BACKGROUND: In many countries, people over 85 years of age are relocated involuntarily or unplanned to a nursing home. In Switzerland, 43% of elderly over 85 years are admitted to nursing homes after hospital discharge. This percentage is higher than in the USA with 32.5% or in Germany with only 19%. Despite those more frequent Swiss admissions, no research has been conducted exploring how unplanned admissions to nursing homes affect the adaptation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding into unplanned admissions to nursing homes and to explore its impact on adaptation.
METHODS: The study used a qualitative interview design based on Meleis' transition model. Secondary data analysis was guided by Mayring's qualitative content analysis. Face-to-face interviews with elderly over 77 years (n = 31) were conducted from a convenience sample in Switzerland between January and March 2013.
RESULTS: The following four patterns of adaptation emerged from the analysis: "being cut-off," "being restricted," "being cared for," and "moving on." The patterns evaluate the relocation into nursing homes and provide an opportunity to appraise the stages of adaption.
CONCLUSIONS: This study presents a model of analysis to evaluate patterns of adaptation following an unplanned admission to a nursing home after hospital discharge.