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Strengths and support of older people affected by precarity in South Louisiana
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Social Work. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. SALVE (Social challenges, Actors, Living conditions, reseach VEnue).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7481-7302
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Older People Nursing, ISSN 1748-3735, E-ISSN 1748-3743, Vol. 14, no 2, article id e12232Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background 

Few empirical studies have examined strengths and support of older people in circumstances of precarity. A better understanding of this problem has the potential to contribute to the development of care planning and delivery. 

Purpose

To investigate how older people deal with episodes of precarity in South Louisiana. 

Method

More than 300 hours of participant observation and interviews were conducted with 20 predominantly older African American women in a housing complex for low-income older persons and two senior citizen centers. 

Results

The findings demonstrate five central negative conditions of precarity that older people had to manage: (1) loss and discontinuity of home-based health care services, (2) stress after loss or disruption of social support, (3) problems of poverty, (4) cognitive impairment and declining health, and (5) stress of eviction. Strengths and support that older people used were as follows: (1) spiritual faith, (2) psychological strengths, (3) spiritual relationships, (4) family support, (5) friendships of love and friendships of helpfulness, (6) care and support performed by home-based services, (7) senior center and housing complex activities, (8) church memberships and activities, and (9) grocery store and café contacts. 

Conclusion

Home-based services were not sufficient to prevent and reduce precarity for older people because of a lack of and discontinuities in these services.

Implications for practice

This study adds to the literature about precarity among community-based older people by demonstrating gaps in care support and medication access. The findings suggest that ongoing state funding and support by home-based services are necessary to support frail older people in precarious living conditions to survive and handle stressful life events by reducing vulnerability and enhancing strengths and supportive resources of older people. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2019. Vol. 14, no 2, article id e12232
Keywords [en]
Louisiana; care of older people; precarity; strengths; support
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-42897DOI: 10.1111/opn.12232ISI: 000474861100009PubMedID: 30861633Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85062963811OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-42897DiVA, id: diva2:1286486
Available from: 2019-02-07 Created: 2019-02-07 Last updated: 2019-08-14Bibliographically approved

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The full text will be freely available from 2020-03-12 00:00
Available from 2020-03-12 00:00

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Hedman, Karl

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