Elderly people’s subjective experiences of relocation to residential care facilities
In this study, the subjective experiences of older persons who relocated to residential care facilities were investigated. During Apartheid South Africa, only White elders were accommodated at most residential care facilities and the previously disadvantaged was excluded. Furthermore, previous research focused mainly on the experiences of the wealthier white groups; consequently, this study focused on the middle-to-lower income groups, including Black elders. Considering the diverse and often adverse circumstances at South African residential care facilities, it is essential to consider the relocation experiences of elders in such facilities, and what experiences contribute to their sense of home. Such information would help to equip those caring for the needs of older people with knowledge that will benefit the well-being of elders. Literature regarding ageing and relocation during late adulthood was utilised to conceptualise the concept of relocation. Experiences and related issues regarding the process of relocation to a residential care facility were viewed from an interpretivist perspective. A qualitative framework was chosen to give individuals experiencing this move a voice. A focus group approach was used, and semi-structured sessions were held to discuss participants’ experiences of relocation openly. Twenty-five participants took part in this study. They were identified by means of a non-probability sampling method, namely purposive sampling. Data were analysed and interpreted by means of thematic analyses, and various themes and subthemes emerged from the data sets. The findings of this study correspond with previous research that indicates that relocation experiences entail a process that encompasses factors prior to relocation, which contributed to the participants’ decision to relocate to residential care facilities, generally classified under push and pull factors. Other themes that correspond with previous research are factors relating to the adaptation process as well as participants’ experience of the move to, and living at residential care facilities.