To explore the meaning of home among older Hispanic immigrants who are "aging out of place."
Emerging evidence supports the concept of older persons ageing in place. Nurse researchers have demonstrated that older person who age in place have better physical, psychological and cognitive outcomes. Less, however, is known about older persons who are "aging out of place," meaning out of their country of origin. With the growth of home health care, there is a need to understand the older immigrants' meaning of home when ageing out of their country of origin.
Design and method:
An inductive, qualitative descriptive research design was used. Seventeen Hispanic participants, ranging in age from 65 to 83 years were interviewed using a semi-structured interview protocol.
Two major finding of the study focused on participants' descriptions of home in their country of origin and in the USA. The majority of participants described their home in their native country as the community, countryside or town (pueblo) and in the U.S.A. as family. The level of social isolation and loneliness among participants was evident.
Older Hispanic immigrants who are "aging out of place" integrate their past experiences of sense of place in their native country with their present experiences of home in the USA. The need to understand the role of the community and the family in the provision of nursing care in the home may be more important than the physical structure or setting in which it is delivered. Further intra- and cross-national studies are needed to provide a framework for understanding the issues of ageing and immigration globally.
Implications for practice:
Gerontological nurses need to recognise the complexity of family relationships for older Hispanic persons who are ageing out of place of origin and their risk of depression, social isolation, and loneliness.