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Int J Older People Nurs. 2019 Oct 2:e12278. doi: 10.1111/opn.12278. [Epub ahead of print]

A Narrative Care approach for persons living with dementia in institutional care settings.

Author information

1
Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
2
Department of Health and Care Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.
3
Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
4
Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
5
Brain and Mental Health Research Clinics, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
6
College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
7
Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

We will provide insights in the theoretical background and key concepts of a Narrative Care approach, such as narrative cultures, narrative curiosity, narrative co-composition and narrative reflective practice.

BACKGROUND:

Care understood as narrative practice underscores the importance of experiences and how these shape identities. Important to the quality of care in institutional care settings is the ability of care providers to cope with complexities and uncertainties in older adults' stories, which can be realised by attending to ways that foster and co-compose evolving and forward-looking narratives. Recognising these ongoing co-compositions means that persons living in institutional care settings and care providers live, tell, retell and relive their experiences. A change in the current institutional culture is necessary to implement care as narrative practice. To support such a change, approaches are needed that foster a focus on experiences and relationships and make relational ethics central to care.

METHODS:

The proposed Narrative Care approach is the result of an iterative development process involving a literature review, interviews with, and observations of, care providers, dialogues with an advisory committee, and consultation with experts.

MAIN CONTRIBUTIONS:

The proposed Narrative Care approach aims to help care providers (a) to recognise the importance of curiosity in a person's verbal and embodied narratives-especially for those living with dementia; (b) to take note of individual experiences in all of their complexity and uncertainty; (c) to respect these narratives; (d) to open up spaces to co-compose new narratives; and (e) to allow care providers to engage in narrative reflective practices that shape who they are and are becoming.

CONCLUSION:

The introduced approach responds to the need of implementing strategies to think and work narratively in institutional care settings.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

Narrative Care has the potential to reshape task-oriented, technical notions of care. Concepts such as embodied narratives, relational ethics, narrative co-composition and narrative reflective practice must be integrated in the education of all care providers.

KEYWORDS:

embodied narratives; institutional care; narrative care; narrative reflective practice; persons living with dementia; relational ethics; relationship building

PMID:
31577388
DOI:
10.1111/opn.12278
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