This qualitative study explored the dining experience of residents with dementia living in specialized care units, with a focus on person-centered care aspects in staff practices. Data were collected by multiple methods: participant observation, informal and formal interviews with care staff, and examination of relevant documents at a long term care facility in British Columbia, Canada. Data analysis revealed five person-centered categories in relation to dining: (1) Relaxed Pace/ Outpacing, (2) Respect/ Disrespect, (3) Connecting/ Distancing, (4) Empowerment/ Disempowerment, and (5) Inclusion/ Ignoring. Analysis also identified the ways in which staff understood person-centered care, and factors affecting its delivery. These categories provide insight into the psychosocial and physical environmental factors that affect residents’ dining experience. The findings suggest that while staff practices reflect several aspects of person-centered care, a biomedical undercurrent continues to hinder the evolution of dementia care.
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Thesis advisor: Chaudhury, Habib
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