. Moreover, the majority of the study sample, or 87 per cent, did not perceive nurses as potentially helpful in assisting them to meet their needs. The study recommends that nurses extend their current role and become actively involved in assessing and meeting the needs of the elderly living at home.

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