A project aimed to support older adults with long term health problems. The challenge in health- and social care of today is to provide care with a holistic ap-proach to meet each individual´s needs. Health care providers tend to spend more time focusing on the health problem per see, rather than focusing on the individual´s situa-tion as a whole. Less attention is often given to psychological and social needs and dialogue with the older adult. Research has shown that many older adults experience loneliness, exclusion and lack of support, especially during times of illness.
The method Reflective STRENGTH-Giving Dialogue is a holistic method developed by researchers at University of Skövde and designed to be used by care givers to support older adults living with a long-term pain. A digital application is one of the tools developed and used in this method.
Improving health and wellbeing in older adults
Reflective STRENGTH-Giving Dialogue aim to support older adults living with pain by providing them with the opportunity to share their thoughts with a care giver in a series of dialogues. In the dialogues, the individual reflect on how life has been in the past, what it is like in the present and what the future will bring.
The focus of the dialogue is to identify and reflect on potential choices and possibilities in the older adult’s life situation. The older adult is encouraged to set targets, large and small, in agreement with the older adult’s desires and capabilities to engage in life. The goal for the older adult is to gain inner strength and courage to take command of the situation and live their life in a way that is meaningful, promotes joy and increases wellbeing.
Development of a digital application
A digital tool – the SelfSTRENGTH app – has been developed for use in this method.
A Ph.D. student is currently enrolled in this project and conducts research of the impact on older adults in using this method both with and without the digital tool. Another objective of this study is to describe health care professionals' experience of using the method both with and without use of the SelfSTRENGHT application.
The Acronym STRENGTH represents:
S – State the current situation
T – Transition from ”One to I”
R – Reflect upon possibilities and choices
EN – Engagement in fulfilling small and large life projects that give joy and meaning in life
G – Get inner strength and courage
T - Tactful and challenging approach
H – Holistic perspective
Photo: The method is used with or without the SelfSTRENGTH app to support older adults in the project.