Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Complaints by the elderly - valuable information or trivialities?

02.07.2009
What is done when the elderly lodge complaints about their services? elderly care? Why is it that staff describe complaints made by the elderly as "trivialities"?

In two recent studies, Tove Persson, doctoral student at the School of Health Sciences, shows that staff, as well as social services directors in local administrations often trivialize complaints from the elderly, which in turn makes it difficult for the elderly to influence their everyday lives.

"It is valuable for us to receive your thoughts, ideas and complaints - positive as well as negative - it gives us a chance to improve our work". Statements such as this are used by many Swedish municipalities.

In fact, similar rhetoric is used in several EU countries to encourage the elderly to make their voices heard. The "European Social Network" emphasizes that social services wish to listen to the service users and support the personal fulfilment of the elderly.

Yet, Tove Persson's studies expose serious flaws in the practice of listening - at least in Sweden. Officially, complaints are "valuable tools for quality improvements", but two recent studies show that complaints by elderly citizens are often trivialized or played-down by the authorities responsible and by staff

involved in elderly care.

Persson has studied 100 social service directors (responsible for elderly care) and found that the organization of complaints lodged by the elderly is a bit of a haphazard affair in Sweden. Many municipalities, for instance, did not provide the elderly with information about how to complain,and in some municipalities the elderly had to submit their complaints via the Internet.

Even though the service directors said they received too few complaints from the elderly, quite paradoxically, they often played down the importance of the few complaints they did receive by describing these as trivial: "It is often trivialities they complain about. You know, if some of the home help staff forget a visit and things like that."

Similar rhetoric was exposed in Persson's second study where nursing home staff described residents' complaints about food, bedtimes and loneliness as petty details. By describing nearly all kinds of complaints as unimportant, the staff could justify their negligence regarding these complaints. Despite official ambition to listen to the elderly, it still seems to be difficult for the elderly to make their voices heard.

For further information, please contact: Tove Persson, +46 (0)734 09 87 27

Pressofficer Birgitta Lundin-Östblom; +46 (0)36 10 11 95; +46 (0)703 33 31 55;
birgitta.lundin-ostblom@hhj.hj.se

Birgitta Lundin-Östblom | idw
Further information:
http://www.hhj.hj.se/doc/5177

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>