Expanding the discourse of care: Family constructed biographies of nursing home residents

Wayne Caron, Ken Hepburn, Marilyn Luptak, Leslie Grant, Sharon Ostwald, Joseph Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Nursing homes face the challenges of providing both medical care and home environments in which elders live. The evolution of long term care has resulted in greater emphasis on nursing homes being institutions rather than homes. Discourse in nursing home care both reflects this and reinforces it. Changing the discourse of nursing home care creates the possibility for more individualized and less pathologically oriented treatment of elders. We report on a program which engages families in creating biographies of nursing home residents. These constructed life stories create new discourses in the nursing home. They can bring family in greater collaboration with nursing home staff and sensitize the nursing home to seeing each resident as uniquely individual. Lessons learned from facilitating these groups are shared and directions for future development described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


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