A Context-based Elderly Care Theory: A Grounded Theory Approach

Daisy Regis Palompon, RN, MAN, Ph.D, DSN
College of Nursing
Cebu Normal University, Cebu City, Philippines


Background:  Caring is the essence of nursing which is highly applicable to any type of clients. However, the concept of caring explored in the study focused on the elderly care and how this is approached and developed with consideration of cultural differences and backgrounds. 

Objective: This study developed a substantive theory on elderly care known as the Elderly Care Theory that defined what and how elderly caring is based on Filipino context of caring.

Methods: This was developed using grounded theory with ten care providers interviewed and an actual observation of the caring practices in an elderly care facility. 

Results: The theoretical assumptions developed were: (1) Elderly care is an interplay of the caring culture, caring process and care agent which ultimately leads to the development of the elderly care satisfaction and quality of life; (2) Caring elements for the elderly are dependent on the quality/extent/status of delivery of caring culture, caring process and the care agent. The elements are affected by the physico-social-psychological-spiritual and political factors; (3) The care culture has its own elements which interact interdependently with each other such as nurturing, thriving and unifying culture. Its combined effect enhances the flourishing culture in an elderly facility; and (4) The care process and agents have interactive elements such as confident, enduring and strategic care and its combined effect creates the caring self. 

Conclusion: The care for the elderly is a holistic and specialized care. The elderly care elements necessary for the provision of care is a function of the environmental, socio-cultural, and spiritual factors of care and the personal competence of the care provider.

Keywords: elderly care, theory, care providers, care culture, care process, care agent