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Care With Honor And Dignity In A Long-Term Care Facility For Veterans

The purpose of this single case research study with embedded multiple units of analysis was to explore the meaning of honor and dignity in care within the context of a long-term care facility for Veterans. This research extended on previous research work, "Caring with honor and dignity," in 2019. This researcher followed Robert Yin's approach to case study research. The goal was to explore "honor" and "dignity" in a long-term care facility for Veterans as described by Veterans, family members, and staff. The research added depth, details, and context to the understanding of “honor” and “dignity” in the LTCV. A total of 41 interview transcriptions were grouped into Unit of Analysis 1 Veterans, Unit of Analysis 2 Family Members, and Unit of Analysis 3 Staff to identify commonalities and differences in how participants understood "honor" and "dignity" within care in the facility. A secondary analysis of the grouped semi-structured interview transcriptions obtained during the original research was conducted using inductive and deductive coding and thematic analysis to identify themes and subthemes in the three units of analysis. NVivo software was used to assist with data analysis and management of complex information. Additional selective documents and literature were reviewed to create a contextual understanding and triangulate information. Veterans, family members, and staff shared an understanding that maintaining dignity, which was also understood as self-worth, is essential. It requires a sense of belonging and intentional care that considers the needs of Veterans afflicted with decreasing self-care abilities that can threaten individuals’ dignity. Honor was understood and described as respectful behavior or conduct by all groups. Understanding and acknowledging Veterans' military service was seen as necessary, with staff describing reverence for Veterans and the desire to honor them through celebrations and best care. Honoring acts might be protective and counteract the potential harm related to the loss of physical self-care and mental abilities. Staff described providing care to Veterans as an honorable act. It is unknown if staff perceives caring for Veterans as elevating their caregiver status.
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