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Dignity and the provision of care and support in ‘old age homes’ in Tamil Nadu, India: a qualitative study
BMC Geriatrics, Volume: 22, Issue: 1
Swansea University Authors: Vanessa Burholt , Zoe Shoemark, Carol Maddock
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DOI (Published version): 10.1186/s12877-022-03272-4
BackgroundIn 2016, Tamil Nadu was the first state in India to develop a set of Minimum Standards for old age homes. The Minimum Standards stipulate that that residents’ dignity and privacy should be respected. However, the concept of dignity is undefined in the Minimum Standards. To date, there has...
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BackgroundIn 2016, Tamil Nadu was the first state in India to develop a set of Minimum Standards for old age homes. The Minimum Standards stipulate that that residents’ dignity and privacy should be respected. However, the concept of dignity is undefined in the Minimum Standards. To date, there has been very little research within old age homes exploring the dignity of residents. This study draws on the concepts of (i) status dignity and (ii) central human functional capabilities, to explore whether old age homes uphold the dignity of residents.ObjectivesThe study was designed to obtain insights into human rights issues and experiences of residents, and the article addresses the research question, “to what extent do old age homes in Tamil Nadu support the central human functional capabilities of life, bodily health, bodily integrity and play, and secure dignity for older residents?”.MethodA cross-sectional qualitative exploratory study design was utilised. Between January and May 2018 face-to-face interviews were conducted using a semi-structured topic guide with 30 older residents and 11 staff from ten care homes located three southern districts in Tamil Nadu, India. Framework analysis of data was structured around four central human functional capabilities.ResultsThere was considerable variation in the extent to which the four central human functional capabilities life, bodily integrity, bodily health and play were met. There was evidence that Articles 3, 13, 25 and 24 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were contravened in both registered and unregistered facilities. Juxtaposing violations of human rights with good practice demonstrated that old age homes have the potential to protect the dignity of residents.ConclusionThe Government of India needs to strengthen old age home policies to protect residents. A new legislative framework is required to ensure that all old age homes are accountable to the State. Minimum Standards should include expectations for quality of care and dignity in care that meet the basic needs of residents and provide health care, personal support, and opportunities for leisure, and socializing. Standards should include staff-to-resident ratios and staff training requirements.
Residential care, Respect, Cross-sectional studies, Privacy, India, Long-term care, Leisure activities,Reference standards, Delivery of health care
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
The cost of Open Access publication was supported by Health and Care Research Wales, Senior Research Leader fund.