connectedness, long-term care, older people, quality of life
Background. A link between quality of life and connectedness is emerging in the
literature. However, there has been little debate on what connectedness means and
how it can be fostered in long-term care settings. This review examines the meaning
of connectedness in long-term care.
Aim. This paper critically examines the meaning of connectedness in the context of
its contribution to the quality of life of older people living in long-term care settings.
Method. Key databases (CINAHL, PsychInfo and Medline) were searched
systematically. Fourteen papers and two book chapters met the inclusion criterion
of papers exploring connectedness for older people in residential care.
Conclusions. The experience of connectedness for older people in long-term care
settings is linked with quality of life and successful ageing. Fundamental
prerequisites of connectedness for older people are: self-awareness, meaningful
relationships with family and friends, involvement in meaningful activities and
connections with wider society. However, barriers to these prerequisites are evident
for many residents in long-term care settings.
Implications for practice. Register and Herman (Advances in Nursing Science, 33,
2010, 53) identify six connections that combine to generate connectedness for
older people. These connections are representative of the factors associated with
increased quality of life for residents living in long-term care settings. The six connections are helpful in identifying areas to focus on when planning personcentred