Readmission is experienced as inevitable among older adults receiving homecare: A qualitative interview study

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Background: Older adults receiving homecare have an increased risk of readmission. The transition from hospital to home can be experienced as unsafe, and older adults describe themselves as vulnerable during the post-discharge period. Thus, the objective was to explore the experiences of unplanned readmissions among older adults who receive homecare. Methods: We conducted qualitative individual semi-structured interviews with older adults, 65 years or above, receiving homecare and being readmitted to an emergency department (ED) between August and October 2020. Data were analysed by systematic text condensation as described by Malterud. Findings: We included 12 adults aged 67–95 years, seven were male, and eight lived alone. The analysis derived three themes: (1) Responsibility and security at home, (2) the role of family, friends and homecare and (3) the importance of trust. The older adults felt that the hospital strived for too-early discharge, as they still did not feel well. They worried about how to manage their daily life. Active involvement of their family increased their sense of security, but those living alone described feeling anxious being at home by themselves after discharge. Although older adults did not wish to go to the hospital, inadequate treatment at home and the feeling of responsibility for their illness made them feel insecure. They expressed that earlier negative experiences affected their trust in the system and their inclination to ask for help. Conclusions: The older adults were discharged from the hospital despite feeling ill. They described inadequate competencies from healthcare professionals in the home as a contributing factor to their readmission. The readmission increased a sense of security. Support from the family in the process was essential and provided a sense of security, whereas older adults living alone experienced feelings of insecurity in the home environment.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)740-751
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2023


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